Physician Stories

Dr. Derron Wilson is Among the First in the Nation to Perform Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation to Treat Pain

Physicians like our own Dr. Derron Wilson, director of the Interventional Pain Management Center at Goodman Campbell Brain & Spine, are constantly exploring new ways to help patients who suffer from hard-to-treat pain. That’s because every patient is different, and what works for some may be completely ineffective for others.

Take, for example, the pain associated with complex regional pain syndrome. For sufferers, CRPS can be especially difficult because it doesn’t respond well to orthopedic and neurologic treatments. But that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless.

One of the newest procedures performed by Dr. Wilson for CRPS patients involves neuromodulation of the dorsal root ganglia (DRG). There is a DRG for each segmental spinal nerve. The DRG are important because of the fact that all the nerves in the body (aside from cranial nerves) pass through them on their way to the spinal cord. This interconnectivity means that every single part of the body has a corresponding area within a specific DRG. 

Why is that important? Because with neuromodulation, doctors can target the DRG that corresponds with the part of the body that’s in pain. It allows doctors to address pain problems with a brand new level of specificity.

The way it works is pretty ingenious—the procedure involves implanting a pulse generator and thin, insulated wires that carry electric pulses to the affected DRG. After surgery, patients themselves can adjust the strength and location of stimulation as needed to relieve the pain.

It’s effective, too. According to national statistics, more than 81 percent of patients who underwent the procedure reported less discomfort, more mobility, and improved mood one year after surgery. So we’re excited and proud to say that Dr. Wilson is currently participating in a national study on the procedure.

But what if you’re not enrolled in the study? Can you still benefit from DRG neuromodulation? The answer is yes. If you suffer from chronic pain, we’d advise you to discuss the procedure with your physician.

If it turns out you’re a good candidate for DRG neuromodulation, and you’re referred to Goodman Campbell, we’ll conduct a new patient evaluation to determine the best plan for treatment. Even if DRG neuromodulation isn’t right for your needs, our experts can help determine whether surgical intervention or other spinal cord stimulation procedures can help relieve your chronic pain.

At Goodman Campbell, we understand how difficult it can be to live with chronic pain. That little word can take on huge—and unwanted—importance in your life. But thanks to new procedures like DRG stimulation, there are more treatment options than ever before.

Request an appointment online and we will guide you through the next steps.