Does every patient with an amputation get phantom pain?
Surveys have reported incidence of phantom pain from 25% to 98% in amputees. Some epidemiologic studies suggest about half of patients with phantom pain will continue to have pain for at least 1 to 2 years, while others indicate a large majority will experience resolution of pain within one year. The experience of pain in the limb prior to amputation may predispose to the development of phantom pain. Other suggested predisposing factors include older age, proximal amputations, upper limb lesions, sudden amputations, and preexisting psychological disturbances. Most patients develop phantom pain and sensations soon after nerve injury and amputation, but symptoms may develop at any time.