What is Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation and How Does It Work?

Dorsal root ganglion stimulation is a targeted form of treatment designed to treat nerve related pain, commonly from prior surgery or an injury that happened and has now resulted in pain. Dorsal root ganglion stimulation works by using electrical impulses from electrodes placed near the large nerves just prior to the nerves entering the spinal cord, to help block the pain signals that travel on those nerves on their path to the brain. By interfering with these nerve impulses, patients experience reduced pain.

Similar to spinal cord stimulation, dorsal root ganglion stimulation is a two-part process where a trial period is performed prior to any permanent surgical procedure being performed. This allows patients to try the therapy by undergoing a minimally invasive procedure without surgical incisions. If the trial period is successful, patients will be set up for the permanent implant. Both procedures are performed safely with local numbing medication and mild sedation.

What does Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation treat?

Dorsal root ganglion stimulation is designed to treat nerve related pain in a specific location of the body. Common indications for dorsal root ganglion stimulation are chronic knee, ankle, groin, pelvic floor, and lower abdominal pain. It is commonly used to treat residual pain following hernia surgery, knee replacement surgery, foot and/or ankle surgery or trauma.

What to Expect from Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation

Patients can expect a significant reduction in their nerve related pain with a long term therapy that can eliminate the need for recurring injections and medication refill appointments. The stimulation of the nerves is not generally sensed by the patient, and patients will simply sense a reduced level of pain.

Risks of Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation

The risks of dorsal root ganglion stimulation trials and implants are very low. Like any procedure, there is a small chance of bleeding and infection, and multiple steps are taken to minimize these risks. Imaging guidance is used for both the trial and implant, to reduce risks. 

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The Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation Treatment Process

1

Schedule an Appointment

Give us a call to schedule your appointment at one of our locations. You can also fill out our online form, and we’ll reach out to finalize your appointment.

2

Initial Evaluation

During your initial appointment, our pain specialists will take the time to learn about your chronic pain and any past treatment attempts.

3

Trial Period

If you’re considered a good candidate for dorsal root ganglion stimulation, we’ll have you try out a temporary implant for a week.

4

Permanent Implant

If the trial period goes well, we’ll implant a permanent device that you can keep implanted for as long as you need.

Testimonials

"Dr. Jarzembeck is AMAZING. I HIGHLY recommend her for anyone suffering in pain. She goes above and beyond to make sure her patients pain has been dealt with."

Genia G.

"Everyone is so friendly and helpful, Dr. Bednar came to me and explained the procedure and answered my questions. Highly recommend!"

Maggie G.

"Dr. Julia is the best! The staff is professional and friendly to all. Best of all, Dr. Julia is finding solutions for my chronic pain! Never thought that it would be possible. It's a journey for me, but it seems like there is a solution."

Nancy M.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it covered by insurance?

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Dorsal root ganglion stimulation is covered by many insurance companies. Our office will work with you and your insurance company to determine if dorsal root ganglion stimulation is covered.

How long will the benefits last?

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The benefits of dorsal root ganglion stimulation are constant and long-term, lasting for many years as long as the device is on. There is potential that the battery for the device may need to be replaced with a minor procedure in about 7-10 years after the initial implant and this allows the device to provide decades of relief.

How long does the procedure take?

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The dorsal root ganglion stimulator trial procedure takes between 30-60 minutes to complete, and patients will have the device for 1 week with an external battery taped to their back. The dorsal root ganglion stimulator permanent implant procedure takes 60-90 minutes and the device will remain implanted for as long as the patient desires.

Lunch & Learn With Our Doctors

Curious about Spinal Cord and Peripheral Nerve Stimulation? Join our doctors for an in-person lunch and learn session to find out more about these treatments and ask any questions you may have. This event will be 12–1pm, sign up below to receive more details and RSVP.

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Treat Chronic Pain With Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation

If you need relief from chronic pain, schedule an appointment with the pain doctors at Greater Austin Pain Center to learn more about Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation. With locations in Austin, Kyle, and Dripping Springs, our pain management doctors are ready to help you find a solution to manage your pain.

Schedule an Appointment

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