Scar Tissue Pain

What is scar tissue pain?

Scar tissue pain occurs, for example, after an operation, and can result in chronic pain in and around the scar area.

Causes

The cause of scar tissue pain is damage to a small skin nerve, or when a nerve is squeezed by the scar tissue. In scar tissue pain, which can occur after an operation, there sometimes mention of neuroma formation at the end of a damaged skin nerve. After some interventions, such as inguinal hernia, lung, heart, kidney, and shoulder operations, as well as breast amputations, scar tissue pain is more common.

Complaints/symptoms

Patients with scar tissue pain typically complain of neuropathic pain, during which continuous pain is present, alternating with spontaneous attacks of stabbing pain in the scar area.  This pain can sometimes occur after a complaint-free period lasting some months postoperatively.

How is the diagnosis made?

Squeezing a small part of the scar can be very painful. Moreover, it is possible that there is more pain than expected with normal pain stimulus, such as pricking a needle into the scar area. Touching the skin lightly around the scar can also be experienced as painful.

Do I need any additional examinations?

  • Diagnostic examination for other non-physical factors important for your pain, have already been done by yourself trough filling out your pain questionnaires.
  • Not necessary, except when the scar tissue is still inflamed.

What are the treatment possibilities?

Multidisciplinary Treatment

Depending on the cause of your pain, your pain specialist will decide on whether or not to embark on physical treatment. Based on the results of the completed pain questionnaire, additional examinations can be carried out and, as well as physical treatment, other methods of treatment will be suggested.

Non-physical Treatments

If the results of your pain questionnaire are abnormal, your pain specialist will suggest one of the non-physical treatments listed below:

Physical Treatments

Medication

Other Treatments

Interventional Pain Treatments