Phantom breast pain as a source of functional loss

Chiachen Hsu, James A. Sliwa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Although physicians are aware of phantom limb pain, which can occur in up to 85% of patients who undergo amputation, and its potential effect on functional status, the presence of phantom pain after amputation of other body parts such as the breast and its effect on function may be less appreciated. We report the case of a 63-yr-old woman with multiple sclerosis who underwent a modified radical mastectomy for left intraductal breast carcinoma. After her mastectomy, she required a brief course of inpatient rehabilitation and was discharged from rehabilitation independent, with feeding, dressing, hygiene, and transfers. Two months after her mastectomy, she had difficulty with these tasks because of phantom breast pain. Accurate diagnosis of her pain and successful treatment resulted in a return to premorbid functional status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)659-662
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2004


  • Breast
  • Mastectomy
  • Pain
  • Phantom Limb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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