DG Journal Club
Pain Pract. 2022 Apr
INTRODUCTION Dorsal root ganglion stimulation (DRG-S) is a relatively new neuromodulation modality. Therefore, data on long-term device explantation rates is limited. This investigation aimed to assess DRG-S device explantation rates at long-term follow-up.
METHODS We retrospectively reviewed individuals implanted with DRG-S in four pain centers from different continuous periods between April 2016 to September 2020. We recorded patient demographics, diagnoses, duration to explantation or last follow-up, treatment complications, and failure etiologies.
RESULTS 249 patients with 756 leads and a mean 27-month follow-up were included. The mean age was 55±15 years; 148 (63%) were female. Leading diagnoses were CRPS (n=106, 43%), followed by FBSS (n=64, 26%), and non-surgical low back pain (n=23, 9%). The explantation rate was ~2% per year (n=10 total). At explantation, the average time from implantation was 13±10 months. Six patients were explanted for inadequate pain relief. Two patients were explanted due to device-related complications. One patient was explanted secondary to infection and subsequently reimplanted. Five explanted patients experienced a therapy-related complication before eventual explantation: one transient post-procedural neuritis and pocket site pain, one lead fracture, two lead migrations, and one experienced a fracture, a migration, and pocket site pain.
DISCUSSION This large retrospective study of DRG-S revealed a low therapy-termination rate. The rate of infection leading to explantation was objectively very low at 0.4%. The leading cause of explantation was inadequate pain relief. Explanted patients often had a therapy-related complication. Therefore, minimizing adverse treatment events may reduce ultimate explantation rates.AUTHORS: