Noting that epidural or perineural catheters during amputation surgery seem to reduce acute pain after surgery, a team of researchers evaluated the long-term correlation of phantom limb sensation, phantom limb pain, and residual limb pain when the catheters were used in surgery. They found no relationship between long-term pain and either catheterization method, but that simultaneous use of epidural and perineural catheters during surgery was related to less phantom limb pain.
Fifty-seven patients with transfemoral, transtibial, or hemipelvectomy amputations at a mean of 4.4 years prior completed the Prosthetic Evaluation Questionnaire to evaluate post-surgical pain.
Phantom limb sensation was reported by 68.4 percent, phantom limb pain by 63.2 percent, and residual limb pain by 54.4 percent of the respondents. The presence of catheters was retrieved from medical notes.
The study, “Chronic pain in lower limb amputees: Is there a correlation with the use of perioperative epidural or perineural analgesia?,” was published in NeuroRehabilitation.