Possible etiopathogenetic role of scars in chronic non malignant pain: cases and case records (review).

P. Barbagli, F. Ceccherelli


The possible etiological role of one or more scars in determing the onset of chronic painful syndromes at a distance is investigated in the most accredited medical literature, such as the best-known data banks (Medline and Embase), as well as in the less easily traceable ones, like those in German, congress proceedings, graduation, specialization and postgraduate theses.

After a short introduction on the so-called “Huneke phenomenon”, which is the immediate disappearance of symptoms at a distance after the anaesthetic infiltration of organs considered “disturbing”, such as scars, the cases and case records found in literature are briefly related and analysed. It regards a total of 160 cases, in which the casual relation between scars and pains at a distance has proved particularly striking.

In addition, various epidemiological studies which indirectly suggest the hypothesis of a pathogenic role of scars have been reported; for instance, those which report an elevated incidence of post-operative pains in near or distant areas from the surgical scars, or in seriously burnt people, where great scars and cheloids remain.

The ethiological hypothesis, in some cases, between scars and chronic pains at a distance, according to the Authors, seems therefore confirmed, while it has been deferred to successive pubblications the analysis of the possible mechanisms of action that can lead, beginning from one or more scars, to painful syndromes at a distance.

Minerva Medica, vol.96, Suppl.2 to N°3, giugno 2005, 15 – 23, ISSN 0026-4806.

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