Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation is a neuromodulation technique focusing on a specific spinal cord region known as the dorsal root ganglion. This area plays a crucial role in transmitting pain signals to the brain. By targeting the DRG directly, this form of stimulation can effectively modulate and alleviate chronic pain.
Similar to spinal cord stimulation (SCS), dorsal root ganglion stimulation involves the implantation of small wires, called leads, and a generator device under your skin.
If you’d like to learn more about the neuromodulation procedures available at Spinal Diagnostics, don’t hesitate to contact us.
DRG Stimulation helps alleviate pain symptoms associated with the following conditions:
- Failed back surgery syndrome: Some of the multiple causes that could lead to its development include nerve damage during the surgery, post-procedure infections, or pre-existing conditions.
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS): It is a chronic condition usually caused by an injury followed by abnormal and prolonged pain that may also include other signs like swelling, mobility limitations, sweating, and skin color or temperature changes.
- Peripheral neuropathy: Peripheral neuropathy affects the peripheral nerves located in the brain and spinal cord. These transmit signals from the nervous system to the body, allowing your limbs proper movement and balance.
Compared to other pain management techniques, DRG Stimulation offers multiple benefits, including:
- Enhanced targeting: DRG stimulation precisely targets the affected nerve fibers. This precision can result in improved pain reduction.
- Precise placement: With DRG stimulation, leads can be placed near the specific dorsal root ganglion responsible for transmitting your pain signals.
- Reduced side effects: DRG stimulation may result in fewer stimulation-related side effects, such as twitching or buzzing.
- Improved quality of life: By reducing pain, you can return to your regular activities and improve your overall quality of life.
Before the Procedure
Before your pulsed DRG stimulation procedure, you must provide your doctor with the following information to ensure safety and optimal recovery:
- Medical history
- Medications you are currently taking
During the Procedure
During DRG stimulation, your doctor may perform the following steps:
- Anesthesia: Local anesthesia will be administered to numb the needle's insertion area.
- Lead placement: Using digital imaging, your doctor will carefully guide the leads to the targeted dorsal root ganglion near your spine.
- Generator implantation: Once the leads are in place, a small generator device will be implanted under your skin, usually in the buttock or abdomen area. This generator powers the electrical pulses delivered to the spinal cord.
- Incision closure: After correctly placing the leads and generator, the incision will be closed with sutures or medical adhesive.
The side effects that may arise due to DRG stimulation are usually temporary and do not need medical attention. These may include mild soreness, bruising, or a temporary increase in pain.
It is also possible that stimulation-related effects appear, such as a buzzing sensation or muscle twitches. These can be easily managed by adjusting the device with the help of your doctor.
Although rare, some potential risks and side effects associated with facet joint injections can include the following:
- Injection site infection: Some of the most common signs of this side effect include redness, swelling, or constant drainage.
- Nerve damage: Some symptoms of this complication include numbness, tingling, and weakness in the legs or spine.
- Allergic reactions: Difficulty breathing and swelling may indicate an allergic reaction.