Prevalence of Phantom Limb Sensation and Phantom Limb Pain among Young Landmine Amputees
A phantom limb sensation refers to a feeling of having limb attached, even after the amputation. Most of the times, these sensations are painful, while some people may experience tingling, cramping, heat, and cold in the part of the removed limb. About 60 to 80% of individuals with an amputation experience phantom sensations in their amputated limb.
The current study aimed to explore the frequency of phantom limb sensation (PLS) and phantom limb pain (PLP) in children and young adults suffering landmine-related amputation. The study included participants (38 males and 3 females with the mean age of 15.8±2.4year) with limb amputation due landmine explosions. The mean interval between injury and follow-up was 90.7±39.6 months.The percentage of patients with PLS/PLP, intensity and frequency of pain were assessed. To investigate the relationship between variables, Chi square test was employed. Unpaired t-test was used to compare the PLP and PLS between upper and lower amputation.
At the end of the study, PLS was reported in 12 (44.4%) upper limb amputees and 11 (26.8%) lower limb amputees. While PLP was reported in 9 (33.3%) upper limb and 7 (17.1%) lower limb amputees. Both PLS and PLP was reported in 27 upper limb amputees, 6 (14.6%) and among 15 lower limb amputees, 6 (14.6%). One patient who had an amputation of upper and lower limbs, reported to have experienced PLS and PLP in both the amputed parts. To summarize, PLS had a remarkable difference between the upper and lower amputated groups. Significant association was observed between age of casualty and the duration of injury with PLP. It is common to experience PLS and PLP in young amputees , even after several years of amputation.