Incidence and Risk Factors of Phantom Limb Pain After Amputation

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Panjai Inphum
Kornkanok Pabu
Supattra Sangsuwan


Background: Phantom limb pain (PLP) is pain or discomfort in the amputated limb. There isn’t a precise explanation that identifies the risk factors for this pain. The purpose of this study is to determine the incidence and risk factors for PLP particularly with regard to anesthetic techniques and pain management. Methods: This study was a retrospective descriptive study. Medical and anesthetic records of 240 patients who were scheduled for limb amputation surgery from October 2021 to September 2022 were reviewed. The data collection resulted on the incidence of PLP, risk factors, anesthetic techniques, and postoperative pain management. Results: The findings of this study indicated that 5% of patients who underwent limb amputation experienced PLP. The majority of these patients were emergency cases with ASA class III-V (75.0%). PLP was commonly found in patients who suffered from accidents (75.0%), with 71.4% undergoing leg amputation, and 75.0% reporting pre-amputation pain. Additionally, the data showed that 43.8% of patients underwent general anesthesia, and had moderate to severe pain. Strong opioids, gabapentin, and amitriptyline were used for postoperative analgesia. All patients had pain improvement after the treatment. Conclusion: The incidence of PLP was 5.0% at Khon Kaen Hospital. Most patients experienced PLP due to accidents before the amputation, pre-amputation pain, lower limb amputation, and moderate to severe pain after surgery. Approaches to managing PLP included the use of regional anesthesia, perioperative multimodal analgesia, and preventive analgesia.

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Original articles


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