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.