Intrathecal drug delivery, or “pain pump,” is a method of giving medication directly to your spinal cord. The system uses a small pump that is surgically placed by your physician under the skin of your abdomen and delivers medication through a catheter to the area around your spinal cord. A pain pump may be a treatment option if all other traditional methods have failed to relieve your long-term symptoms.
Because the medication is delivered directly to the spinal cord, your symptoms can be controlled with a much smaller dose than is needed with oral medication. The goal of a drug pump is to better control your symptoms and to reduce oral medications; thus reducing their associated side effects.
Who Can Benefit from Intrathecal Pumps?
Intrathecal pumps may be used for patients who suffer from an array of severe chronic pain conditions including post-laminectomy pain syndrome (persistent pain after back surgery) and cancer pain. Intrathecal pumps may also be used to treat spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis.
Before proceeding with implantation, a trial is first performed to see if it is effective and how the patient reacts to the medication before contemplating surgery and implantation.