It's still unknown why some people develop phantom pain after an amputation while others do not. Some factors that may increase your risk of phantom pain include:
Dec. 03, 2014
- Pain before amputation. Some researchers have found that people who had pain in a limb before amputation are likely to have it afterward, especially immediately after amputation. This may be because the brain holds on to the memory of the pain and keeps sending pain signals, even after the limb is removed.
- Stump pain. People who have persistent stump pain usually have phantom pain, too. Stump pain can be caused by an abnormal growth on damaged nerve endings (neuroma) that often results in painful nerve activity.
- Poor-fitting artificial limb (prosthesis). Talk to your doctor to be sure you're putting your artificial limb on correctly and that it fits properly. If you think your artificial limb may not fit properly, or is causing pain, talk to your doctor.
- Angarita MA, et al. Pathophysiology and treatment of phantom limb pain. Colombian Journal of Anesthesiology. 2014;42:40.
- Vaso A, et al. Peripheral nervous system origin of phantom limb pain. Pain. 2014;155:1384.
- Niraj S, et al. Phantom limb pain and its psychologic management: A critical review. Pain Management Nursing. 2014;15:349.
- Virani A, et al. Phantom limb pain: A nursing perspective. 2014;29:44.
- Cornish P, et al. Successful peripheral neuromodulation for phantom limb pain. Pain Medicine. In press. Accessed Sept. 15, 2014.
- Virtual reality therapies for phantom limb pain. European Journal of Pain. 2014;18:897.
- Kalapatapu V. Lower extremity amputation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 15, 2014.
- Benzon HT, et al. Practical Management of Pain. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 16, 2014.
- Alviar MJM, et al. Pharmacologic interventions for treating phantom limb pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD006380.pub2/abstract. Accessed Sept. 16, 2014.
- Pain: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/chronic_pain/detail_chronic_pain.htm. Accessed Sept. 16, 2014.
- Acupuncture: What you need to know. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/introduction. Accessed Sept. 16, 2014.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.