Amputation and phantom limb pain

Our Blog,personal injury | August 18, 2017

Amputation injuries are not uncommon after a catastrophic car accident that results in severe damage to a leg or arm. If you have suffered the amputation of a limb as a result of a car accident, you are no doubt struggling to adjust to post-amputation life. One thing you could be dealing with in this regard is what doctors refer to as “phantom limb” pain.

Phantom limb pain is exactly what it sounds like. Your leg or arm hurts and aches constantly, even though it’s not even there. This condition can be very difficult to deal with psychologically and the pain is real. Here’s how you might be able to treat the condition:

Mirror box therapy: Mirror box therapy can be enormously beneficial in many cases. Patients observe themselves receiving physical therapy via a mirror. This helps the brain remap the fact that it doesn’t have the limb anymore and it can resolve phantom pain problems.

Local injection: Doctors may inject a pain reliever into the site of the amputation. The pain reliever can serve to interrupt pain signals that are being sent by the nerve endings in this region.

Non-opiate analgesic therapies: Prescription pain medications might also help to interrupt the pain signals that the nerve endings are sending.

Deep brain stimulation therapy: In this therapy, patients get electrodes placed directly on their brain’s surface. By sending electrical impulses it can interrupt the nerve to brain pain signals.

Nerve cuff stimulation: With nerve cuff stimulation, an electrical nerve stimulator makes contact with the nerves going through the amputation site. Instead of blocking nerve signals, it seeks to send pleasant nerve signals to the brain. This serves to replace the negative sensation with a positive one.

The above therapies for phantom limb pain are costly. Fortunately, amputation victims hurt by a negligent or unlawful party may be able to pursue compensation in court to get money to pay for these and other vital therapies they require. To learn more, speak to a Sacramento personal injury lawyer.