The Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) is located in the lateral epidural space where the spinal nerve roots form. The DRG contains the cell bodies of the pain nerves that send information to the spinal cord and ultimately the brain. The DRG plays a crucial role in the development and maintenance of chronic pain.
Electrical stimulation of the DRG can modulate its function and reduce pain. A fine lead, with electrodes is positioned on the DRG via an epidural needle and sophisticated introducer, similar to the technique used in spinal cord stimulation. As in spinal cord stimulation, a trial is undertaken and if this is successful, implantation of a permanent DRG stimulation system is possible.
DRG stimulation is most effective in conditions producing localised neuropathic pain (nerve pain) such as post-surgical pain (e.g. after knee replacement or hernia repair), diabetes, complex regional pain syndromes (CRPS or RSD), and post-amputation pain (phantom limb pain or stump pain).