The IASP classification of chronic pain for ICD-11: chronic postsurgical or posttraumatic pain

IASP Taskforce for the Classification of Chronic Pain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic pain after tissue trauma is frequent and may have a lasting impact on the functioning and quality of life of the affected person. Despite this, chronic postsurgical and posttraumatic pain is underrecognised and, consequently, undertreated. It is not represented in the current International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). This article describes the new classification of chronic postsurgical and posttraumatic pain for ICD-11. Chronic postsurgical or posttraumatic pain is defined as chronic pain that develops or increases in intensity after a surgical procedure or a tissue injury and persists beyond the healing process, ie, at least 3 months after the surgery or tissue trauma. In the classification, it is distinguished between tissue trauma arising from a controlled procedure in the delivery of health care (surgery) and forms of uncontrolled accidental damage (other traumas). In both sections, the most frequent conditions are included. This provides diagnostic codes for chronic pain conditions that persist after the initial tissue trauma has healed and that require specific treatment and management. It is expected that the representation of chronic postsurgical and posttraumatic pain in ICD-11 furthers identification, diagnosis, and treatment of these pain states. Even more importantly, it will make the diagnosis of chronic posttraumatic or postsurgical pain statistically visible and, it is hoped, stimulate research into these pain syndromes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-52
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


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