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Phantom Limb

Many individuals who have undergone an amputation experience some degree of phantom limb sensation or phantom limb pain.  It is thought to occur due to the interruption of signals sent from the brain through the nerves that were extending into the now missing leg or arm.

The sensations are often described as feeling all or part of the missing extremity, whether it be an itch on the toes and foot or in more severe cases the feeling of the extremity being in a cramped position or a burning sensation.  There some reports of a correlation in the intensity of phantom limb syndrome considering how much preoperative pain someone experienced versus the cause of the amputation.  There are a number of therapies to treat phantom limb ranging from massage techniques to “mirror therapy”.  If you experience significant symptoms contact your physician to see what treatments are recommended.