Chronic post-operative pain is a common complication of surgery, affecting up to 50% of patients. Various factors, including nerve damage, scar tissue, and inflammation, can cause it.
Unfortunately, traditional pain management methods may not always be effective in treating this type of pain.
This is where interventional pain management comes in. This approach uses minimally invasive techniques to target the source of the pain and provide long-lasting relief. If you are struggling with chronic post-operative pain, it’s important to understand your treatment options.
Momentum Medical is dedicated to helping you find the best solutions for managing your chronic post-operative pain.
Post-operative pain refers to the discomfort experienced by individuals following a surgical procedure.
It can manifest in various forms, including acute pain, chronic pain, referred pain, and neuropathic pain, significantly impacting a patient’s recovery and overall well-being.
This section will explore these distinct types of post-operative pain in greater detail.
Acute pain is the most common type of post-operative pain and is typically experienced immediately after surgery. It is a sharp, intense, and sudden pain usually caused by tissue damage during the operation.
Acute pain can be managed with medication, such as opioids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and local anesthetics.
Subacute pain is a type of pain that occurs after the acute phase of pain has subsided. It typically lasts a few days to a few weeks and is often described as a dull, achy pain.
Subacute pain is caused by inflammation, swelling, and tissue healing. It can be managed with the same medication used for acute pain but in lower doses.
Chronic pain is a type of pain that lasts for more than three months after surgery. It is a persistent pain that can be caused by nerve damage, scar tissue, or other complications related to surgery.
Chronic pain can be challenging to manage and can have a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life. Treatment options for chronic pain include medication, physical therapy, and other non-pharmacological treatments, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Spine surgery is often performed to treat conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and scoliosis. Unfortunately, this type of surgery can also cause chronic post-operative pain.
The pain may be caused by nerve damage, scar tissue, or other complications. Patients who undergo spine surgery may also experience weakness, numbness, or tingling in the affected area.
Joint replacement surgery is a standard procedure to treat conditions such as arthritis. While this type of surgery can improve mobility and reduce pain, it can also cause chronic post-operative pain.
The pain may be caused by nerve damage, infection, or implant failure. Patients who undergo joint replacement surgery may also experience stiffness, swelling, or instability in the affected joint.
Abdominal surgery is often performed to treat conditions such as appendicitis, gallbladder disease, and colon cancer. This type of surgery can cause chronic post-operative pain due to nerve damage, scar tissue, or infection.
Patients who undergo abdominal surgery may also experience digestive problems, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Chest surgery is often performed to treat conditions such as lung cancer, heart disease, or chest trauma. While this type of surgery can be life-saving, it can also cause chronic post-operative pain.
The pain may be caused by nerve damage, scar tissue, or infection. Patients who undergo chest surgery may also experience shortness of breath, chest tightness, or coughing.
Age is a significant risk factor for CPOP. Studies have shown that older patients are more likely to experience persistent pain after surgery, with some research suggesting that the risk of CPOP increases by around 10% for every decade of life.
This may be due to age-related changes in the nervous system, which can make older patients more susceptible to chronic pain.
Sex is another risk factor for CPOP, with some research suggesting that women are more likely to experience persistent pain after surgery than men. This may be due to differences in pain perception between the sexes and hormonal factors that can influence pain sensitivity.
The type and duration of surgery can also increase the risk of CPOP. Procedures that involve extensive tissue damage or nerve injury, such as amputations or spinal surgeries, are associated with a higher risk of persistent pain.
Finally, pre-existing medical conditions can increase the risk of CPOP. Patients with conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, or fibromyalgia may be more likely to experience chronic pain after surgery, as these conditions can sensitize the nervous system and make pain more difficult to manage.
Nerve blocks involve injecting a local anesthetic or a combination of a local anesthetic and a steroid into a specific nerve or group of nerves. This injection blocks the pain signals from reaching the brain and can provide relief for several hours or even days.
Epidural steroid injections are a minimally invasive procedure used to treat chronic pain in the back and legs.
The injection involves injecting a steroid medication directly into the epidural space surrounding the spinal cord. This medication can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain for several weeks or months.
Trigger point injections involve injecting a small amount of local anesthetic or a combination of a local anesthetic and a steroid into a trigger point, which is a tight band of muscle tissue that can cause pain. This injection can help relax the muscles and reduce pain.
Radiofrequency ablation involves using radio waves to produce heat and destroy nerve tissue, causing pain. This technique is commonly used to treat chronic back, neck, and joint pain. Radiofrequency ablation can provide pain relief for several months or even years.
It is of utmost importance to seek medical attention for chronic post-operative pain from professionals like Momentum Medical. We offer a variety of treatment options to help alleviate chronic pain, including medication management, physical therapy, and interventional pain management.
Interventional pain management involves using minimally invasive procedures to target the source of pain, such as nerve blocks or spinal cord stimulation. It can be an effective option for those who have not found relief with other treatments.
Overall, seeking medical attention for chronic post-operative pain is crucial to improving quality of life and finding long-term relief.
Momentum Medical can provide the latest treatments, such as radiofrequency ablation and interventional pain management, to help reduce pain without surgery. Contact us today to learn more about our offerings and how we can help you find the relief you need.