“The fact that people in this study with PLP [phantom limb pain] also had more depression doesn’t mean that having depression will increase your likelihood to develop PLP,” Makin said. “Pain and mental health have a very complicated and bidirectional relationship, and many patients suffering from chronic pain are likely to indeed develop depression due to their debilitating condition.”
After adjusting for factors such as age, sex, and comorbidities, phantom limb syndrome was significantly associated with major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidal ideation. There were also significant associations with obesity, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, low back pain, and hypertension.
The results were presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting this month.
To read the interview with Makin and Alan H. Daniels, MD, who presented the data, visit, “Mental Illness in Amputees Linked to Phantom Limb Syndrome,” at MedPage Today.