Post-surgical pain (Post-traumatic pain) refers to the pain experienced after recent or past surgery or injury. Patients with post-surgical pain often experience sensations that vary in character: sharp, shooting, aching, tightness, or numbness. This pain is often debilitating, and may even lead a patient to actually reconsider surgery in order to find relief from the pain. Further surgery can, however, create more problems due to the further trauma (and resulting scar tissue) to the knee, shoulder, ankle, or other affected area of the body.

Surgery and trauma create pain for a number of reasons. First, scar tissue, or fibrous (fibrotic) tissue occurs after almost all surgeries. This fibrous tissue, when significant, creates sensations of pain because it is inflexible, has poor blood flow, and often entangles nerve fibers (preventing their proper transmission). Scar tissue hurts usually with specific movements, at night, or all the time. Getting rid of the scar tissue without creating further scar tissue to form can be a challenging medical dilemma. The practitioners of Colorado Pain Doctors employ specific, yet cutting edge methods to break up and remove scar tissue from the body at the site of injury or surgery. Common areas where scar tissue forms after trauma or surgery include knees, shoulders, necks, ankles, and wrists.

Another reason for post-surgical pain is damage to a joint or disruption of the cartilage in, or surrounding a joint space. When a joint is operated on or damaged, the synovial fluid inside the joint often gets exposed to the body’s immune system which can attack the joint tissue and lead to arthritis, bone spurs, or scar tissue. Scar tissue forms in place of healthy cartilage and may lead to pain or chronic inflammation. Rebuilding healthy cartilage, while also breaking down the scar tissue and bone spurs, is key to alleviating the pain. The practitioners of Colorado Pain Doctors can help patients rebuild their own healthy cartilage while eliminating the scar tissue. Common areas for arthritis or bone spurs after trauma or surgery include knees, shoulders, hips, low backs, ankles, fingers, or toes.

A third reason for post-surgical pain is nerve damage or disruption. Nerve damage occurs when the nerves are physically damaged by a scalpel blade, laser, other surgical device or trauma. Nerve blockage can occur when scar tissue forms in place of the damaged tissue. Nerve damage is responsible for the shooting pain or numbness and can last indefinitely. The Colorado Pain Doctors have ways to precisely identify the source and treat the pain resulting from nerve damage. Common areas for nerve damage include low backs, necks, feet (neuromas), knees, and arms.

Talk to Dr. Hughes with the Colorado Pain Doctors to see if he or his associates might be able to help you with any of your post-surgical pain.


Some of the most common surgeries treated by Colorado Pain Doc are:

  • Knee or Meniscus Tears
  • ACL Tears
  • Back / Disc Herniation Repair / Spinal Surgeries
  • Rotator Cuff Repair
  • Wrist Fractures
  • Ankle Fractures or Sprains