Life Transforming Treatment For Chronic Pain
Patients with chronic pain related to Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or lower extremity pain following surgery or injury now have a new lease on life with a procedure recently approved by the FDA.
Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation (DRG) is used for difficult-to-treat chronic pain for patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS/RSD). It also is used for isolated chronic pain that could occur in the hip, knee, foot, or groin following an injury or surgical procedure and worsens over time.
What Is DRG?
The Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) nerve cluster acts like a traffic light, regulating signals and sensations as they travel to the brain. Stimulation of the DRG can actually modify these signals resulting in the reduction of pain. For patients with pain that is limited to a specific area of the body, DRG therapy often works where other treatments may not or provide partial relief. This is because the DRG corresponds to specific anatomical locations in the body and relays information, such as pain signals, to the brain.
The DRG Neurostimulator System Consists of Three Components
THE GENERATOR-a small device that sends out mild electrical pulses which contain a battery. This is implanted in your body.
THE LEADS-thin insulated wires that carry the electrical pulses from the generator to your dorsal root ganglia. These are placed in your body in the area of the DRG.
THE PATIENT CONTROLLER-a handheld “remote control” that allows you to adjust the strength and location of stimulation or even turn off stimulation.
How Will I Know If It Works For Me
One of the benefits of the DRG neurostimulation system is you can be fitted with a temporary device for 7-10 days that works like an implanted system but can be removed. This allows you to determine its effectiveness for your pain prior to undergoing a permanent implant.
How Does The Temporary DRG System Work?
During your short outpatient surgery procedure at Henry Community Health, Dr. Taylor will implant a few small, thin leads near your DRG. He will attach the leads to a temporary generator that you can wear outside of your clothing or on your belt. He also will ask you to provide feedback on where you feel stimulation. Afterwards, you will be trained to use the device and find the settings that best treat your pain. While you wear the temporary system you will be asked to limit physical activities that involve lifting, bending, twisting or raising your arms above your head. Otherwise, you will be able to resume daily living.
What Happens If I Want A Permanent DRG System?
You will be scheduled for an outpatient surgery procedure at Henry Community Health in New Castle to place the permanent components. With the permanent procedure, the generator is placed through a small incision under the skin. Effective immediately, you will notice some pain relief which will improve over time. You will receive detailed information about initial restrictions until you can resume full activity. As with the temporary implant you may need some short-term restrictions on the amount of bending, twisting and reaching you can do as this is the time that the healing is taking place around the leads.