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Amputees often are left with phantom limb sensations

On Behalf of | Oct 9, 2021 | Catastrophic Personal Injuries

Traumatic amputations result from an injury or accident as opposed to a chronic illness, such as diabetes. Some of the more commonly amputated body parts include fingers, legs, toes and arms. Motor vehicle and workplace accidents are two of the leading causes of amputations.

An amputation is one of the many life-altering injuries that can result from an auto accident. Spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries are two others.

Individuals who end up having a body part amputated often experience phantom pain along the area where their amputation occurred. This gives amputees sensations in the area where doctors removed their limbs.

How common is phantom pain following an amputation?

Research shows that an estimated 80% of amputees experience phantom pain.

Most patients can manage these sensations by:

  • Taking part in psychotherapy aimed at helping them remap their neural pathways
  • Participating in physical therapy in front of a mirror (where they’ll notice their missing limb)
  • Taking pain medication to reduce discomfort
  • Undergoing neurostimulation aimed at working on blocking negative signals and enhancing positive ones
  • Participating in experimental treatment research studies, including new virtual reality studies
  • Undergoing reflexology, acupuncture or alternative medicine treatments that aim to release pain centers

Since brains all function differently, what may work for one person may not for another. Amputees often have to try various approaches to see which one is most effective in treating their phantom pain.

It can take some amputees quite a while to find the best treatment for their phantom pain. Whatever solution ultimately works isn’t generally a one-time situation, either. An amputee may have to regularly subject themselves to such treatments to keep their phantom pain at bay. This type of care can get very costly, which is why you must secure enough compensation in your case to cover the best possible treatments you can receive.