A phantom limb is the sensation that a person has when a body part or limb has been amputated, but still feels as if it is attached. Many amputees have phantom sensations, which are not painful. It is estimated that 85% of people experience phantom limb sensations in the first several weeks following amputation, however, a smaller population of people will continue to feel these sensation for prolonged periods of time. Some patients have severe painful debilitating phantom limb sensations. Some of the sensations a patient may feel include tingling, numbness, hot or cold, cramping, stabbing, and burning. The most common sensation that patients continue to feel is pain in the missing limb. These painful sensations can often diminish over time, but some people suffer from long-term pain, which can be difficult to treat.
Some treatments for phantom limb pain include:
- Physical Therapy
- Mirror Therapy
- Interventional Injections
- Spinal Cord Stimulation.