Phantom Limb Syndrome

A phantom limb is the sensation that an amputated or missing limb is still attached to the body and moving correctly with other parts of the body. Phantom pain sensations are described as sensitivity that an individual experiences relating to a limb that is not physically a part of the body. Limb loss can be a result of either removal by amputation or congenital limb deficiency but in certain cases it can also be a result of nerve avulsion or spinal cord injury.

How is Phantom Limb Syndrome treated?

  • Pharmacological Treatment- A variety if drugs can be used to treat Phantom Limb syndrome.
    • Tricyclic antidepressants often can help relieve the pain.
    • Anticonvulsants are often used to treat nerve pain.
  • Nerve stimulation - Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may suspend or mask pain signals preventing them from reaching your brain thus relieving pain.
  • Injections - Injecting medications such as local anaesthetics or steroids can provide relief from the phantom limb pain.
  • Spinal cord stimulation - Insertion of tiny electrodes into patient’s spinal cord can sometimes relive pain.

Post Herpetic Neuralgia Pain following shingles can be devastating. The initial pain is generally treated by your general physician but in a few cases the pain does not go away. This is called Post Herpetic Neuralgia. Here at the Emory Center for Pain Management we have effective minimally invasive therapies for this condition. We have a variety of non-narcotic medications that can be taken by mouth in addition to medications that can be applied to the skin for pain relief of this often devastating condition.