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Bryan Pope
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Study Says DRG Stimulation Effective Pain Relief for CRPS/RSD

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According to a new study, those suffering with complex regional pain syndrome/reflex sympathetic dystrophy (CRPS/RSD) may be able to obtain significant limb pain relief with dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation, more so than from traditional spinal cord stimulation (SCS).

ACCURATE Study Findings

The study data was presented earlier this month during a plenary session at the annual meeting of the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS). One-hundred fifty-two patients were enrolled in the ACCURATE study, and were randomly given either DRG stimulation or traditional SCS therapy. The study found:

  • 74.2 percent of those who received DRG stimulation achieved significant pain relief as compared to 53 percent of those receiving SCS.
  • Nearly all the patients who received DRG stimulation (94.5 percent) reported better targeting of their pain without paresthesia, as opposed to those who received SCS (61.2 percent).
  • More than 33 percent of the patients who received DRG stimulation were experiencing greater than 80 percent pain relief with no paresthesia.

The ACCURATE study is the largest study conducted to date to evaluate people suffering from chronic lower limb pain associated with CRPS/RSD, according to St. Jude Medical, whose product, the Axium System, is being evaluated in the study.

What is CRPS/RSD?

The Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association (RSDSA) describes CRPS/RSD as a chronic neuro-inflammatory disorder classified as a rare disorder by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to RSDSA, up to 200,000 individuals experience this condition in the U.S. in any given year.

CRPS/RSD commonly follows a musculoskeletal injury, a nerve injury, surgery or immobilization, and occurs when the nervous system and the immune system malfunction as they respond to tissue damage from trauma, either minor or major. The nerves are thought to misfire, sending constant pain signals to the brain. The level of pain is measured as one of the most severe on the McGill pain index.