Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation is a recent neuromodulation option that has delivered safe, effective pain relief for a number of etiologies. This prospective observational study was intended to establish the effectiveness of this treatment in a typical real-world clinical context.
Participants with chronic, intractable pain of the trunk or lower limbs were recruited from multiple pain clinics in the Netherlands. Subjects were trialed and implanted with DRG stimulation systems. Pain, function, mood, and quality of life, ratings were collected through 12 months postimplant.
Of the 66 subjects enrolled, failed back surgery syndrome, peripheral nerve injury, and complex regional pain syndrome formed the largest etiologies. Permanent implants were placed in 86.2% subjects (56/65). After 12 months of treatment, average pain ratings in subjects' primary area of pain decreased from 8.0 cm at baseline to 4.1 cm, and 49% of subjects had ≥50% reduction in pain (visual analog scale). In addition, functional capacity was increased, and mood and quality of life improved. No confirmed lead migrations were observed, and there was a low rate of infection.
DRG stimulation significantly reduced the severity of subjects' pain and enabled participatory changes that improved quality of life through 12-months postimplant.