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Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2001;77(1-4):159-62.

Motor cortex stimulation for phantom limb pain: comprehensive therapy with spinal cord and thalamic stimulation.

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Department of Neurological Surgery, Nihon University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


The effects of spinal cord stimulation (SCS), deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the thalamic nucleus ventralis caudalis (VC) and motor cortex stimulation (MCS) were analyzed in 19 patients with phantom limb pain. All of the patients underwent SCS and, if the SCS failed to reduce the pain, the patients were considered for DBS and/or MCS. Satisfactory pain control for the long-term was achieved in 6 of 19 (32%) by SCS, 6 of 10 (60%) by DBS and 1 (20%) of 5 by MCS. SCS and DBS of the VC sometimes produced a dramatic effect on the pain, leading to a long pain-free interval and infrequent use of stimulation. The effects of both DBS of the VC and MCS were tested in four. One patient of them reported better pain control by MCS than by DBS, whereas two reported the opposite results. There is no evidence at present for an advantage of MCS over SCS and DBS of the VC in controlling phantom limb pain.

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