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Lancet Neurol. 2002 Jul;1(3):182-9.

Phantom-limb pain: characteristics, causes, and treatment.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Heidelberg, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany. flor@zi-mannheim.de

Abstract

Phantom-limb pain is a common sequela of amputation, occurring in up to 80% of people who undergo the procedure. It must be differentiated from non-painful phantom phenomena, residual-limb pain, and non-painful residual-limb phenomena. Central changes seem to be a major determinant of phantom-limb pain; however, peripheral and psychological factors may contribute to it. A comprehensive model of phantom-limb pain is presented that assigns major roles to pain occurring before the amputation and to central as well as peripheral changes related to it. So far, few mechanism-based treatments for phantom-limb pain have been proposed. Most published reports are based on anecdotal evidence. Interventions targeting central changes seem promising. The prevention of phantom-limb pain by peripheral analgesia has not yielded consistent results. Additional measures that reverse or prevent the formation of central memory processes might be more effective.

PMID:
12849487
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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