According to the National Institutes of Health, 90 million people in the United States suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain is defined as moderate to severe pain that persists for more than one month. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a type of chronic pain that affects a part of the body following an injury. Dedicated to staying on the forefront of pain management, PAIN DOCTOR Pain & Regenerative Medicine is now offering the St. Jude Axium™ Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) System, which is the first and only neurostimulation device designed for dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation.
What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), previously known as sympathetic dystrophy syndrome or RSDS, affects the way the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system sends pain signals from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. CRPS symptoms are often characterized by intense excessive pain, swelling, stiffness and discoloration of the skin.
Complex regional pain syndrome includes several stages. These stages include:
- Acute: Typically occur within a three to six month time frame. Symptoms include burning, flushing, sweating, swelling, pain and tenderness in the extremity.
- Dystrophic: Also within a three to six month time frame. Symptoms include early skin changes such as shiny, thickened skin and contracture with persistent pain and diminished swelling and flushing.
- Atrophic: Typically occur over a long duration. Symptoms include a loss of motion and function of the involved limb and thinning of the fatty layers under the skin.
What is Spinal Cord Stimulation?
A spinal cord stimulator is an implanted device that uses a similar function and appearance to cardiac pacemakers, but instead of sending electrical pulses to the heart they are sent to the spinal cord. The electrical pulses interrupt the pain signals to the brain by delivering low intensity electrical pulses to trigger selective nerve fibers along the spinal cord. These pulses replace the feeling of intense pain with a pleasant tingling sensation called paresthesia.
What is the St. Jude Axium™ Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Stimulation System?
The dorsal root ganglion is a cluster of sensory nerves that transmit information to the brain via the spinal cord. The St. Jude Axium™ is the first and only neurostimulation device designed for dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation. This system delivers a form of spinal stimulation that gives physicians the ability to treat the specific area of the body where pain occurs.
A study by ACCURATE IDE found that patients suffering from CRPS who were treated with DRG stimulation had a significant reduction in pain. The study also reported that patients experienced better targeted stimulation in the area of pain without extraneous paresthesia compared to patients who were treated with traditional spinal cord stimulation. After 12 months, more than a third of patients who received DRG stimulation were experiencing greater than 80% pain relief with no paresthesia.