Phantom limb phenomena

Phantom limb phenomena

A phantom limb sensation is a nonpainful perception of the continued presence of an amputated limb. It is part of a deafferentation syndrome, in which there is loss of sensory input secondary to amputation. Phantom limb pain describes painful sensations that are perceived in the missing limb. Phantom limb sensation is more frequent than phantom limb pain, occurring in nearly all patients who undergo amputation. However, the sensation is time limited and usually dissipates over days to weeks. On occasion, these sensations may be confused with stump pain, which is pain at the site of the amputation. Thoroughly examine the stump of any patient complaining of persistent phantom limb pain to rule out infection and neuroma.


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