Published by Anesthesiology News

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) significantly reduced phantom limb pain in patients who had lost limbs to land mine explosions for up to 15 days, according to a study in the Journal of Pain (2016 ;17:911-918). Sixty-three percent of patients experienced a greater than 50% reduction in pain. No significant side effects were reported.

Fifty-four patients with phantom limb pain caused by land mine explosions were randomly assigned into the double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. They were treated with real or sham rTMS applied over the area corresponding to the motor cortex contralateral to the amputated leg for 20 minutes per day for 10 days. The investigators measured pain levels using a visual analog scale.