As many as 70% of people who have lost a limb to injury, disease, or an accident experience postamputation pain. Double board-certified pain management expert Jay M. Shah, MD, at the SamWell Institute for Pain Management in West Orange and Colonia, New Jersey, offers innovative treatments to help manage this common source of pain. For more information, schedule a consultation online or by phone today.
Postamputation pain refers to the sensations you feel in or around your missing limb after an amputation. This type of pain is common, but not very well understood. For many, postamputation pain can affect their quality of life and be debilitating.
The type of pain associated with postamputation pain includes:
The sensations you experience may include throbbing, aching, numbness, tingling, twisting, or pressure. You may also feel as though the muscles in your amputated limb are twitching or moving.
If you’re experiencing postamputation pain, treatments are available that can help relieve the sensations and improve your quality of life.
Your postamputation pain and sensations are believed to be due to alterations in the signals from the nerves to your brain. You may develop a neuroma, which is a bundle of nerves, at the end of your stump that may send altered signals to your brain.
At the same time, your brain is undergoing changes as other functions take over the areas of your brain that controlled the amputated limb.
Dr. Shah is an experienced pain management specialist and develops a personalized treatment plan to help you manage your postamputation pain. He may initially take a conservative approach and recommend:
If you fail to get relief from your postamputation pain with conservative treatments, Dr. Shah may recommend other treatments such as spinal cord stimulation (SCS), dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation, or peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS).
SCS is a device that sends a low-voltage electrical current along your spinal cord to block the pain sensations. DRG is an innovative method of neurostimulation similar to SCS, but targets the dorsal root ganglion, which is the large bundle of nerves that connects to your spinal cord. PNS works much like SCS, but blocks signals from your peripheral nerves.
Dr. Shah also provides injections to help treat this type of pain.
To get help with your phantom limb pain from a pain management specialist, call the SamWell Institute for Pain Management or schedule an appointment online today.