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Neurol Neurochir Pol. 2014 Jan-Feb;48(1):52-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pjnns.2013.03.002. Epub 2014 Jan 23.

Phantom phenomena and body scheme after limb amputation: a literature review.

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Institut Robert Merle d'Aubigné, Artificial Limb Centre (CRA - Centre de Reeducation et d'Appareillage), Valenton, France.
Department of Rehabilitation in Internal Diseases, University School of Physical Education, Krakow, Poland; The University Hospital, Krakow, Poland. Electronic address:
Institute of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Jagiellonian University Collegium Medicum on School of Medicine, Krakow, Poland.
Faculty of Physical Education and Sport in Biala Podlaska, University School of Physical Education, Warsaw, Poland.


Phantom phenomena are subject of various, often inconsistent, descriptions, and new concepts and treatment approaches emerge. The aim of the study is to describe contemporary terminology and developments in the field, and to share personal experience. A review of English and French language literature, published prior to 27th February, 2012, extracted from PubMed/MEDLINE,, GoogleScholar databases, and by hand searching of selected full text papers and textbooks with correspondence to personal clinical experience was performed. The terminology and classification of phantom phenomena sensations, relations between intensity and character of phantom pain to the etiology and level of amputations, as well as the influence of presence and intensity of pre-operative limb pain and post-operative stump pain on phantom phenomena are described. The benefits of mirror therapy and early introduction of prosthesis and applying functional prosthesis are also presented, with a glance at other conservative and surgical treatment approaches.


Body scheme; Phantom limb pain; Phantom limb sensation; Phantom phenomenon; Stump pain

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