Name: Phantom Limb Pain


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After a limb is amputated, a patient may feel as if the limb is still there. This is called phantom sensation. It may feel:

    Hot or cold
    Like the missing toes or fingers are moving
    Like the missing limb is still there, or is in a funny position
    Like the missing limb is getting shorter. This is called telescoping.

These sensations slowly get weaker and weaker. You should also feel them less often. They may not ever go away completely.

Pain in the missing part of the arm or leg is called phantom pain. It may feel like:

    Sharp or shooting pain
    Achy pain
    Burning pain
    Cramping pain

Phantom limb pain will lessen over time for most people.

Some things may make phantom pain worse:

    Being too tired
    Putting too much pressure on the part of the arm or leg that is still there
    Changes in the weather
    An artificial limb that does not fit properly
    Poor blood flow
    Swelling in the part of the arm or leg that is still there

Bookmarks The following information, which has been distilled by the casebook author from this and other websites is particularly relevant to this casebook.
Bookmarks - Web
Web Page Notes Concepts
 Phantom pain - Mayo Clinic
 Phantom Limb Pain After Amputation: Causes & Treatments Web MD
 Phantom Limb Pain and Chronic Pain-Topic Overview Wb MD
 Phantom limb - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia wikipedia
 Interdependence of movement and anatomy persists when amputees learn a physiologically impossible movement of their phantom limb Study in PNAS
 Phantom limb pain BMJ
 Phantom Limb Pain May Be Reduced By Simple Mirror Treatment Walter Reed study
 DoD says amputations reached wartime high - Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Army Times Army Times

This web-site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your doctor. It should not to be used for self-diagnosis or treatment.