Is postoperative pain only a nociceptive pain?

Ceyhan D., GÜLEÇ M. S.

AGRI-THE JOURNAL OF THE TURKISH SOCIETY OF ALGOLOGY, vol.22, no.2, pp.47-52, 2010 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.47-52
  • Keywords: Gabapentin, nociceptive pain, postoperative pain, pregabalin
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


More than 75% of patients undergoing surgery suffer from acute pain. Most of this pain transforms into chronic pain. Currently, treatment of postoperative pain is based mainly on opioids, but results are not quite satisfactory. Postoperative pain is defined as a condition of tissue injury together with muscle spasm after surgery. Recently, peripheral and central sensitization has been shown within the mechanisms of postoperative pain generation. Accordingly, anti-convulsive drugs have been used successfully for the treatment of postoperative pain. Therefore, the issue of whether postoperative pain is purely a nociceptive pain remains a topic of debate. Considering that every surgical intervention might result in a nerve injury, it is not surprising to find neuropathic pain features within the postoperative pain itself. In light of these findings, it would be more precise to define postoperative pain as a combination of inflammatory and neuropathic components instead of as pure pain. Thus, the appropriate postoperative treatment should be planned involving both of these components.