After the amputation of an extremity it is usual for the patient to have sensations that are ascribed to the absent limb. In the majority of cases these sensations are most vivid immediately after the amputation and as time passes tend gradually to fade from consciousness. Not infrequently, however, the absent limb becomes the apparent site of such severe symptoms that the patient not only becomes more keenly aware of the fantom limb than of his normal extremities but may be so distracted by the unbearable quality of his pain that he loses his social usefulness.
The attention of the surgeon who undertakes to relieve pain in the fantom limb is naturally concentrated on the nerves in the stump, not only because they are the conveyors of painful sensation but because they represent the only type of tissue at the site of amputation that continues to grow. The skin, the
LIVINGSTON WK. FANTOM LIMB PAINA REPORT OF TEN CASES IN WHICH IT WAS TREATED BY INJECTIONS OF PROCAINE HYDROCHLORIDE NEAR THE THORACIC SYMPATHETIC GANGLIONS. Arch Surg. 1938;37(3):353-370. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1938.01200030002001