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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 157-159

Early and effective use of ketamine for treatment of phantom limb pain

1 McMaster University, Health Sciences Centre 2U1, 1200 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8N 3Z5, Canada
2 Department of Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Yeshwantpur, Bangalore - 560 055, India

Correspondence Address:
Harsha Shanthanna
#2 D, 200 Park Street South, Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 3G1, Canada
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5049.63632

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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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