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Phantom Pain With Probable Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy: Efficacy of Fentanyl Infiltration of the Stellate Ganglion: Efficacy of Fentanyl Infiltration of the Stellate Ganglion
  1. Medhat R. Wassef, M.B., B.Ch., D.A., F.R.C.A.
  1. Department of Anesthesiology, Elmhurst Hospital Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York
  1. Reprint requests: Dr. M. R. Wassef, 90 Sheffield Avenue, Englewood, NJ 07631.


Background and Objectives The stellate ganglion can alleviate phantom pain of the upper extremity, possibly because of the presence in it of enkephalin receptors, as has been suggested by experimental and clinical reports. A case is reported in which fentanyl, instead of local anesthetic, was used for stellate ganglion block.

Methods A 49-year-old man, with a left below-elbow amputation, presented with probable symptoms of reflex sympathetic dystrophy, pain and temperature changes at the stump, and phantom hand symptoms the English-language literature revealed no reports of the use of fentanyl infiltration of the stellate ganglion was performed for management of this condition.

Results Significant alleviation of pain and sensation of warmth at the stump and in the phantom hand was achieved.

Conclusions Fentanyl infiltration of the stellate ganglion proved to be successful in the management of the pain and temperature sensation changes in the stump and phantom upper extremity.

  • sympathetically mediated pain
  • phantom pain
  • anesthetic techniques
  • regional-stellate ganglion block
  • fentanyl
  • bupivacaine

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