Data from preclinical research and clinical observations (mostly made on and around the wounded cutaneous area) have yielded a better understanding of the pain related to either peripheral (“primary hyperalgesia”) or central sensitization (“secondary hyperalgesia”).
The clinical aspects of sensitization are expressed as increased pain for a given stimulus. Such “hyperalgesia” may be detrimental in the early postoperative pain (POP) period as it increases the amount of experienced POP and may induce stress with all of its negative consequences. It is strongly linked to movement-evoked POP, causing the patient to consciously avoid any painful movement, and may impact rehabilitation. As an example, interventions reducing movement-evoked POP are associated with fewer POP thromboembolic complications and improve pulmonary outcomes.