What is Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Stimulation?
By the time the pain signals reach your brain and will manifest as physical pain, they are weakened. Instead of severe pain, many patients feel a tingling sensation and do not require additional pain medications.
Pain interrupting signals are sent out from a battery-operated device called a spinal cord stimulator which a pain doctor implants under the skin. A small wire, equipped with electrodes, delivers mild pulses of electricity to the nerves in the spinal cord. These pulses interfere with pain signals leaving the spine, causing them to be significantly weakened by the time they reach the brain. The patient turns the spinal cord stimulator on and off and adjusts the settings with a handheld remote control unit.
Conditions Treated with DRG Stimulation
With so many effective pain relief options available, your doctor will conduct a thorough assessment before determining if spinal cord stimulation is right for you
DRG stimulation is often used on patients with:
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
- Pain from amputation sites
- Pain from previously failed back surgery
- Uncontrollable neuropathic (nervous system) pain
Possible Side Effects of Spinal Cord DRG Stimulation
The side effects of DRG stimulation are typically very minor and can typically be avoided. This includes:
- Damage or injury to nerves
- Minor bleeding at the injection site
- Reaction to medications, such as anesthesia, used during the procedure.