Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24--35

Prevalence of phantom limb pain, stump pain, and phantom limb sensation among the amputated cancer patients in India: A prospective, observational study

Department of Anesthesia, Pain and Palliative Care, Dr. B.R.A. Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital, All Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Sushma Bhatnagar
Room No. 242, Second Floor, Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.197944

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Introduction: The phantom limb pain (PLP) and phantom limb sensation (PLS) are very common among amputated cancer patients, and they lead to considerable morbidity. In spite of this, there is a lack of epidemiological data of this phenomenon among the Asian population. This study was done to provide the data from Indian population. Methods: The prevalence of PLP, stump pain (SP), and PLS was prospectively analyzed from the amputated cancer patients over a period of 2 years in Dr. B.R.A. Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. The risk factors and the impact of phantom phenomenon on patients were also noted. Results: The prevalence of PLP was 41% at 3 and 12 months and 45.3% at 6 months, whereas that of SP and PLS was 14.4% and 71.2% at 3 months, 18.75% and 37.1% at 6 months, 15.8% and 32.4% at 12 months, respectively. There was higher prevalence of PLP and PLS among the patients with history of preamputation pain, smoking with proximal level of amputation, receiving general anesthesia, receiving intravenous (IV) opioid postoperative analgesia, and developing neuroma or infection. Conclusion: The prevalence of PLP and PLS was higher among the cancer amputees as compared to SP, and a few risk factors responsible for their higher prevalence were found in our study. The PLP and PLS lead to considerable morbidity in terms of sleep disturbance and depression.


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