Like many amputees, you may be experiencing nerve pain that prevents you from living life to the fullest. When a limb is amputated, the nerves that are left can no longer connect with their intended targets. As a result, these nerves become disorganized and may develop into painful medical conditions.
Nerve (neuroma) pain
Nerve pain can occur in the residual limb, the part of the limb that is left after amputation. Without a place to go or a job to do, the amputated nerve may form a painful bundle of nerve endings called a neuroma. Neuromas may be so painful that the patient is unable to use their prosthetic limb.
Phantom limb pain
Another source of pain is known as phantom limb pain, or pain experienced in the limb that was removed. This type of pain occurs when the amputated nerve is disconnected from its target, and the brain interprets the nerve signal as pain.
New hope for nerve pain relief
While a number of therapies exist to manage post-amputation pain, Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR) is a surgical treatment that is gaining acceptance for nerve pain associated with amputation.
In TMR, painful conditions are resolved when amputated nerves are reconnected to nearby nerves and eventually muscle targets. If you think about nerves as electrical wiring, TMR helps to complete the “circuit” by reconnecting the “live wire”.