Kehlet et al listed clinical features of neuropathic pain caused by a surgical procedure. This can result in persistent pain that may last for months. The authors are from Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, University of Aarhus in Aarhus and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.


Features of persistent neuropathic pain caused by a surgical procedure:

(1) The onset of pain or discomfort after surgery.

(2) The duration of pain and/or discomfort is >= 3 months.

(3) The pain shows clinical features of neuropathic nerve injury.


General features of neuropathic pain:

(1) Pain is present in a neuroanatomically defined area corresponding to the distribution of a nerve.

(2) There is partial or complete sensory loss in the area.

(3) The pain may be spontaneous without inciting cause.


Features often present with neuropathic pain:

(1) A motor deficit in the territory of the damaged nerve.

(2) Allodynia (triggering of pain by cold, light touch or other innocuous stimulus).

(3) Hyperalgesia (exaggerated response to a noxious stimulus), except to heat.

(4) Hyperpathia (abnormal pain that outlasts the stimulus).

(5) After sensations.

(6) Paroxysms of pain.

(7) Burning pain.


Uncommon features in neuropathic pain:

(1) Heat hyperalgesia

(2) Throbbing pain.


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