Post Amputation Pain

What is post amputation pain?

Post amputation pain is the feeling of pain that is felt post amputation and may be due to various causes. The sensation of pain may affect the residual limb or can even affect the ?limb? which has been amputated - commonly referred to as a phantom limb.

What can cause stump pain?

There are many causes of stump pain that occurs at the amputated limb.

This could be due to internal causes or external causes.

Internal causes of stump pain include:

What is phantom limb sensation?

Phantom limb sensation is the term given to any sensory phenomenon (except pain) which is felt at an absent limb or a portion of the limb. It has been known that at least 80-100% of amputees experience phantom sensations at some time of their lives.

There are various types of sensations that may be felt:

What is phantom limb pain?

Phantom limb pain is the feeling of pain in an absent limb or a portion of a limb.

There are many terms that have been used to describe the phantom pain. Some of the most commonly felt pain are burning and cramping pain. Other terms that have been used are slicing and squeezing pain. The pain sensation varies from individual to individual.

When does phantom limb pain start to disappear?

This varies for different individuals. Some may experience phantom limb pain longer than others. However, it has been found that it usually disappears after 2 years. Some unfortunate individuals can even experience phantom limb pain forever although the frequency and the intensity of the pain may decrease.

What are the factors that may worsen phantom limb pain?

Many factors can modify phantom limb pain. Factors that may worsen phantom limb pain include yawning, passing urine, fatigue, sleeplessness, anxiety, weather changes, pain from other body sites, stimulation of other body parts, excessive heat/cold and even a poorly fitted prosthesis.

What are the factors that may reduce phantom limb pain?

Fortunately, there are many other factors that may make phantom limb pain feel less painful. Mental distractions, rest, emotional pleasure, massage, elevation of residual limb, electrical stimulation and a well fitted prosthesis are all known factors that may make phantom limb pain more bearable.

How is phantom limb pain treated?

Various methods have been used to treat phantom limb pain. Doctors may prescribe medications to reduce the pain. Some antidepressants or antiepileptic have been shown to have beneficial effect on reducing phantom limb pain.

When does phantom limb pain usually start?

Phantom limb pain can start anytime after the amputation. It has been said that it usually starts within the first 2 weeks post amputation.

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