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Sunday, May 19, 2013
Pain after amputation
how long does the pain last after amputtation
If pain is present prior to amputation, it tends to last longer following amputation. If pain becomes worse following a recent amputation, follow up with the surgeon ASAP to be sure no infection is present. If pain after an amputation is not becoming worse but is not improving, the physician will help determine whether this is residual limb ("stump") pain, phantom pain, or both.
How long the pain will last, and whether it can be expected to totally go away, will depend in part on how responsive this pain is to various treatment interventions, which can include:
- desensitizing massage
- transcutaneous nerve stimulation (TNS)
- other pain-relieving physical treatments to the residual limb
- wearing a stump shrinker to control swelling, which also helps control pain
- wearing a prosthesis if/when appropriate (which is particularly helpful for phantom sensation and pain)
- and one or more of a number of medications from several different medication categories.
You are encouraged to discuss any or all of the above with your - or the patient's - physician.
Brian L Bowyer, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University