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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 208-216

Amputation-related phantom limb pain in Nigeria: A prospective cohort study

1 Department of Anaesthesia, National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria
2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Ebonyi State University Abakaliki, Nigeria
4 Department of Anaesthesia, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Arinze D. G. Nwosu
Department of Anaesthesia, National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/NJM.NJM_11_20

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Background: Phantom limb pain (PLP) is a common and distressing complication of limb amputations. Literature on PLP in Nigeria and indeed Africa is scant despite the high rate of amputations in published works. We sought to highlight the burden of PLP among Nigerian amputees in order to improve awareness and care by health-care providers. Patients and Methods: In this prospective cohort study, consecutive limb amputees were recruited and relevant data were collected by in-person interview at 1 week postamputation and subsequently by telephone survey at 6 months and 12 months. The sociodemographic and clinical information of the amputees were recorded, as well as presence of PLP and the treatment offered by the attending physician. The Chi-square test of statistical significance and multivariate analysis using binary logistic regression were used in the analysis, and the level of statistical significance was determined by P < 0.05. Results: One hundred and fourteen consecutive limb amputations were carried out in 113 patients over a 1-year period. The period prevalence of PLP was 63.6%, and of these, only 8.6% had this documented in their medical record. No predictor of PLP was identified in the cohort. Conclusion: PLP is highly prevalent among limb amputees in our cohort. We call for improved awareness and practice relating to PLP among health-care providers and partners, considering the vast population of amputees in the region.

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