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Intrathecal Drug Pain Pump

An intrathecal pump, also known as a “pain pump,” is a specialized device designed to directly administer minuscule amounts of pain-relieving medication, such as morphine, into the spinal fluid. This method of administration allows for the use of smaller doses, thus potentially mitigating the side effects commonly associated with larger, orally administered doses of these medications.

Such a pump can alleviate pain related to failed back surgery, cancer, or nerve-related pain. Moreover, it can decrease spasticity or muscle stiffness in patients suffering from conditions such as:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Stroke
  • Brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury

Before opting for a permanent pump, a trial intrathecal injection or a temporary intrathecal pump is typically administered to evaluate the effectiveness of the medication.

The pump itself is composed of a metal device that both stores and releases the medication, as well as a catheter that transports the medication to the space surrounding the spinal cord. The pump can be programmed to gradually dispense the medication over a designated period or to release the medication at varying times throughout the day.

Procedure for Intrathecal Drug Pain Pump: During the implantation process, the physician makes a small incision in the back to place the catheter at the impacted spinal region. An extension catheter is then threaded under the skin from the spine around to the abdomen, where the pump is implanted.

Benefits of Intrathecal Drug Pain Pump: Patients suffering from chronic pain may witness a decrease in pain levels and an overall enhancement in daily life activities. Those experiencing spasticity might observe a reduction in muscle stiffness and spasms. Because the pump delivers the medication directly to the spinal cord, much smaller doses are required, thereby significantly reducing the intake and side effects of oral medications.