Get Answers to Your Questions in Our Nerve Damage and Surgery FAQ

Why does my foot look different after my knee replacement surgery? Should it hurt to have sex after a C-section? How can I relieve the pressure on a trapped nerve? Our FAQ page has the answers you need to kick chronic pain for good.

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  • Why does my surgical scar still hurt?

    Surgical scar pain can be treated.It is not uncommon for a surgical scar to hurt after an incision is healed. Scar tissue forms after surgery to heal a wound and can form internally or externally. This scar tissue can often cause pain due to a variety of reasons including an injury to the nerve. Dr. Williams can determine the cause of your surgical scar pain and recommend options that will best suit your needs.

    Common Causes for Surgical Scar Pain

    The most common cause of surgical scar pain after surgery is a nerve that is injured or stuck in scar tissue. You may not only experience pain from scar tissue, but may also have swelling, itching, and increased sensitivity. 

    Some common causes for surgical scar pain are:

    • Tightness. Tightness in the surgical site can make moving difficult and painful. 
    • Nerve damage. Damage to the nerve can cause pain or numbness in the surgical site area. 
    • Adhesions. Adhesions are caused by fibrosis and can cause inflammation and pain. They can also cause a loss of joint or tissue function.

    Treatment Options

    In order to reduce surgical scar formation and pain, you can do the following at home:

    • Moisturize to keep the scar tissue hydrated. 
    • Break up the scar tissue by doing a self-massage using circular motions along the scar.
    • Move around to prevent the area from becoming tight.
    • Use sunscreen to prevent sunburns and discoloration.

    Keep in mind that after surgery, it is normal to experience pain as you heal. If this post-surgical pain becomes chronic and lasts after several months to a year, it is time to consult Dr. Williams for an evaluation. 

    Dr. Williams will determine the cause of your pain and recommend options to provide relief. Depending on the cause of your pain, the following options may be considered:

    • Nerve reconstruction
    • Nerve decompression
    • Nerve resection
    • Revision to the existing procedure

    If a nerve is not causing the issue, surgery may not be an option to reduce the pain. In those cases, physical therapy, massage, laser treatments, and other conservative methods may be recommended to help provide relief.

    Contact a Nerve Pain Specialist

    If your surgical scar still hurts and you need to find relief from the pain, contact Dr. Williams for a consultation. To schedule an appointment in our Baltimore office, call us at (410)709-3868 or fill out our contact form online.


     

  • Is it normal to experience chronic pain after hernia surgery?

    Treating chronic pain after hernia surgery Experiencing pain after hernia surgery is part of the normal healing process. If you had inguinal hernia surgery in the groin area and your pain after surgery is lasting longer than six months, however, it is considered to be chronic pain. 

    Chronic pain is not normal and should never be ignored. It can indicate that there is a nerve injury, nerve damage, or inflammation happening in the surgical area. Chronic pain should be evaluated by a pain specialist to determine the cause and best options for relief.

    Types of Post-Surgical Pain

    Most hernia surgeries are minimally invasive procedures that involve pushing the hernia back inside the body and placing a mesh patch and stitches on the abdominal wall to strengthen and support the area using a laparoscopy technique. Some hernia surgeries are done as open surgeries and use the same mesh technique. 

    After surgery, it is normal to feel pain for several weeks. Pain is part of the healing process and can be relieved by medication. 

    For pain that does not go away, there can be other reasons. Post-surgical pain can result from:

    • Inflammation from the placement of the mesh
    • Sensory nerve entrapment in the scar tissue
    • Nerve damage or injury

    Chronic pain after hernia surgery can be felt as a burning or stabbing pain in the groin area and cause complications with sleep. Some other symptoms of chronic pain after hernia surgery are:

    • Pain when walking
    • Pain when sitting
    • Pain in the groin area or testicles
    • Pain that radiates
    • Feeling that something foreign is in the body
    • Pain with physical intimacy
    • Pain with wearing clothing such as underwear or a belt
    • Psychological distress

    Chronic Pain Treatment Options

    Treatment for chronic pain after hernia surgery depends on the cause and level of pain you are experiencing. If you are experiencing persistent pain for six months or more, nerve damage is likely to be the reason. 

    The most common cause of chronic pain after hernia surgery is damage or injury to a nerve. During hernia surgery, a nerve may have been injured, compressed, or stuck in scar tissue after the mesh insert was placed. To determine if the pain is the result of nerve damage or injury, a nerve block may be used. A nerve block uses a local anesthetic to reduce the pain. If the nerve block temporarily reduces the pain, it indicates that nerves are the cause of the problem.

    Dr. Williams can do the following to help with a nerve-related pain issue:

    • Nerve reconstruction
    • Nerve decompression
    • Nerve resection
    • Additional surgery to correct the previous hernia repair procedure

    Contact a Post-Surgical Pain Specialist

    If you are suffering from chronic pain after hernia surgery or have questions about what options are available to relieve chronic pain after surgery, contact post-surgical pain specialist Dr. Eric H. Williams. To schedule a consultation in our Baltimore office, contact us online or call us at 410-709-3868.

  • When should I be concerned about chronic pain after a knee replacement?

    Pain after knee replacementKnee replacement surgery can be life-changing. It often allows a person to reclaim an active lifestyle they may have thought was lost forever due to the poor functioning of their knees.

    But not every knee replacement is entirely successful. In some cases, patients report experiencing ongoing problematic pain that hinders them as much—or more—than the problem the surgery was supposed to fix. While it is only natural that there will be some pain during the recovery and rehabilitation periods after surgery, chronic pain means there is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. 

    Causes of Post-Surgery Pain

    There are a range of reasons you might experience chronic pain after a knee replacement procedure. For example, something could go wrong with the artificial knee itself and lead to significant pain. Or an infection could be the issue. Or you might experience what is called “overstuffing”—a condition in which your knee joint is larger following the surgery and feels as though it is filled up more than it should be.

    Another possibility is nerve damage. It is possible that during the procedure, the surgeon inadvertently damaged nerves around the joint. It might also be the case that nerves have become entrapped in scar tissue or compressed. When any of these things happen, you may well experience ongoing pain that turns out to be difficult to diagnose.

    In these circumstances, a peripheral nerve surgeon—like Dr. Eric H. Williams—is your best option for finding the relief you need. 

    Don’t Ignore Ongoing Pain After a Knee Replacement

    If it has been six months since your surgery and you are still in pain, something is definitely amiss. Don’t ignore the pain or try to grit your teeth and just keep going. Instead, talk to a doctor right away. If the problem is nerve damage, entrapment, or compression, peripheral nerve surgery can be the solution.

    We Can Help You Get Relief From Post-Surgery Chronic Pain

    Dr. Williams has the experience and expertise necessary to diagnose and correct problems related to damaged nerves following knee replacement surgery. If you have been in pain for months following surgery, it is time to get some relief. Contact us today so that we can help sooner rather than later.