Early and effective use of ketamine for treatment of phantom limb pain
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Treatment for phantom limb pain is difficult and challenging. There is often suboptimum treatment with fewer than 10% receiving lasting relief. Treatments based broadly on other neuropathic pains may not be appropriate for a clinical success. We report a case of phantom limb pain, which proved resistant to multiple analgesics, including opioids and continuous epidural blockade. Treatment with intravenous (IV) ketamine as an alternate day infusion, gave complete remission of phantom limb pain. This demonstrates an early and effective use of a potent NMDA antagonist for treatment of phantom limb pain. Mechanisms underlying phantom limb pain are briefly discussed.
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