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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 44

of 'Overview of cancer pain syndromes'

Decrease in phantom limb pain associated with prosthesis-induced increased use of an amputation stump in humans.
Weiss T, Miltner WH, Adler T, Brückner L, Taub E
Neurosci Lett. 1999;272(2):131.
The experience of phantom limb pain, non-painful phantom limb sensation and telescoping was ascertained by questionnaire in a group of upper extremity amputees wearing a functionally effective Sauerbruch prosthesis which permits extensive use of the affected limb and in a group of patients wearing a cosmetic prosthesis that did little to increase the utilization of the amputation stump. The Sauerbruch prosthesis group exhibited a significant and large decrease in amount of phantom limb pain while the cosmetic prosthesis group showed no change. Neither group experienced a decrease in non-painful phantom limb sensation or telescoping. The amount of phantom limb pain has been found to be highly correlated with the amount of injury-related, afferent-decrease cortical reorganization. It is possible that the increased use of the amputation stump induced by wearing a Sauerbruch prosthesis produced a countervailing use-dependent, afferent-increase type of cortical reorganization that reversed the phantom limb pain. These preliminary results require replication. Their therapeutic implications are discussed.
Friedrich Schiller University, Institute of Psychology, Department of Biological and Clinical Psychology, Jena, Germany.