[Perioperative measures for prevention of phantom pain: an evidence-based approach to risk reduction]

Anaesthesist. 2020 Sep;69(9):665-671. doi: 10.1007/s00101-020-00810-w.
[Article in German]


Prevention of phantom limb pain is one of the biggest and still largely unsolved challenges in perioperative medicine. Despite many study efforts and optimization of postoperative pain treatment over the last 30 years, a significant reduction in the incidence of phantom limb pain has not been achieved. Current studies have also shown that at least 50% of patients develop phantom pain after 6 months. A possible approach could be to combine multiple synergistic interventions and implement them as a perioperative phantom pain management strategy bundle. In addition to regional anesthesia, NMDA antagonists, gabapentinoids, antidepressants and systemic lidocaine could play a relevant role. The aim of this pharmacological intervention was the modification of the pathophysiological changes in peripheral nerves and in the central nervous system after amputation.

Keywords: Acute pain service; Amputation; Neuropathic pain; Preventive analgesia; Regional anesthetics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amputation, Surgical / adverse effects*
  • Anesthesia, Conduction
  • Humans
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy*
  • Pain, Postoperative / prevention & control*
  • Phantom Limb / drug therapy*
  • Phantom Limb / epidemiology
  • Phantom Limb / physiopathology
  • Phantom Limb / prevention & control*
  • Risk Reduction Behavior