Editor-in-Chief: Alaa Abd-Elsayed, MD, PhD
BACKGROUND: Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is the most common long-term complication of shingles and is a significant burden to the patients due to pain and disability. Currently, treatment options are limited. In refractory cases, neuromodulation using spinal cord stimulation (SCS) and peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) have been used but is considered experimental due to limited evidence. Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation has been most studied in complex regional pain syndrome and uses electrical leads that are inserted into the epidural space and placed into the intervertebral foramen to target the DRG. Due to the advantages on targeting the DRG, DRG stimulation has been used and can be considered to treat other refractory, intractable pain conditions.
CASE REPORT: We report 2 cases who experienced successful treatment of refractory PHN. Patients underwent dorsal root ganglion stimulation at the thoracic level for the treatment of refractory PHN. Both patients showed significant improvement in pain at 24 and 36 months after a DRG stimulation trial and implantation.
CONCLUSION: We report the successful use of DRG stimulation for the treatment of PHN.
KEY WORDS: Dorsal root ganglion stimulation, neuralgia, neuromodulation, postherpetic neuralgia, spinal cord stimulation