A Classic definition of chronic pain is pain that outlasts the normal healing time.1 Implicit is the notion that pain mechanisms activated by injury should resolve along a predictable timeline and that chronic pain represents a failure of such resolution, i.e., “pain chronification.” Surgery is a prominent cause of chronic pain. Commonly cited estimates for the incidence of such pain suggest rates of between 5 and 85%, and chronic pain from surgery is a frequent reason for referral to pain clinics.2 Furthermore, anesthesiologists preside over the care of patients during the surgery and direct much of the pain-related care in the postoperative period. This seems to place us in position to head off pain chronification, perhaps using our diverse pharmacologic armamentarium—if that is possible. It is with great disappointment, then, that we read the comprehensive...
Chronic Postoperative Pain: Preventable or Inevitable?
Accepted for publication April 28, 2021.
This editorial accompanies the article on p. 304.
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J. David Clark; Chronic Postoperative Pain: Preventable or Inevitable?. Anesthesiology 2021; 135:215–217 doi: https://doi.org/10.1097/ALN.0000000000003839
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