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Nashville Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Personal Injury > What Is Phantom Pain Syndrome?

What Is Phantom Pain Syndrome?


One of the most catastrophic injuries that can happen during or after an accident is an amputation. The loss of a body part can be devastating physically, emotionally, and psychologically for an injury victim, and the issues do not end there. Most amputation patients also end up suffering from phantom limb syndrome, which must be considered when determining the proper amount of compensation after an accident. To learn more about what your injury claims might be worth, call or contact the experienced Nashville personal injury lawyers at Mitch Grissim & Associates.

Phantom Pain Syndrome

Phantom pain syndrome, otherwise known as residual pain syndrome, is a condition where patients experience sensations, painful or otherwise, in a limb that does not exist after an amputation. This syndrome occurs in eighty to one hundred percent of amputees at some point and can often be a chronic condition that is resistant to treatment. For a long time, doctors assumed that this was a psychological condition, but recent medical evidence has shown that these sensations originate in the spinal cord and brain.

Symptoms of phantom pain syndrome include the onset of painful sensations within the first week of amputation, although the symptoms can present weeks or even months later and painful sensations that can either come and go or be continuous for the victim. The pain typically originates from the amputated part of the body furthest away, such as the hand or toes, and the sensations have been described as shooting, stabbing, cramping, pins and needles, crushing, throbbing, or burning pain.

What Causes Phantom Pain?

There are a few theories as to what causes phantom pain after an amputation injury. In studies, the brain shows activity in parts connected to the nerves of the amputated limb when phantom pain occurs. Many medical professionals believe it is caused by mixed signals coming from the brain when a body part is removed, and the brain no longer receives input from that area. Other possible reasons include damaged nerve endings, scar tissue at the site of the amputation, and the physical memory of pain in the amputated area. Risk factors for phantom pain include pain in the affected area prior to amputation and residual limb pain after amputation in the remaining limb that was not amputated.

Compensation for Amputation Injuries

After an accident, an injury victim is entitled to compensation from those responsible for the harm caused, especially if it results in something as traumatic as an amputation. Damages for an accident victim include all out of pocket economic costs as well as noneconomic harm inflicted by their injuries. Compensation includes damages for all present and future medical bills, lost wages, loss of future income and benefits, pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life. To learn more, talk to our office today.

Call or Contact Us Now

Phantom limb pain is a serious issue affecting almost all amputation patients, and you deserve to be compensated for this harm after an accident. To learn more about your legal options, call or contact Mitch Grissim & Associates today.


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