Does preamputation pain influence phantom limb pain in cancer patients?
Phantom sensation and phantom limb pain are two recognized sequelae of limb amputation. In most previous surveys, amputations were done for arteriosclerotic or trauma related conditions. We studied 25 patients who had lower extremity amputation for neoplasia. In studying the features of pain before and after amputation, we found phantom limb pain in cancer patients similar in presentation and description to that in noncancer amputees. There appeared to be no correlation between the severity of each episode of phantom pain and the overall effect of the pain on the patient’s life. The quality and location of the phantom pain did not resemble the preamputation pain. We recommend a multidisciplinary approach to treatment.