Acute postoperative pain is common. Nearly 20 per cent of patients experience severe pain in the first 24 h after surgery, a figure that has remained largely unchanged in the past 30 years. This review aims to present key considerations for postoperative pain management.
A narrative review of postoperative pain strategies was undertaken. Searches of the Cochrane Library, PubMed and Google Scholar databases were performed using the terms postoperative care, psychological factor, pain management, acute pain service, analgesia, acute pain and pain assessment.
Information on service provision, preoperative planning, pain assessment, and pharmacological and non‐pharmacological strategies relevant to acute postoperative pain management in adults is presented, with a focus on enhanced recovery after surgery pathways.
Adequate perioperative pain management is integral to patient care and outcomes. Each of the biological, psychological and social dimensions of the pain experience should be considered and understood in order to provide optimum pain management in the postoperative setting.
IntroductionThis paper examines the pain management, from surgery to specialist rehabilitation, of the first seven military transfemoral amputee patients treated in the UK with femoral osseointegration. All the patients had sustained complex ballistic injuries on the battlefield. The patients were characterised by long-standing problems with functional rehabilitation due to limitations with conventional prostheses, including stump soft tissue issues and impaired biomechanics.MethodsA prospective service investigation was undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of the pain management of patients undergoing osseointegration. Data were collected by daily direct patient contact, supplemented by a focused review of perioperative and rehabilitation case notes. Physiological and medication details were recorded with specific reference to systemic and regional analgesia and the impact of postoperative complications, including infection and accidental injury.ResultsSeven patients underwent femoral osseointegration and were followed up for a period of up to 3 years following surgery. The perioperative recovery was associated with significant escalation of analgesic requirements. Postoperative systemic inflammatory response syndrome was identified in six patients, with wound infection persisting in some cases into the rehabilitation phase. Three patients suffered femoral fractures following accidental injuries secondary to increased mobilisation following surgery.ConclusionsSuccessful surgical outcomes were achieved in a difficult patient cohort disadvantaged by previously restricted functional recovery from complex injuries. The importance of supporting the operative and recovery phases with a multidisciplinary pain service is emphasised. We offer this data and the lessons learnt to assist clinicians contemplating the establishment and service development of osseointegration services.
The Defence Medical Services (DMS) of the United Kingdom (UK) assumed command of the Role 3 Medical Treatment Facility field hospital during Operation HERRICK in Afghanistan from April 2006 until the final drawdown in November 2014. The signature injury sustained by coalition personnel during this period was traumatic amputation from improvised explosive devices. Many patients who had suffered extensive tissue damage experienced both nociceptive and neuropathic pain (NeuP). This presented as a heterogeneous collection of symptoms that are resistant to treatment. This paper discusses the relationship of NeuP in the context of ballistic injury, drawing in particular on clinical experience from the UK mission to Afghanistan, Operation HERRICK. The role of this paper is to describe the difficulties of assessment, treatment and research of NeuP and make recommendations for future progress within the DMS.
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