Pathophysiology and treatment of phantom limb pain
Introduction:Phantom limb pain may be present in up to 80% of patients subjected to amputation because of trauma or peripheral vascular disease. Several factors have been associated with its occurrence, including pre-amputation pain, the etiology, and the amputation level.
Objective: To review the current status of the pathophysiological mechanisms, treatment options and their efficacy for the management of phantom limb pain.
Method:Non-systematic review of the literature in PubMed and Cochrane, of articles describing the pathophysiology and treatment of phantom limb pain.
Results and conclusions: The proposed pathophysiological mechanisms are still in research and include peripheral, central and psychological factors. Treatment options are still limited, and less than 10% of patients report long-term improvement.
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