Phantom Limb Pain

What is Phantom Limb Pain?

Phantom limb pain refers to the sensation of pain or discomfort experienced by an individual in a limb that is no longer there. This phenomenon occurs most commonly in people who have undergone amputation. In some cases, the sensation can also occur after nerve damage or spinal cord injury. The pain can stem from psychological factors such as emotional stress or anxiety.

After an amputation, the phantom limb typically feels like the same size and shape as the missing body part. However, over time, the size perception of the phantom limb can become distorted. For instance, individuals who have undergone limb amputation may feel as if the non-existent hand or foot at the end of the removed limb is twisted or sprained. In some cases, amputees have reported that their phantom limb shrinks until they only feel the digits of the hand or toes of the foot at the amputation site (stump).

Symptoms

The most common symptom experienced by individuals with phantom limb is the sensation of an amputated (missing) limb being still present and connected to their body. Many patients experience similar sensation. The only difference is they feel it as pain in the missing part of the extremity or limb. Other symptoms include:

  • Sensations soon after the amputation (it takes about a week to a few months).
  • Consistent or intermittent pain.
  • The level of pain and descriptions vary from one patient to another. These may range anywhere from a feeling of stabbing to cramping, shooting, and a burning sensation.

Causes

Some of the possible causes of phantom limb pain include the following:

Limb Pain Memory — As per some researchers, when a limb suffers serious damage beyond repair, the brain gets accustomed to feeling the pain.

Stimulation of Nerve Bundle — In some cases, the detached nerves around the site of amputation tend to misfire or get stimulated in some way. This sends a pain message to the brain.

Rewiring of the Nervous System — As per some evidences, it is revealed that an amputated limb sparks changes in the brain and spinal cord. These changes lead to interpretation of pain differently than before.

How Is It Diagnosed?

At Neuro Spine & Pain Center, our team of doctors specializes in the diagnosis of intricate neurological disorders. They are renowned and trusted for their expertise to discover and treat the root cause of your pain. The doctors will carefully examine your medical and surgical history. Thereafter, you will be thoroughly evaluated for your symptoms to ensure accurate diagnosis.

What Are The Treatments?

When you visit our center for a consultation, our doctors will discuss all treatments options available and appropriate for your condition. We will help you get to the right path towards pain management. Our aim is to improve your quality of life.

The Treatment Options available for Phantom Limb Pain include:

  • Anticonvulsants
  • Pain Relievers
  • Antidepressants
  • DREZ Procedure
  • Intrathecal Pain Pump
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation
  • Deep Brain Stimulation

How Can Neuro Spine & Pain Center Help?

In case, you have been suffering from a continuous sensation of pain and it is interrupting your daily life, speak to our doctors now.

With cutting-edge techniques and state-of-the-art equipment, our pioneering neurosurgeon offers unparalleled solutions to reduce pain. Schedule a consultation now at our Key West or South Miami Center. We are happy to help and guide.

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