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ASA: Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation Disrupts Back Pain

FRIDAY, Oct. 19, 2018 -- Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurostimulation therapy may reduce pain and disability in patients with chronic lower extremity and back pain, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, held from Oct. 13 to 17 in San Francisco.

Robert J. McCarthy, Pharm.D., and Timothy R. Lubenow, M.D., from Rush University Medical Center in Wheaton, Ill., examined pain and disability in patients with chronic pain who underwent permanent DRG stimulator placement for chronic lower extremity and back pain. A total of 67 subjects were studied following implantation.

The researchers found that the baseline numerical rating scale (NRS) pain scores were 8 and the Oswestry disability index was 33 percent. The NRS pain scores were 5 at longest follow-up, representing a median difference of −2, and the Oswestry disability index was 23 percent, for a median difference of −10 percent (both P < 0.001). The median patient global impression of change (PGIC) was 70 percent. There were no differences in the change in NRS, Oswestry disability index, or PGIC from baseline for implantation of less than six months versus six to 12 months and more than 12 months.

"People in our study who had DRG stimulation reported significant improvement in pain even after a year, which is notable," McCarthy said in a statement. "For most, DRG stimulation really improved their quality of life."

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Posted: October 2018