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Pain Pract. 2010 May-Jun;10(3):249-56. doi: 10.1111/j.1533-2500.2009.00340.x. Epub 2010 Jan 8.

Phantom limb phenomena in cancer amputees.

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1
Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of phantom pain and correlated conditions such as phantom sensations and stump pain in a population of cancer patients who had undergone limb amputation.

METHOD:

A cross-sectional study was carried out in adult patients submitted to limb amputation, who were being followed up at the Physiotherapy Department between April 3 and November 30, 2006. The presence of phantom pain and associated conditions was quantified using a verbal numerical scale. The data obtained were analyzed for means, medians, and proportions with their respective confidence intervals, as appropriate.

RESULTS:

Seventy-five patients participated in this study, 50 men (66.7%) and 25 women (33.3%). Mean age was 54.4 years (SD +/- 18.5); range 19 to 88 years. The prevalence of phantom pain was 46.7% (95%CI: 35.1 to 58.6), phantom sensation 90.7% (95%CI: 81.7 to 96.2), and surgical stump pain 32.0% (95%CI: 21.7 to 43.8).

CONCLUSION:

Phantom pain and phantom sensations are highly prevalent among cancer patients. Further studies should be carried out to determine the main factors associated with their onset.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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