DRG Stimulation Helpful for Pain Due to Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

(HealthDay News) — For patients with discogenic low back pain due to failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS), dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation at L2 to L3 is associated with low back pain relief, according to a study published online May 9 in Pain Practice.

Frank Huygen, M.D., Ph.D., from Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues implanted 12 patients with significant chronic discogenic low back pain due to FBSS with DRG stimulation systems, with at least one lead placed at L2 or L3. The authors tracked the subjects’ pain ratings, mood, and quality of life prospectively for up to 12 months.

The researchers found that over half of the patients reported 50 percent or better pain relief in the low back; at 12 months, the average low back pain relief was 45.5 percent. There were concomitant decreases in overall pain, leg pain, pain interference, mood, and quality of life.

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“For the studied population, DRG stimulation at the L2 to L3 levels was effective at relieving low back pain. These reductions in pain were associated with improvements in quality of life,” the authors write. “Thus, DRG stimulation at these levels may be effective for low back pain by recruiting both segmental and non-segmental neural pathways that are not otherwise accessible via traditional spinal cord stimulation.”

Two authors are employees of St. Jude Medical, which funded the study.

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