Dorsal Root Ganglion Therapy

What is the Dorsal Root Ganglion?

The Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) is a small bundle of nerves that function in part to send pain signals to the brain. It is, in essence, a traffic light, dictating when sensations can enter the spinal cord. There is a Dorsal Root Ganglion attached to every vertebra in the spine.


How DRG Therapy Works

Because the Dorsal Root Ganglion functions as a gatekeeper for pain signals, DRG stimulation therapy uses equipment that sends mild electrical impulses to specific ganglions along the spine. The resulting tingling effect helps to mitigate or completely block the feeling of pain to the area.


Effectiveness of Dorsal Root Ganglion Therapy

Dorsal Root Ganglion therapy does not cure the cause of your pain. However, it can minimize pain experienced to a significantly more comfortable level. Patients that have utilized Dorsal Root Ganglion therapy often experience at least 50 percent reduction in pain in over 80 percent of the painful area. This level of relief is expected to enable patients to carry out most general activities and noticeably improve daily quality of life.


Dorsal Root Ganglion Therapy Installation

In order to gauge the effectiveness of the treatment, your doctor will install a temporary DRG system into your spine. Once you have been cleared for the surgery, a local anesthetic will be applied to the targeted area of the back. In addition to the anesthetic at the surgical location, you’ll potentially experience some sedation. Patients are still able to talk during the surgery.

A hollow epidural needle will be inserted into the back to apply electrodes to the appropriate Dorsal Root Ganglions. Because the patient is awake, the doctor will test the electrodes to see if the electrode is effectively targeting the area of pain. Once successful, the electrode will be connected to a portable battery.

If the therapy is deemed effective by the patient, a small battery will be implanted in your torso to power the electrodes.


Who Should Use Dorsal Root Ganglion Therapy

Dorsal Root Ganglion therapy is a newer line of treatment for patients experiencing chronic pain. People that are suffering from post-amputation pain, complex regional pain syndrome, and failed back surgery syndrome are all candidates. DRG therapy is a quality alternative for those that have pain in regions that are not benefited by traditional spinal cord stimulation, such as the hands, chest, abdomen, foot, knee or groin.