General Session IV

4:15–5:15 PM Saturday, February 29

The Role of the Peripheral Nervous System in the Progression of Acute to Chronic Pain (105)

Acute pain from injury, most commonly studied after surgery, clearly originates in the periphery where sensory nerves are directly injured or bathed with sensitizing substances. Chronic pain after recovery from a peripheral wound can relieved by peripheral nerve block, but does that mean that the peripheral input is not normal? This lecture describes the normal, subacute and chronic response of peripheral nerves after surgery and new data that challenge our notions of where the problem is and a tantalizing approach to how to treat it. Hint – it’s not really about C fibers.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the role of different types of sensory fibers in the normal condition and after injury in signaling pain.
  • Challenge classic notions of the types of sensory fibers that underlie chronic pain and allodynia.
  • Report new treatments which could return the peripheral nervous system to normal more rapidly after injury.

Patrick Tighe


James C. Eisenach, MD