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Pain After Surgery

Surgical procedures inevitably result in some pain, which usually fades away as the tissues heal. If you’re still in pain after your surgery, Aditya Patel, MD, at Sports, Pain & Regenerative Institute in Fairview, New Jersey and Montclair, New Jersey, can help. Dr. Patel uses cutting-edge treatments for pain after surgery that resolve the problem without the need to use strong medications. Find out how you could benefit from his expertise by calling Sports, Pain & Regenerative Institute today. You can also book an in-person or telehealth consultation online.

What is pain after surgery?

Understandably, surgery results in a degree of pain. How severe your pain is after surgery depends on such factors as:

The surgery you undergo

Open surgery, where you have large incisions through skin and layers of muscle, involves significant tissue damage, so it can be particularly painful. Minimally invasive techniques, like laparoscopy or arthroscopy, only require small openings to allow access for the endoscopic instruments, so pain after surgery is typically less severe.

How you feel pain

Pain is highly subjective, so each person’s experience of pain is unique. You might be able to tolerate pain that other people would find unbearable. People’s nervous systems react in different ways to pain as well. For example, if you have a hypersensitivity disorder, you might feel pain from a light touch.

To help keep pain after surgery to a minimum, your anesthesiologist and surgical staff provide acute pain relief. You continue to use medication when you go home, reducing the dose or type of drug as you heal until the pain goes away.

Unfortunately, some people find that their pain persists even though the surgery site is healing well.

Why do I have chronic pain after surgery?

If you’re still in pain after your surgery, the first step is to check for any problems with the procedure, like excessive scar tissue or adhesions. If there’s no obvious reason why your pain is continuing, Dr. Patel can identify what might be causing the problem and treat you accordingly.

One possibility is nerve damage. An injury during surgery or compression of one or more nerves can result in neuropathic (nerve) pain. If the nerve can’t heal because it’s damaged or under pressure, you experience chronic pain and possibly tingling, burning, or other sensations.

Another reason why you might have chronic pain after surgery is sensitization. The combination of inflammation, tissue damage, and the pain they produce, results in biochemical changes that make your nerves more sensitive to pain.

Sensitization is more likely if your surgery lasts more than three hours, you have open surgery, or you experience poorly controlled pain immediately after your procedure.

How is chronic pain after surgery treated?

At Sports, Pain & Regenerative Institute, Dr. Patel offers a variety of treatments for the relief of chronic pain after surgery. These include advanced interventions like ultrasound-guided nerve blocks (local anesthetic injections), epidural steroid injections, radiofrequency ablation, and neuromodulation.

These treatments can help by reducing tissue inflammation and changing or switching off the pain signals your nerves send to your brain.

To get relief from chronic pain after surgery, call Sports, Pain & Regenerative Institute today or book an appointment online.