Change pagination url format

Question

I have a URL like this:

example.com/blog/page/5

I want to change it to:

example.com/blog/page-5

I tried using a RewriteRule like this:

RewriteRule ^blog/page-([0-9]+) /blog/page/$1

but this returns 404 page not found. After a lot of debugging I realized that the reason it returns 404 is that the $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'] in PHP stays blog/page-5 even after Apache rewrites it to blog/page/5.

It is possible to do it with redirection by adding [R] at the end of the RewriteRule but it will change the URL in browser to /blog/page/5, and I don’t want that.

Any ideas?

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