An introduction to the issue of phantom limb pain

PreEmptive Analgesia and Anesthesia Preemptive use of analgesics and anesthetics during the preoperative period is believed to prevent the noxious stimulus from the amputated site from triggering hyperplastic changes and central neural sensitization which may prevent the amplification of future impulses from the amputation site [ 42 ]. However, the results of the studies in this area have not been definitive. A recent study reported the decrease in PLP at six months following amputation when optimized epidural analgesia or intravenous patient controlled analgesia was started between 48 hours preoperatively and 48 hours postoperatively [ 20 ]. Prolonged postoperative perineural infusion of ropivacaine 0.

An introduction to the issue of phantom limb pain

Abstract Br J Anaesth ; Other major reasons for amputation and phantom pain are peripheral vascular disease and neoplasms. Today, it is common knowledge that virtually all amputees experience phantom sensations, painful or not, after limb amputation.

However, in some amputees, the phantom becomes the site of severe pain, which may be exceedingly difficult to treat.

Phantom limb pain | BJA: British Journal of Anaesthesia | Oxford Academic

A large number of different treatments have been suggested but the vast majority of studies concerning the treatment of phantom pain are based on small groups with no controls.

A clear and rational treatment regimen is difficult to establish as long as the underlying patophysiology is not fully known. The development of animal models mimicking neuropathic pain, together with research in other neuropathic pain conditions, have contributed significantly to our understanding of phantom pain.

It is now clear that nerve injury is followed by a series of changes in the peripheral and the central nervous system and that these changes may play a role in the induction and maintenance of chronic phantom pain.

Although phantom pains may occur following amputation of body parts other than limbs, 27 49 66 the present review will focus on clinical characteristics, mechanisms, treatment, and possible preventive measures of phantom pain after limb amputation.

The phantom complex includes three different elements. Painful sensations referred to the absent limb. Any sensation in the absent limb, except pain. Pain localized in the stump.

An introduction to the issue of phantom limb pain

These elements often coexist in each patient and may be difficult to separate. This will substantially underestimate the problem of phantom pain as many amputees, at least in the past, were reluctant to report pain to health care providers. It is also generally agreed that the incidence of pain is similar following civilian or military accidents.

Eight months before a diagnosis of diabetes, he began to complain of typical diabetic neuropathy pain in the phantom leg, which was followed by a similar pain complaint in the intact limb.

Houghton and collaborators asked amputees to specify on a scale of 0 to 10 the degree of phantom pain at 6 months, 1, 2 and 5 yr after amputation.

Nine amputees were in constant pain, nine had attacks of pain a few times per day and the rest only experienced phantom pain weekly or less. A few patients more vivid and colourful descriptions. However, as can be seen from Figure 1the relation is not simple.

Phantom limb - Wikipedia

Immediately after amputation the patient experienced phantom pain localized to the open drainage site, which was no longer there. This was done using different word descriptors, the McGill Pain Questionnaire and their own words. However, when comparing preoperative and postoperative pain descriptions, the incidence of actual similarity was not higher in patients who claimed similarity than in those who found their phantom pain did not resemble pain experienced preoperatively.

This indicates that patients memory of their pain does not always reflect the truth. Stump and phantom pain are interrelated phenomena and several authors have reported a higher prevalence of phantom pain among amputees with coexistent stump pain compared with amputees without stump pain.

These include obvious pathology such as infection, bone spurs, neuromas and adherent and wrinkled scars. Phantom sensation Phantom sensation is experienced by almost everyone who undergoes limb amputation, but it is rarely a clinical problem.

Crossref | PubMed | Scopus () | Google Scholar See all References In prospective studies, pre-amputation pain was found to be associated with phantom pain immediately after the amputation, but pain persisting for two years after the amputation was less affected by pre-amputation pain. 14 x 14 Jensen, T.S., Krebs, B., Nielsen, J., and Rasmussen, P. Immediate and long-term phantom limb pain . The successful treatment of severe left lower limb phantom pain is reported. Hypnosis and antidepressant drugs were the basis for the treatment which controlled the phantom limb pain and an associated post-traumatic stress disorder. Conceptually, research into phantom limb pain is informed by the particular theory of chronic pain that is dominant at the time the research is undertaken. For example, early physiological theories on the etiology of phantom limb pain were grounded in specificity or pattern theories of pain.

The sensation can be very vivid and often includes feelings of posture and movement. Over time, the phantom sensation may fade. Phantom sensation and phantom pain are interrelated.Conceptually, research into phantom limb pain is informed by the particular theory of chronic pain that is dominant at the time the research is undertaken.

For example, early physiological theories on the etiology of phantom limb pain were grounded in specificity or pattern theories of pain. Phantom limb pain is defined as "pain that is localised in the region of the removed body part" (Siddle, ).

It is a poorly understood clinical phenomenon that remains the subject of intense research due to the acute and chronic nature of the condition. Although phantom pains may occur following amputation of body parts other than limbs,27 49 66 the present review will focus on clinical characteristics, mechanisms, treatment, and possible preventive measures of phantom pain after limb amputation.

The phantom . The successful treatment of severe left lower limb phantom pain is reported. Hypnosis and antidepressant drugs were the basis for the treatment which controlled the phantom limb pain and an associated post-traumatic stress disorder.

Phantom Limb Pain AUGUST Introduction ISSUE BRIEF. 5. National Medical Organization Recommendations. No guidance documents or recommendations from national medical organizations for the therapeutic use of cannabis or cannabinoids in the management of PLP were found.

Phantom limb pain (PLP) is a complex phenomenon that includes a wide variety of symptoms ranging from tingling and itching to burning and aching. [11] [12] Until recently, the dominant hypothesis for the cause of phantom limbs was irritation in the severed nerve endings (called " neuromas ").Specialty: Neurology.

Phantom limb pain - Physiopedia