A phantom limb is the sensation that an amputated or missing limb is still attached. Approximately 60 to 80% of individuals with an amputation experience phantom sensations in their amputated limb, and the majority of the sensations are painful. Phantom sensations may also occur after the removal of body parts other than the limbs, e.g. after amputation of the breast, extraction of a tooth (phantom tooth pain) or removal of an eye (phantom eye syndrome).
HOW IS PHANTOM LIMB PAIN DIAGNOSED?
Your surgeon or even GP would check your leg and examine these symptoms. Additionally some blood tests can be given.
HOW IS PHANTOM LIMB PAIN TREATED?
There is no fixed treatment for the problem of Phantom Limb Pain but applying heat-based ointments, doing hot and cold compress and also massaging the area helps. In other cases, the patients can be given TENS or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Physiotherapy is also suggested to get rid of the same.
DID YOU KNOW?
Some people who have undergone gender reassignment surgery have reported the sensation of phantom genitals. The reports were less common among post-operative transwomen, but did occur in transmen. Similarly, subjects who had undergone mastectomy reported experiencing phantom breasts, these reports were substantially less common among post-operative trans men, but did occur in transwomen.