Pain management in new amputees: a nursing perspective

Liz Colquhoun (Lead / Corresponding author), Val Shepherd, Michael Neil

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Phantom limb pain (PLP) is a widespread and challenging neuropathic pain problem, occurring after both surgical and traumatic amputation of a limb. It may occur immediately after surgery or some months later, however, most cases it presents within the first 7 postoperative days. Patients report a range of pain characteristics in the absent limb, including burning, cramping, tingling and electric shock sensation. The incidence of PLP has been reported to be between 50% and 85% following amputation. Its management is notoriously difficult, with no clear consensus on optimal treatment. It is often resistant to classic balanced analgesia and typical neuropathic pain medications. Taking into account these issues, the authors aimed to improve the management of patients undergoing amputation at their institution, by ensuring accurate and holistic assessment, the selection of suitable interventions through critical analysis and synthesis of available evidence, and the appropriate evaluation and adaptation of treatment plans, to ensure patients achieved their individualised goals.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)638-646
    Number of pages9
    JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
    Issue number10
    Early online date22 May 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2019


    • Amputation
    • Nursing care
    • Pain assessment
    • Pain management
    • Phantom limb pain
    • Post-amputation pain

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Nursing


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