Phantom Pain refers to pain that is felt within a body part that has been amputated.
It is thought that mixed signals from the spinal cord or brain are to blame for this condition. Even though the limb is missing, nerve endings in the area of the amputation keep sending pain signals to the brain, making it think that the limb still exists.
This pain could be extreme or mild, and the sensations will typically decrease or disappear over time. However, when phantom pain occurs for over 6 months, prognosis is poor.
On top of the symptoms of pain, other signs of phantom pain include:
Put simply, any sensation that the patient would have been able to feel prior to having a limb amputated might still be experienced after the amputation in the form of phantom pain.
Phantom pain is hard to treat successfully. A doctor will prescribe treatment based upon the degree of pain experienced, and multiple approaches may be taken.
Treatment options include: