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Phantom pain is also known as anaesthesia dolorosa, denervation pain or deafferentation pain.

It is a result of nerve severance and is experienced in any part of the body.

Phantom pain causes after amputation.

The health care providers use therapies and medications to reduce this type of pain.

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Phantom Pain

# Causes

Many doctors who thought that this disorder is not a physical problem; this is a psychological condition.

Later on, researchers and scientists have detected that this is not caused by psychological distress.

This disease is affected person who born without a limb or who has had an amputation.

Phantom pain caused by the following:

Pain before amputation

This type of pain is caused before amputation—actually, one who has pain in a limb before amputation can be caused by phantom pain.


Neuroma forms on the end of the nerve in a stump after amputation and developing painful nerve activities.

Changes in nerve circuitry

Specific types of nerve injury or damage may increase the risk of getting the pain.

Nerve cells in the scalp may appear for forming new connections after an amputation.

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# Triggers

  • Changes in weather
  • Emotional stress
  • Use of artificial limb
  • Pressure on the sections of the limb
  • Excessive fatigue

# Signs and Symptoms

Sensation in a limb, pain or discomfort is common symptoms of phantom pain.

These symptoms may experience like the other pain before an amputation.

It is the most common disease after the removal of a leg or an arm.

But in some cases, it can develop after the removal of other parts of the body like eye or breast.

Phantom limb sensation, phantom limb pain and stump pain can describe the disease that affects a person who has lost a limb:

Phantom limb sensation: It is the feeling that the losing limb is there.

One experiences uncomfortable sensations like tingling, itching and burning.

Phantom limb pain: It is a severe pain, one feels when lost limb.

Stump Pain: It is uncomforted at the site of amputation.

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# When to Seek Medical Advice

This disorder starts within several days after surgery.

If pain has not gone without treatment for six months or more than six months, go to the health care providers.


There is no medical or laboratory test for determination of phantom pain.

Health care providers can also detect this disease by taking information about circumstances and symptoms like surgery or trauma that developed before pain begun.

# Treatment Medications

The doctors prescribe certain medications to treat pain.

Always remember that one medicine does not give the best results, and all people are not taken benefits from drugs.

The following ways are used to treat this pain:

Take certain medications for long-term period to control phantom pain

Drugs are prevented phantom pain by taking them before or after an amputation

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# Medications

Ketamine: Ketamine is an anaesthetic and very effective to treat phantom pain.

The possible side effects of this drug include delirium and hallucinations. So, before taking any medications, consult the doctors.


In some cases, doctor prescribes certain antidepressants such as desipramine, imipramine, bupropion, doxepin, venlafaxine and nortriptyline to get relief from pain.


Sometimes, the health care providers will recommend an anticonvulsant medicine like carbamazepine to treat and manage phantom pain.

Other anticonvulsants may include lamotrigine, topiramate, zonisamide, gabapentin, levetiracetam and pregabalin to prevent this type of pain.