Chronic pain and spasticity are the main indications for the placement of the intrathecal pump. With this method, small quantities of drugs are administered in the subarachnoid space that surrounds the bone marrow and the brain.
Chronic pain is treated with morphine solution while spasticity is treated with baclofen solution. Candidates for this method are those who have no improvement with conservative treatment and that surgical treatment cannot help them.
Placement of the pump
General anesthesia is required. A catheter is inserted in the subarachnoid space in the lumbar spine either through a small incision or percutaneously with the assistance of a special needle. The mechanism of the pump is implanted under the skin of the abdomen and is connected to the catheter, which is also implanted under the skin. The battery of the pump lasts between 3 and 5 years.
Programming of the pump
The drug dose administered through the pump is programmed with the assistance of an external unit (controller).
The pump is refilled at regular periods of time.
Complications of the method
Migration of the catheter
Disconnection or fracture of the catheter that results in the decreased solution administration
Solution overdose because of bad pump programming