Author(s): Flor H
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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.
This article was published in Lancet Neurol
and referenced in Journal of Novel Physiotherapies