The etiology and pathophysiology of this pain is poorly understood. Their work is shedding light on potential root causes:
Emmanuel Deval, Jacques Noël, Xavier Gasull1, Anne Delaunay, Abdelkrim Alloui, Valérie Friend, Alain Eschalier, Michel Lazdunski, and Eric Lingueglia. Acid-Sensing Ion Channels in Postoperative Pain. The Journal of Neuroscience, 20 April 2011, 31(16): 6059-6066; doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5266-10.2011.
...Ten microliters of a siRNA (2 μg)/i-Fect (Neuromics) mix was injected intrathecally between the L4 and L5 vertebrae of rats using a Hamilton syringe and a 25 gauge needle. Animals received one injection per day for 4 d (Fig. 4A, protocol). ASIC3 (CUACACGCUAUGCCAAGGAdtdt) and the corresponding scramble (GCUCACACUACGCAGAGAUdtdt) siRNAs have been previously described (Deval et al., 2008)...
Highlights: Pharmacological inhibition of ASIC3 channels with the specific toxin APETx2 or in vivo knockdown of ASIC3 subunit by small interfering RNA led to a significant reduction of postoperative spontaneous, thermal, and postural pain behaviors (spontaneous flinching, heat hyperalgesia, and weight bearing). ASIC3 appears to have an important role in deep tissue but also affects prolonged pain evoked by skin incision alone.
ASIC3s are excitatory ion channels directly activated by extracellular protons that detect the painful drops in pH at incision points. Several factors may participate in the drop of extracellular pH, such as release of the acidic content of lyzed cells, degranulation of mast cells, organic acids released by metabolism..etc This makes makes the Ion Channel a great marker for the studying activation of pain and a potential therapeutic target for mitigating surgical pain.
I will continue to track and report progress.