Prosthetic Categories

Improve Quality of Life Through Targeted Muscle Reinnervation After Lower Limb Loss

    If you’re suffering from phantom limb pain, residual limb pain, or general limb pain after amputation surgery, you may have considered how Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR) could benefit you. A recently published review assessing the procedure’s effectiveness could help you decide.

     Targeted Muscle Reinnervation could help improve pain after lower limb loss.

    Every year, over 1 million lower limb amputations are carried out worldwide. Approximately 75% of amputees suffer from considerable pain that affects their everyday activities and general quality of life. For years, Targeted Muscle Reinnervation—a surgical procedure that involves rerouting the severed nerves to particular muscle groups—has been presented as a viable option to address this problem.

    TMR was first developed to help users control myoelectric prostheses better. Myoelectric prostheses use muscle activity from the residual limb to control movement. Now, TMR is also used to help manage pain and neuromas.

    The review  

    The researchers analyzed studies on TMR from 2010 to 2023, focusing on pain reduction, functionality, and patient-reported quality-of-life measures. They looked at 20 studies involving 778 extremities, 75.06% being lower limbs. Furthermore, the average age of the participants was 46.66 years, and the majority were male.  

    The researchers discovered that patients who underwent primary TMR had lower average PROMIS scores for phantom and residual limb pain.

    PROMIS, which stands for patient-reported outcome measurement information system, is a reliable way to measure how patients feel physically, mentally, and socially. It helps measure what patients can do and how they feel.

    Meanwhile, patients who had a secondary TMR procedure experienced improvements in phantom limb pain, residual limb pain, and general limb pain.

    The bottom line  

    This research shows that targeted muscle reinnervation could be a good option for improving the lives of people experiencing lower limb loss. It has the potential to help reduce pain, improve rehabilitation after amputation, and make life better for people who have lost their lower limbs.

    In particular, the study suggests that TMR could significantly reduce phantom limb pain, as well as other types of pain in the residual limb, leading to a better quality of life.

    Are you considering undergoing targeted muscle reinnervation? Perhaps you have already done the procedure. Please share your experience with us.