Case Report

Apotemnophilia Masquerading as Medical Morbidity

Authors: J. Mike Bensler, MD, Douglas S. Paauw, MD, FACP


We report a case of apotemnophilia, or “love of amputation,” in a man in his mid-20s. Apotemnophilia is defined as self-desired amputation driven by the patient's erotic fantasy of possessing an amputated limb and overachieving despite being handicapped. The desire of a patient with apotemnophilia for amputation is obsessive, and a history of repeated, unexplained injuries to the same segment of the body is common among these patients. Patients with apotemnophilia secretly harm themselves to necessitate amputation of an injured limb, which creates a diagnostic challenge for the health care provider because of the atypical presentation of self-inflicted medical morbidity caused by apotemnophilia.

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