Using a mail-delivered questionnaire, we surveyed 590 veteran amputees concerning phantom pain, phantom sensation and stump pain. They were selected randomly from a population of 2974 veterans with long-standing limb amputation(s) using a computer random number generator. Eighty-nine percent responded and of these, 55% reported phantom limb pain and 56% stump pain. There was a strong correlation between phantom pain and phantom sensation. The intensity of phantom sensation was a significant predictor for the time course of phantom pain. In only 3% of phantom limb pain sufferers did the condition become worse. One hundred and forty-nine amputees reporting phantom pain discussed their pain with their family doctors; 49 were told that there was no treatment available. Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation, analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were satisfactory methods for controlling phantom limb pain.