Phantom Limb Syndrome

Topics: Phantom limb, Surgery, Amputation Pages: 3 (912 words) Published: September 15, 2010
Phantom Limb Syndrome

Phantom limb syndrome was first described by Ambroise Pare in 1552. Pare, a French surgeon. Pare noticed this phenomenon in soldiers who felt pain in their amputated limbs. Then in 1871, Mitchell coined the term "phantom limb". Phantom limb syndrome is the illusion sensation that a limb still exists after it is lost through an accident or amputation. The causes of phantom limb syndrome is that although the limb is no longer there, the nerve at the site of the amputation continue to send pain signals to the brain thinking the limb is still there. Phantom limb syndrome occurs only in amputees, phantom sensations may also be perceived in people who have survived a stroke and lost function of certain body parts and people who have had a spinal cord injury. However, there are three different descriptions of phantom limb syndrome: phantom limb pain, stump pain, and phantom limb sensations. 1.Phantom limb pain is described as a pain that one feels as if it’s occurring in the amputated limb. 2.Stump pain is a discomfort at the surgery site.

3.Phantom limb sensation is the feeling that the person feels thinking that the missing body part is still there.

Medical doctors believe that the pain affects only those who have had a limb amputated. Even though there are some individuals who are born without a limb also experience phantom pain. However, this pain is more common among those who have had a limb surgically removed. As I indicated above, phantom pain can also be experience among people who have had stroke or are paralysis; the pain may appear in an area of the body where there is no feeling.

In addition to pain the symptoms of phantom limb that some people experience are sensations such as tingling, cramping, heat, and cold in the portion of the limb that was removed. The area where the limb as been amputated is mild to extreme pain; Phantom limb sensations usually will disappear or increase over time, but when...
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