Question: Is There A Way To Prevent Acute Pain From Becoming Chronic Pain?
Answer: Chronic pain or persistent pain following surgery has been identified as a problem for some patients. Particularly following large operations involving a lot of trauma such as chest surgery or mastectomies and more recently orthopedic procedures may lead to long-term pain following surgery.
We know that acute pain is caused by multiple mechanisms and multiple pathways. So the best way to prevent persistent pain with the information we have today is probably using multiple agents to attack those multiple pathways.
We also know that many patients who have poorly controlled pain after surgery are more at risk of developing chronic pain. Now down the road there is interest in genetic markers to identify which patients might be most at risk of developing persistent pain.