Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Stimulation
Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Stimulation is indicated for patients who have been diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome or who identifiable nerve related pain, which includes inguinal neuropathy and post-operative knee pain. Complex regional pain syndrome is a disorder where the patient exhibits pain, swelling, limitations of range of motion and changes to the skin and/or bones.
DRG stimulation works by placing soft lead wires along the nerve root. These leads produce mild electrical signals, which alters the pain processing of the central nervous system. Ultimately, this should reduce the patient’s experience of pain.
The process of obtaining the DRG stimulator is done in 2 steps. First, the stimulator leads are placed temporarily for a 1 week trial period. During this week, the patient is asked to record improvement of pain and activity levels. If the patient reports good improvement, they are deemed to be an appropriate candidate for implantation.
The DRG implant is an outpatient procedure, where a small battery device is placed- usually in the flank. This is connected to the soft leads and are then permanently set. Typically, this device lasts approximately 8-10 years. If it is no longer desired, the device can always be removed.