Modification of chronic phantom limb pain by using leg prostheses with sensory feedback

Project No. FF-FR 0196




The primary aim of the project is to demonstrate the reduction of phantom limb pain by the use of a leg prosthesis with sensory feedback. It also should be proven whether the use of such a prosthesis will lead to a higher functionality compared to the use of a standard prosthesis. Additionally, we will verify to what extent a pre-existing functional cortical reorganization might be normalized (i.e., re-reorganized) by the use of the new prosthesis. Another aim is to evaluate the stability of changes in function and reorganization over time. Similarly to the use of the prosthesis, we will evaluate a sensory discrimination training that has been shown to reduce phantom leg pain in a single-subject study (Weiss et al., 2010). This sensory discrimination training represents a therapeutic strategy as its own. It should be evaluated with respect of its efficiency in reducing phantom limb pain and cortical reorganization.


At the beginning of the project, a prosthesis with a possibility to provide sensory feedback of information from the leg should be developed. We expect a first configuration within the first six months. Then, patients after amputation of the lower leg will be recruited and treated with sensory discrimination training and with training using the new type of prosthesis with sensory feedback. These training types will be accompanied by various examinations including the regular recordings of phantom limb pain, functional and anatomical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magneto-encephalography, electroencephalography, clinical interview, tests of functionality using the prosthesis, and quantitative sensory testing. Overall, we expect to treat 25 patients within the next three years to answer the above mentioned questions.

Last Update:



Financed by:
  • Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung e. V. (DGUV)
Research institution(s):
  • Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:




Description, key words:

chronic phantom limb pain, leg prostheses, prosthesis, sensory feedback