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 have been found to provide profound pain relief when injected into the CSF, also avoiding some side effects of taking the drugs orally or intravenously. Another medication, 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 life long 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. Pump battery life is seven years and pump replacement is necessary at roughly that interval.