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A 33-year-old member asked:

what causes phantom limb syndrome in non-amputees?

4 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Teicheira
Pain Management 36 years experience
Hmmmm: Phantom limb pain is very specific: it is pain in a part of your body that no longer exists. If, for instance you're feeling pain in your arm, but there's no reason to feel pain there, that may be described as neuropathic pain. In other words pain caused by damage to nerves for whatever reason. Commonly however people feel pain without damage all the time. You need to talk to your doctor about t.
Dr. Marlis Gonzalez fernandez
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 13 years experience
Not possible: Phantom limb pain is by definition pain felt in an amputated limb (for example a person has a left foot amputation but feels pain in the heel of the foot that is not present anymore).
Dr. Bernard Canlas
Pain Management 30 years experience
Unsure: You cannot have a phantom limb syndrome if you never had an amputation. The fact that it is "phantom" means it is absent. You may be experiencing dysesthesia which is an unpleasant sensation.
Dr. Marlis Gonzalez fernandez
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 13 years experience
Not possible: Phantom limb pain is by definition pain felt in an amputated limb (for example a person has a left foot amputation but feels pain in the heel of the foot that is not present anymore).

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A 41-year-old member asked:

What predisposes someone to phantom limb?

2 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Latisha Smith
Wound care 38 years experience
Bad artery blockage: The most common reason for limb amputation is peripheral artery disease (pad). When an affected limb has so little circulation that it requires amputation the longer the time between having severe pain in the leg and amputation, the more likely phantom limb pain will develop. Amputations for infection or trauma have less incidence of phantom pain but it can happen.
A 42-year-old member asked:

What's it mean to have phantom limb?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kenith Paresa
Specializes in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Feeling a lost limb: The sensation of a limb that has been amputated. Not to be confused with phantom pain, which is an often difficult to treat painful sensation in an amputated limb.
CA
A 28-year-old member asked:

What's the most natural treatment for phantom limb?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jonathan Megerian
Pediatric Neurology 28 years experience
Many Options Exist: There are many interventions that have been used that do not involve systemic medicines or surgery, with mixed effects. These include acupuncture, local injections of pain medicines, psychotherapy, physical therapy, biofeedback, proper prosthesis choice, far infrared ray therapy, mirror feedback therapy and transcutaneous nerve stimulation are some of the more studied alternative therapies.
A 29-year-old member asked:

What is phantom limb?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jay Rosenfeld
A Verified Doctor answered
A US doctor answered Learn more
See below: Phantom limb occurs when someone has an amputation of part of the limb and the person has persistent sensation like the amputated part is still there. This can also happen in people who have spinal cord injury and can no longer feel their extremities. With time, the phantom sensation begins to fade in most people. A small percentage have phantom pain which is much more difficult to treat.
A 36-year-old member asked:

How is it possible to feel a phantom limb?

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jay Rosenfeld
A Verified Doctor answered
A US doctor answered Learn more
See below: Sensation from the body travels from the "outside in" meaning the impulse starts in the limb and travels through nerves to the spinal cord and then into the brain where we "feel". When a limb is amputated, the nerves to that limb are cut the nerves are still in the part of the limb that remains. When they are stimulated, the brain still interprets the impulses as coming from the amputated part.

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Last updated May 17, 2016

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