Pain: Persistent postsurgery and bone cancer-related pain

Liviu Feller*, Razia Abdool Gafaar Khammissa, Michael Bouckaert, Raoul Ballyram, Yusuf Jadwat, Johan Lemmer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The generation of neuropathic pain is a complex dynamic process. Factors involved include one or more dysregulated sensory neural pathways; dysregulated activity of specific neurotransmitters, synapses, receptors and cognitive and emotional neural circuits; and the balance between degenerative and regenerative neural events. Risk factors include age, sex, cognition, emotions, genetic polymorphism, previous or ongoing chronic pain conditions and the use of certain drugs. Intense pain experienced before, during and after surgery is a risk factor for the development of central sensitization with consequent persistent postsurgery neuropathic pain. Blockade of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors with appropriate drugs during and immediately after surgery may prevent persistent postsurgical pain. Most cancers, but particularly malignant metastases in bone, can induce persistent pain. Local factors including direct damage to sensory nerve fibres, infiltration of nerve roots by cancer cells and algogenic biological agents within the microenvironment of the tumour bring about central sensitization of dorsal horn neurons, characterized by neurochemical reorganization with persistent cancer pain. In this article, the clinical features, pathogenesis and principles of management of persistent postsurgery pain and cancer pain are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-543
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of International Medical Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • Inflammatory pain
  • bone cancer pain
  • metastatic jaw cancer
  • metastatic spinal cord compression
  • neuropathic pain
  • oral squamous cell carcinoma
  • persistent postsurgery pain
  • procedural pain


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