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Wioleta Rosa Maria Maj-Kowal Magdalena Batkiewicz Agnieszka Śliwka Tomasz Włoch Roman Nowobilski

Abstract

Introduction. Phantom sensations are associated with feeling of presence of amputated limb. Scientifically defined as specific sensory or kinesthetic sensations related to the missing limb. Phantom sensations are perceived by majority of amputees. Phantom pain occurs in 50% of patients and appear within six months after amputation and last for several years.
The aim of the study. The aim of this casuistic study was to evaluate the effectiveness of mirror therapy in eliminating phantom sensations in 54-year-old patient after traumatic amputation of the left lower limb.
Methods. A self-designed, previously published questionnaire evaluating the occurrence, character and intensity of phantom sensations was carried out. Patient underwent a six-week therapy during which he stimulated the limb using a specially designed mirror and appropriate equipment. He wrote a journal in which he subjectively assessed the variability of perceived phantom sensations before and after each session. After the therapy, a questionnaire was performed once again to evaluate the effectiveness of mirror therapy.
Results. As a result of the mirror therapy, in the patient's subjective assessment, the pain decreased by 40% and its severity changed from medium to mild. Before the therapy, pain appeared often, after treatment was rare. The phantom limb became complete and reached the natural length.
Conclusions. Positive effects of therapy encourage to further research and introduction mirror therapy into treatment of amputees experiencing phantom sensations.

Keywords: amputation, phantom limb sensation, phantom limb pain, mirror therapy

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