How do doctors treat “phantom limb” pain caused by an amputation in a car accident?

An accident victim who has an arm or leg severed in a vehicle crash could suffer from a number of complications—some life-threatening—from his amputation. These problems make the adjustment to the loss of a limb even more challenging and more expensive. One of complications a person could suffer from is “phantom limb” pain. This is caused when a person seems to experience sensations or pain in the limb that is missing. Despite its name, “phantom limb” pain is not imaginary or in the amputee victim’s head. It has been documented using brain imaging scans to study how nerve signals are transmitted to the brain.

Four Common Treatments for “Phantom Limb” Pain

“Phantom limb” symptoms can range from mild to severe, with some people experiencing constant pain. There are a number of treatments for this complication, including:

  • Medications. These include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-depressants, or steroidal drug injections.
  • Prosthesis adjustments. Checking the fit of the prosthesis and making adjustments to make it feel more comfortable can sometimes help the problem.
  • Acupuncture. In this treatment, needles are inserted in the skin at specific points on the body believed to stimulate the nervous system and reduce the pain.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). A small, battery-operated device attached to electrodes is used to deliver electrical impulses to the affected area or to block or reduce the pain signals to the spinal cord and brain.

Many of these treatments must be utilized on a long-term basis to reduce the pain, and it can become costly. Fortunately an injured victim of a vehicle crash may be able to recover these costs as part of his compensation from the driver who caused the accident.

Have you or a family member suffered an amputation or other injury as a result of a vehicle crash caused by another motorist? It is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible, so you do not inadvertently take actions that could hurt your case. Fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options and how we can help you.