Residual limb pain, sometimes called stump pain, is a type of pain felt in the part of a limb that remains after an amputation. It occurs in about half of people who have had an amputation. It may occur soon after the surgery, often within the first week, but may also last beyond healing. Residual limb pain usually isn't severe, but it may feel:

  • Pressing
  • Throbbing
  • Burning
  • Squeezing
  • Stabbing

In some people, the residual limb may move uncontrollably in small or significant ways. Residual limb pain is different from phantom pain, which is pain that seems to come from an amputated limb. But residual limb pain and phantom pain often occur together. Research shows that more than half of people with phantom pain also have residual limb pain.

Residual limb pain may be caused by:

  • Problems in the bone or the soft tissue
  • Infection
  • Poor blood supply to the limb
  • A tumor
  • Problems with the fit or use of a prosthesis