Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Stimulation

Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation

Dorsal root ganglion stimulation can be an effective form of back pain treatment for many of our patients. The dorsal root ganglion (DRG) is a cluster of nerve cells that sits just outside of your spinal canal between two vertebrae, or discs, in your back. This cluster of nerve cells communicates with your nervous system, guiding information that comes from your arms and legs through the spinal cord and onto your brain. The DRG helps you get information such as when you are touching something, whether something is hot or cold, or when you are feeling pain. If the DRG is damaged or irritated, it can create pain that’s not treated through traditional methods. Stimulating the nerves can help block pain signals that are being sent to the brain, providing relief to the patient. This is one of the minimally invasive spine surgery options available in our New Jersey office.

What Conditions Does Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation Treat?

Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation can be an affected back pain treatment for a variety of conditions, the primary one being complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS type 1 and 2). This particular condition can be hard for a spine doctor to treat using methods like medication and physical therapy, so innovative methods such as  DRG stimulation can be extremely helpful. It may also be used to treat:

  • Failed joint replacement of the knees and hips
  • Post-herniorrhaphy pain
  • Foot pain
  • Phantom limb pain
  • Other neuropathic conditions

Who Is A Candidate For Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation?

You might be a good candidate if you:

  • Have tried conservative treatment methods for your back pain with no success
  • Have experienced some degree of back pain relief from medication containing neuropathic agents
  • Have had success with sympathetic nerve blocks but are still experiencing pain
  • Have been through a joint replacement and are experiencing pain from the affected joint (which isn’t being caused by issues with the hardware used in your joint procedure)

A consultation with one of our spinal doctors will help determine whether or not you might be a candidate for dorsal root ganglion stimulation.

What Are The Advantages Of Dorsal Root Ganglion VS Traditional Spinal Cord Stimulation?

There are a number of advantages to this minimally invasive spine surgery, according to a clinical trial. The trial followed two groups of patients who had been diagnosed with CRPS. One group had DRG stimulation while the other had spinal cord stimulation. The trial followed up with the patients at three and 12 months after their procedures. The study found that patients with DRG stimulation experienced superior pain relief and had more improved moods than those who had traditional spinal cord stimulation.

What Is the Success Rate of Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation in NJ?

Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation provides better results than traditional spinal cord stimulation. A recent publication showed that over a 12-month period, patients who suffered from chronic leg pain due to CRPS reported sustained pain relief.

Patients showed a 74.2 percent success rate compared with the 53 percent success rate of patients who received therapy with traditional SCS. The study also showed that over one-third of the patients experienced over 80 percent pain relief without paresthesia. Paresthesia is the tingling sensation linked with tonic SCS.

What Are the Side Effects of DRG Stimulation?

Some risks are associated with dorsal root ganglion stimulation because the stimulating device is planted surgically. This method comes with the risks associated with every surgery, such as bleeding, infection and pain at the surgical site. Not every patient will respond the same way to the procedure. In some patients, there could be a loss of pain relief or painful stimulation.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of DRG Stimulation?

If DRG stimulation is well-tolerated during the trial procedure, it provides a viable option for long-term pain management. It’s especially useful for patients who have chronic pain associated with complex regional pain syndrome and other conditions that are accompanied by acute pain in the back and lower limbs.

Are You A Good Candidate For Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation?

While there are many considerations if this is the right back pain treatment for you, most individuals who have tried more conservative options without much improvement are candidates.

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