DRG spinal cord stimulation offers several benefits in the realm of chronic pain management. It provides highly targeted pain relief by specifically addressing the dorsal root ganglion associated with your area of pain. This precision allows for more effective pain control compared to traditional spinal cord stimulation, especially for patients with localized pain conditions.
DRG stimulation is particularly beneficial for conditions like complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and post-herpetic neuralgia, where pain is often concentrated to specific regions of the body. Additionally, because it directly targets the dorsal root ganglion, it can provide relief even for patients who may not have experienced adequate pain reduction with other treatments.
DRG spinal cord stimulation is generally a safe and effective treatment option for chronic pain, but it does carry some potential risks and complications. These include infection or bleeding at the surgical site.
Because the placement of the electrode near the dorsal root ganglion requires precision, there’s also a small possibility of nerve damage during the procedure.
This is a two-stage procedure. The first stage is the trial stage and does not involve any surgery. In the first stage, through a specialized needle, one or two wires are placed in the epidural space. These wires are attached to an external generator which the patient controls. The wires may be left in place for up to 5-7 days.
During the first phase, you will engage in relatively normal activity and gauge the effectiveness of the device. If it is successful and you are satisfied by the degree of pain relief, the second stage involves referring you to a spine surgeon.
The spine surgeon will place the permanent device and wires under your skin, tunneling the wires to the location of the battery, and placing the battery just under the skin. Each procedure can take up to 1-2 hours.
You will be receiving an injection of local anesthetic, corticosteroids, and a small amount of contrast dye.