Comparing the Efficacy of Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation With Conventional Medical Management in Patients With Chronic Postsurgical Inguinal Pain: Post Hoc Analyzed Results of the SMASHING Study

Frédérique Mol*, Marc Scheltinga, Rudi Roumen, Frank Wille, Ismail Gültuna, Jan Willem Kallewaard, Lars Elzinga, Johan van de Minkelis, Harold Nijhuis, Dirk L. Stronks, Frank J.P.M. Huygen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Objectives: Approximately 10% of patients who undergo inguinal hernia repair or Pfannenstiel incision develop chronic (> three months) postsurgical inguinal pain (PSIP). If medication or peripheral nerve blocks fail, a neurectomy is the treatment of choice. However, some patients do not respond to this treatment. In such cases, stimulation of the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) appears to significantly reduce chronic PSIP in selected patients. Materials and Methods: In this multicenter, randomized controlled study, DRG stimulation was compared with conventional medical management (CMM) (noninvasive treatments, such as medication, transcutaneous electric neurostimulation, and rehabilitation therapy) in patients with PSIP that was resistant to a neurectomy. Patients were recruited at a tertiary referral center for groin pain (SolviMáx, Eindhoven, The Netherlands) between March 2015 and November 2016. Suitability for implantation was assessed according to the Dutch Neuromodulation Association guidelines. The sponsor discontinued the study early owing to slow enrollment. Of 78 planned patients, 18 were randomized (DRG and CMM groups each had nine patients). Six patients with CMM (67%) crossed over to DRG stimulation at the six-month mark. Results: Fifteen of the 18 patients met the six-month primary end point with a complete data set for a per-protocol analysis. Three patients with DRG stimulation had a negative trial and were lost to follow-up. The average pain reduction was 50% in the DRG stimulation and crossover group (from 6.60 ± 1.24 to 3.28 ± 2.30, p = 0.0029). Conversely, a 13% increase in pain was observed in patients with CMM (from 6.13 ± 2.24 to 6.89 ± 1.24, p = 0.42). Nine patients with DRG stimulation experienced a total of 19 adverse events, such as lead dislocation and pain at the implantation site. Conclusions: DRG stimulation is a promising effective therapy for pain relief in patients with PSIP resistant to conventional treatment modalities; larger studies should confirm this. The frequency of side effects should be a concern in a new study. Clinical Trial Registration: The Clinicaltrials.gov registration number for the study is NCT02349659.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1788-1794
Number of pages7
JournalNeuromodulation
Volume26
Issue number8
Early online date29 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Source(s) of financial support: This study was funded by a research grant from Abbott , Plano, TX, USA.

Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The Authors

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