Incidence of Phantom Limb Pain and Method of Anesthesia After Lower Extremity Amputation

2014-08-27 03:18:21 | BioPortfolio


Phantom limb pain (pain originating from where an amputated limb once was) is a common occurrence after lower extremity amputations, with some sources noting incidence to be as high as 60-80% six months after surgery. This pain can eventually subside, however, cases have been reported of incidence 10 years after surgery. This pain is not only physically detrimental, but can also be psychologically detrimental after a difficult to accept change in the body. Prior studies have been performed using regional anesthetic techniques (including spinals and epidurals) and different medications to attempt to reduce the incidence of phantom limb pain, however, the data have been mostly inconclusive. Of interest, prior studies have not addressed peripheral nerve blocks, a method of anesthesia/analgesia more commonly employed for amputations recently. The purpose of our retrospective study is to look at the incidence of phantom limb pain at our institution over a two year period to determine if peripheral nerve blocks result in a significantly reduced incidence compared to other techniques (spinal, epidural, general anesthesia only). In addition, there is little data on relation of reason for amputation and presence of preoperative neuropathy and incidence of phantom pain. As secondary endpoints, the investigators wish to investigate if certain reasons for amputation (trauma, peripheral vascular disease, diabetes, and others) and/or neuropathy lead to a higher incidence of phantom limb pain. The results of this study could impact future management of patients who are to receive amputations and may lead to further prospective studies on the topics involved.

Study Design

Observational Model: Case-Only, Time Perspective: Retrospective


Phantom Limb Pain


Lower extremity amputation


Veterans Affairs North Texas Health Care System
United States




North Texas Veterans Healthcare System

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:18:21-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

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The part of a limb or tail following amputation that is proximal to the amputated section.

The region of the lower limb in animals, extending from the gluteal region to the FOOT, and including the BUTTOCKS; HIP; and LEG.

An alternative to amputation in patients with neoplasms, ischemia, fractures, and other limb-threatening conditions. Generally, sophisticated surgical procedures such as vascular surgery and reconstruction are used to salvage diseased limbs.

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