Pathophysiology and treatment of phantom limb pain

  • Mayra Alejandra Malavera Angarita Neurovascular Sciences Group, Fundación Cardiovascular de Colombia, Floridablanca, Colombia
  • Sandra Carrillo Villa Neurophysiology, Neurovascular Sciences Group, Fundación Cardiovascular de Colombia, Floridablanca, Colombia
  • Omar Fernando Gomezese Ribero Pain, palliative care and interventional pain research group, Fundación Cardiovascular de Colombia, Floridablanca, Colombia
  • Ronald G. García a. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States. b. School of Medicine, Universidad de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia
  • Federico Arturo Silva Sieger Neurovascular Sciences Group, Fundación Cardiovascular de Colombia, Floridablanca, Colombia
Keywords: Phantom Limb, Pain, Analgesics, Opioid, Electric stimulation, Autonomic nervous system


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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How to Cite
Malavera Angarita MA, Carrillo Villa S, Gomezese Ribero OF, García RG, Silva Sieger FA. Pathophysiology and treatment of phantom limb pain. Colomb. J. Anesthesiol. [Internet]. 2014Jan.1 [cited 2021Jan.26];42(1):40–46. Available from:


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How to Cite
Malavera Angarita MA, Carrillo Villa S, Gomezese Ribero OF, García RG, Silva Sieger FA. Pathophysiology and treatment of phantom limb pain. Colomb. J. Anesthesiol. [Internet]. 2014Jan.1 [cited 2021Jan.26];42(1):40–46. Available from:
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