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Pain Management

Post-op Abdominal Pain

06/26/2008

Question:

I had surgery in January to remove a tumor from the L5 nerve root. The doctors (orthopedic and vascular surgeons) went in from the front to get to the tumor. Since the surgery I've had stabbing pain mostly to the left of the incision. The pain is sensitive to the touch, is worse when I bend even slightly, and feels like a pincushion is sticking me. Sometimes it even throbs by itself. I still cannot lay on my stomach for more than a minute, and even that`s painful. I've gone back to both surgeons - both of whom have expressed no desire in finding out what`s going on. My family doctor did send me for a CT scan, which was negative for hernias and leftover surgical devices. I also have numbness in between the top of my left leg and the groin area, which seems to be connected to the pain.

Surgeons say that the problems are not connected to the area of the surgery, but I didn't have them before I went in, and they started right after surgery. Where I can go or who can I see to resolve this pain? Seems like some pain centers don`t do abdominal pain, so I`m clueless about where to go. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

You likely have developed a neuralgia post-operatively as a result of injury to the genitofemoral nerve or ilioinguinal nerve. The pain center University Hospitals Case Medical Center would be able to help you control the pain, and I personally have a special interest in neuropathies/neuralgias.

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Response by:

Salim M Hayek, MD, PhD Salim M Hayek, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University