What is phantom limb syndrome?

What is phantom limb pain? After an amputation, some people experience pain in the part of the limb that’s no longer there. This sensation is phantom limb pain. The pain is real. The phantom part refers to the location of the pain: the missing limb or part of the limb (such as fingers or toes).

What is residual limb pain?

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.

How do I stop phantom pains?


  1. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers. Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) might relieve phantom pain.
  2. Antidepressants.
  3. Anticonvulsants.
  4. Narcotics.
  5. N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists.

Is it better to amputate above or below the knee?

If the popliteal pulse is present before operation, below-knee amputation should succeed. The absence of a popliteal pulse, however, does not exclude below-knee amputation. 4. Below-knee stumps should be about four inches long in amputations for peripheral vascular disease.

How does mirror therapy affect the brain?

Overall, mirror therapy is a promising stroke rehabilitation method for stroke patients — especially those with hand or arm paralysis. It works by “tricking” the brain into thinking that you’re moving your affected side, even though it’s just a reflection.

What happens in the brain during phantom limb pain?

A popular theory of the cause of phantom limb pain is faulty ‘wiring’ of the sensorimotor cortex, the part of the brain that is responsible for processing sensory inputs and executing movements. In other words, there is a mismatch between a movement and the perception of that movement.

What happens to nerves after amputation?

At the end of the stump, nerve fibers may grow a mass, or neuroma, that sends disordered signals to the brain. Meanwhile, in the brain, as other functions gradually take over the part of the brain that had been linked to the limb, painful sensations may arise.

How do you take care of residual limbs?

Daily limb care and hygiene

  1. Wash your residual limb at least once a day. Use clean, running water and a mild antibacterial soap.
  2. Using a washcloth, scrub gently over all surfaces of the residual limb.
  3. Dry your residual limb thoroughly.
  4. Wear a clean shrinker sock every day.

How do you treat residual limbs?

Following lymphatic drainage, the residual limb is treated using a special technique – compression bandages, compression socks or compression liners. Compression also minimises the residual limb volume.