oa Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia - The transition from acute to chronic pain : pain

Volume 16, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2220-1181
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1173



Why some patients develop chronic pain after an acutely painful event remains an enigma. For example, over 90% of the population will experience acute back pain at some time in their lives. In most cases this resolves but, in a few, it does not, even though these patients have radiologic pathology similar to those in whom the pain does improve.

Similarly, there are few people who escape the hands of the surgeon. What is becoming increasingly apparent is that those who do experience the sharp end of the scalpel frequently experience persistent pain as a result of the damage caused by this instrument. The reasons for this chronic post-surgical pain are discussed in this presentation, as are possible preventative strategies.

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