Dorsal root ganglion block for pain management in chronic lower back pain: a retrospective case series


  • Ivan Alexander Liando Universitas Sriwijata
  • Surya Bayu Prajayana Kasih Ibu General Hospital Saba, Bali, Indonesia



chronic lower back pain, dorsal root ganglion block, pain management, case series


Introduction: Chronic lower back pain is considered as one of the most frequent sources of orthopedic morbidity worldwide, affecting approximately 12% of general population. It remains challenging for all pain therapists, since most of the chronic pain is still unrelieved after pharmacotherapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and minimally invasive techniques or surgery. In this study, we conducted a case series to report the success of pain management by using the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) block technique to chronic back pain patients. The purpose of this case series is to demonstrate the efficacy of DRG blocking both for diagnostic purpose and pain management of chronic lower back pain.

Methods: This study was a retrospective case series of patients who received DRG block for chronic lower back pain. The subjects were those who did not respond adequately to initial pharmacological treatment and those who refused to do surgical intervention. The procedures were performed by an orthopedic surgeon under C-ARM in the operating theater. Each patient’s pain scores from the pre- and the post-DRG blocking were assessed using the VAS (Visual Analog Scale) and RMQ (Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire) evaluation systems.

Study Design: Retrospective Case Series

Results: A total of six patients were included in this study, in which all experienced significant pain relief. Every patient was happy with the procedure and were able to continue their daily activities. In addition, some had hoped that if the pain recurred, the procedure could be repeated to relieve their symptoms.

Conclusion: DRG block is a safe and effective way to treat patients in which surgery is contraindicated or upon the patient’s request. Even though we reported that DRG block effectively improves the quality of life, our study has significant limitations. Hence, more studies are needed to proof the efficacy and safety for DRG blocking to treat chronic lower back pain.


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