5 years ago

Chronic postoperative pain: recent findings in understanding and management [version 1; referees: 3 approved]

Darin Correll
Chronic postoperative pain is a poorly recognized potential outcome from surgery. It affects millions of patients every year, with pain lasting for months to years, resulting in patient suffering and ensuing economic consequences. The operations with the highest incidence of chronic postoperative pain are amputations, thoracotomies, cardiac surgery, and breast surgery. Other risk factors include preoperative pain, psychological factors, demographics, and the intensity of acute postoperative pain. Attempts to prevent chronic postoperative pain have often led to debatable results. This article presents data from recently published studies examining the incidence, risk factors, mechanisms, treatment options, and preventive strategies for chronic postoperative pain in adults. In summary, many of the previously identified risk factors for chronic postoperative pain have been confirmed and some novel ones discovered, such as the importance of the trajectory of acute pain and the fact that catastrophizing may not always be predictive. The incidence of chronic postoperative pain hasn’t changed over time, and there is limited new information regarding an effective preventive therapy. For example, pregabalin may actually cause more harm in certain surgeries. Further research is needed to demonstrate whether multimodal analgesic techniques have the best chance of significantly reducing the incidence of chronic postoperative pain and to determine which combination of agents is best for given surgical types and different patient populations.

Publisher URL: https://f1000research.com/articles/6-1054/v1

DOI: 10.12688/f1000research.11101.1

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