Phantom or Stump pain
Phantom pain can occur anywhere where a part of the body has been lost due to an operation or injury, such as an arm, leg, breast, teeth, eye, ear etc.
The missing body part continues to be perceived as painful, sometimes burning and hot or itchy. These pains are typically triggered by (constantly recurring) changes in temperature or physical and psychological strain.
It is not clear what causes this pain, and it is thought that the missing body part causes a conflict in the cerebral cortex.
Stump pain, on the other hand, is pain that occurs where the limbs have been cut off – pain that is situated in the stump itself and is often aggravated considerably by touch or contact with water. Stump pain is a result of nerve injury or circulatory problems. When a nerve is cut, it grows again and forms sprouts like the roots of a plant, and these sprouts then form a ganglion. The pain is caused by constant chemical and electrical irritation.
We carry out the therapy using anti-convulsants, anti-depressants or local anaesthetics, or, increasingly successfully, using neurostimulation electrodes (SCS).