Dorsal root ganglion neurostimulation therapy effectively decreased pain, increased function and created a clinically important improvement in patient impression of change among those with chronic lower extremity and back pain, according to a presenter at the Anesthesiology Annual Meeting.
“People in our study who had DRG stimulation reported significant improvement in pain even after a year, which is notable,” Robert J. McCarthy, PharmD, lead author of the study and professor of anesthesiology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, said in a release from the American Society of Anesthesiologists. “They had tried numerous therapies, from drugs to spinal cord stimulation to surgery, but got little to no lasting pain relief. For most, DRG stimulation improved their quality of life.”
McCarthy and colleagues identified 67 patients who underwent a permanent dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulator implantation for chronic lower extremity and back pain. Patients were assessed for pain, patient global impression of change and degree of disability at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months and 18 months after permanent implantation. Investigators compared outcomes between the baseline and the longest follow-up period. Also, outcomes were compared between groups of patients with a follow-up of fewer than 6 months, follow-up of 6 to 12 months and more than 12 months.
The median (quartiles) follow-up was 8 months, with 26 patients in the fewer than 6 months group, 26 patients in the 6 to 12 months group and 17 patients in the more than 12 months group.
Results showed the baseline numeric rating scale pain scores (on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the worst) were 8 and at the longest follow-up they were 5. The baseline Oswestry Disability Index was 33% and at the longest follow-up it was 23%. Median patient global impression of change was 70%. No difference was seen in numeric rating scale score among patients with implantation of fewer than 6 months, 6 to 12 months or more than 12 months.
According to researchers, revision of the leads placement was needed in five patients. Two patients needed removal of the leads due to infection and one patient had foot drop 2 months after implantation.
McCarthy RJ, et al. Dorsal root ganglion stimulation for chronic pain. Presented at the Anesthesiology Annual Meeting; Oct. 13-17, 2018; San Francisco.
Disclosure: McCarthy reports no relevant financial disclosures.