Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) therapy is a new type of neurostimulation therapy designed to manage difficult-to-treat chronic pain in specific areas of the lower body, such as the foot, knee, hip or groin. If you suffer from this kind of pain, DRG therapy may work where other therapies have not—or may have provided only partial relief. Dr. Chirag Sanghvi of Newbridge Spine & Pain Center is one of the few physicians in the area trained to perform this brand new procedure.
DRG therapy is for patients whose pain is limited to a specific area of the body. The DRG corresponds to specific anatomical locations in the body and relays information, such as pain signals, to the brain.
The Dorsal root ganglion is a nerve cluster that regulates signals and sensations as they travel to the brain. Stimulation of the DRG can modify the pain signals getting through resulting in pain reduction.
Patients suffering from Chronic nerve pain due to the following conditions may be candidates for this procedure:
- Groin/ Perineal Pain
- Lower Extremity Pain
- Hyperalgesia/ Allodynia
- Post-surgical Neuropathic Pain
- Phantom Limb Pain
- Peripheral Polyneuropathy
- Intercostal Neuralgia
- Postherpetic Neuralgia
Studies have shown that DRG Stimulation has a significantly greater efficacy over traditional spinal cord stimulation. In a double-blind study, over 50% of the participants experienced pain relief with an average pain reduction of over 80%.
What to expect during trial implantation
The injection site is anesthetized. One or more insulated wire leads are inserted through an epidural needle or through a small incision into the space surrounding the spinal cord, called the epidural space. The leads are connected to an external trial stimulator, which will be used for approximately one week to determine if DRG will help the patient.
During the procedure your pain physician will:
- Implant a few small, thin leads near your DRG.
- Attach the leads to a temporary generator that you can wear outside of your clothing or on your belt.
- Ask you to provide feedback on where you feel stimulation.