Intrathecal Pump Therapy

Providing medications for treatment of pain and spasticity directly into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) via a small catheter and pump system implanted into the body is one of the most intriguing and advanced tools available in the field of pain management.  Very Small amounts of morphine and other medications have been found to provide profound pain relief when injected into the Cerebrospinal Fluid. (CSF)  Using medicine here results in lower total daily doses and avoids some side effects of taking the drugs orally or intravenously. Baclofen used for spinal cord and other nervous system injuries such as stroke can also be injected into the spine to provide excellent relief of spasticity, a complication of central nervous system injury. Intrathecal therapy generally involves a lifelong commitment to the pump system to provide medication. It requires a trial period prior to implant, a surgical procedure to implant the system in the body and follow-up on average every three months to refill and reprogram the pump.  Complex regimens of medication may be required for individuals with pain unresponsive to simple regimens.  Pump battery life is seven years and pump replacement is necessary at roughly that interval.  We partner closely with our neurosurgery colleagues to help in providing this complex care.