PURPOSE: Phantom sensations are somatic phenomena arising from denervated parts of the body. There is very little research, and much diagnostic confusion, regarding such experiences in people with spinal cord injuries. In the case of 'complete' spinal cord lesions, phantom experiences may challenge, and indeed, contradict, the understanding that both clinicians and patients have of such injuries. This paper seeks to provide a better understanding of such 'phantom' sensations in spinal cord injury. METHOD: We used grounded theory methods to explore 'phantom' sensations as experienced by individuals with complete (ASIA A) spinal lesions. Eight people with complete lesions, who were selected through theoretical sampling, participated in a semi-structured interview. RESULTS: Emergent themes included injury context, sensations experienced, the meaning of sensations, body connectivity, attitude and communication about sensations. CONCLUSIONS: Our results provide an enhanced understanding of the embodied experience of phantom sensations, and important insights regarding self-construction and rehabilitative processes in people with spinal cord injury who experience such anomalous sensations.