Up to a quarter of people who have surgery are in greater pain or have more physical problems afterwards than before they had the operation, a study has discovered this week. Most of these were still in great pain up to a year after surgery, and nearly a half of patients say they have not fully recovered from the procedure. Researchers at Maastricht University in the Netherlands discovered that a sizeable minority of patients report no improvement, or even a worsening of their condition, after surgery when they surveyed 400 patients. The patients - 216 women and 185 men with an average age of 54 - had undergone planned surgery, ranging from plastic surgery to orthopaedic surgery. The researchers carried out a number of assessments, from measuring pain, physical functioning, mental health and vitality before and after surgery. (Source: British Journal of Surgery, 2010; doi: 10.1002/bjs.7152).