The Effect of Postamputation Pain and Phantom Sensations on Prosthesis Use, Body Image, and Quality of Life in Patients with Lower-extremity Amputation

Agri. 2021 Jul;33(3):183-189. doi: 10.14744/agri.2020.83798.


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate phantom limb pain (PLP), phantom limb sensation (PLS), and residual limb pain (RLP) after lower-extremity amputation and their effect on patients' effective prosthesis use, body image, and quality of life in prosthetic users.

Methods: Fifty-seven patients with lower-extremity amputation who used prosthesis for at least three months were included in our study. PLP, PLS, and RLP were evaluated via the prosthesis evaluation questionnaire (PEQ). Prosthetic use, locomotor skills, body image, quality of life were measured by administering Houghton scale, locomotor capabilities index (LCI), amputee body image scale (ABIS), and short-form health survey (SF-36), respectively.

Results: On the PEQ, 43.9% of the patients reported PLP, while 63.2% reported PLS, and 40.4% reported RLP. Correlation analyses revealed that as the frequency and duration of PLP increased, the patients' basic and advanced locomotor skills and quality of life decreased. When the intensity of PLP and the degree of distress caused by it increased, the patients' quality of life decreased, and when the frequency of PLS increased, the patients' emotional state worsened. When the intensity of PLS and the degree of bother caused by it increased, the patients' body image, emotional state, and social status worsened. There was no correlation between the rate, frequency, severity, or duration of RLP and scores on Houghton scale, LCI, ABIS, or SF-36.

Conclusions: The presence of PLP and PLS decreases the use of prostheses and impairs body image and quality of life in prosthetic users.