Tag: phantom pain

Can a Limb That Never Existed Become a Phantom Limb?

By Sarah Zhang | March 12, 2012 2:59 pm

hand

Our brains sometimes just refuse to believe the truth. No, we’re talking not deniers or conspiracy theorists today—just phantom limbs.

If you ask RN, a 57-year-old woman, she would agree that she does not have a right hand: it was amputated after a bad car crash when she was 18. She would also tell you that she has never had a right index finger: she was born with a congenital deformity that gave her only the rudiment of a thumb, immobile ring and middle fingers, and no index finger at at all. More than 35 years after the amputation, she feels pain in a phantom right hand, which has five—not four—fully mobile fingers.

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