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Dorsal root ganglion stimulation lead fractures: potential mechanisms and ways to avoid
  1. Gaurav Chauhan1,
  2. Brandon I Roth2 and
  3. Nagy Mekhail2
  1. 1Anesthesiology, Chronic Pain Divison, UPMC, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  2. 2Pain Management, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gaurav Chauhan; CHAUHANG{at}UPMC.EDU


Dorsal root ganglion stimulation (DRGS) therapy is a rapidly emerging tool being used by pain physicians in the treatment of chronic pain. Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), a debilitating disease whose mechanism is still has yet to be fully elucidated, is a common pathology targeted by DRGS therapy, often better results than traditional spinal cord stimulation. DRGS therapy, however, is not bereft of complications. Lead migration and fracture are two examples in particular that are among the most common of these complications. The authors report an unusual case of lost efficacy due to lead fractures in patients with CRPS treated with DRGS. The case report narrates identification, management and probable mechanism of DRGS lead fracture. The structural instability of DRGS leads can yield distressing symptoms at any point during the therapy, and physicians should be cognisant of the complications of DRGS therapy.

  • healthcare improvement and patient safety
  • pain (neurology)
  • spinal cord
  • anaesthesia

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  • Contributors GC: Drafting of the manuscript, proofreading. BIR: Drafting of the manuscript. NM: Defining the intellectual content, proofreading.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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