You know you’ll be in some discomfort after an operation, but don’t expect to suffer severe or prolonged pain. If you have pain after surgery that isn’t improving, visit the Spine & Pain Center of San Antonio in San Antonio and Live Oak, Texas. The pain management specialists have expertise in assessing and treating the most severe post-surgical pain. Call your nearest office today or book an appointment online to find relief from pain after surgery.
Any surgery inevitably causes pain, which can vary in its severity depending on the operation you have and how you perceive pain.
Open surgery, where the surgeon makes large incisions through your skin and muscle, causes significant tissue damage. Therefore, it typically results in more severe, long-lasting pain. Minimally invasive endoscopic techniques such as laparoscopy and arthroscopy (joint endoscopy) only require small cuts, so you feel considerably less pain after surgery.
Everyone’s experience of pain is unique — you might tolerate pain that others find excruciating and vice versa. The nervous system’s reactions can also vary between patients. Some have problems like allodynia, feeling pain from the lightest touch, or hyperalgesia, where something most people find slightly uncomfortable feels extremely painful.
Your anesthesiologist and surgical team give you pain relief medications to reduce pain after surgery. You continue to use medicines at home, reducing the dose and changing to a less potent drug as your tissues heal, and then stopping when the pain goes away. However, some people continue to experience pain long after it should have stopped.
If there’s no problem with the surgery itself and no infection, other possible causes of pain after surgery include:
Excessive scar tissue can form at the surgical site, tightening the tissues and causing irritation, inflammation, and nerve compression. Sometimes adhesions form, where scar tissue attaches separate areas together.
Injuries during surgery or nerve compression can cause neuropathic pain. If nerves can’t heal because they’re damaged or compressed, you might develop chronic pain and sensations like tingling, burning, prickling, and numbness.
The combination of tissue damage, resulting inflammation, and pain after surgery may lead to biochemical changes that make your nerves over-sensitive to pain. Sensitization is more of a risk with open surgery, especially if it lasts over three hours or you don’t get sufficient pain relief immediately after your operation.
Spine & Pain Center of San Antonio offers advanced treatments like:
These treatments may reduce inflammation and scarring or interfere with pain signals going from your nerves to your brain.
For expert chronic pain relief after surgery, call the Spine & Pain Center of San Antonio today or book an appointment online.