The Effectiveness of Dorsal Root Ganglion Neurostimulation for the Treatment of Chronic Pelvic Pain and Chronic Neuropathic Pain of the Lower Extremity: A Comprehensive Review of the Published Data

Ameet Nagpal, Nathan Clements, Belinda Duszynski, Brian T Boies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of dorsal root ganglion neurostimulation for the treatment of refractory, focal pain in the pelvis and lower extremities. DESIGN: Systematic review. OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was ≥50% pain relief. Secondary outcomes were physical function, mood, quality of life, opioid usage, and complications. RESULTS: One pragmatic randomized controlled trial, four prospective cohort studies, and eight case series met the inclusion criteria. A worst-case scenario analysis from the randomized controlled trial reported ≥50% pain relief in 74% of patients with dorsal root ganglion neurostimulation vs. 51% of patients who experienced at least 50% relief with spinal cord stimulation at 3 months. Cohort data success rates ranged from 43% to 83% at ≤6 months and 27% to 100% at >6 months. Significant improvements were also reported in the secondary outcomes assessed, including mood, quality of life, opioid usage, and health care utilization, though a lack of available quantitative data limits further statistical analysis. Complication rates vary, though the only randomized controlled trial reported a higher rate of adverse events than that seen with traditional neurostimulation. CONCLUSIONS: In accordance with the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation system, low-quality evidence supports dorsal root ganglion neurostimulation as a more effective treatment than traditional neurostimulation for pain and dysfunction associated with complex regional pain syndrome or causalgia. Very low-quality evidence supports dorsal root ganglion neurostimulation for the treatment of chronic pelvic pain, chronic neuropathic groin pain, phantom limb pain, chronic neuropathic pain of the trunk and/or limbs, and diabetic neuropathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-59
Number of pages11
JournalPain medicine (Malden, Mass.)
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 4 2021

Keywords

  • Complex Regional Pain
  • Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation
  • Lower-Extremity Pain
  • Neurostimulation
  • Pelvic Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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