Spine Injury Treatment in Colorado
An intrathecal baclofen pump is a medical device used to treat severe spasticity
and pain. If you have suffered from a back injury or frequently experience
back spasms, a baclofen pump treatment may be able to provide you with
the relief you’ve been looking for. Our team tests the treatment
for effectiveness on every patient before performing the operation so
we can ensure it will yield the desired results.
What is the purpose of a baclofen intrathecal pump?
Patients with chronic, severe pain, and who have not responded to other
treatments, may benefit from intrathecal baclofen administration. The
pump device delivers small amounts of medication into the spinal cord
region, which allows the patient to stop or decrease use of oral medications.
In addition, the implanted device delivers medication around the clock,
and eliminates the need for breakthrough pain medicines.
What conditions are treated with intrathecal baclofen?
Conditions that respond to intrathecal delivery of baclofen include:
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Cancer pain
- Spinal cord injury
- Multiple sclerosis
- Failed back surgery syndrome
How long does the procedure take?
The procedure to insert intrathecal pump is done in two stages. During
the first stage, the catheter is placed into the space around the spinal
cord, and a single injection is made to screen for side effects and check
for effectiveness. If the trial goes well, the permanent device is surgically
placed under the skin. The trial takes around 1 hour, and the implantation
surgery takes approximately 2 hours. This includes preparation and recovery
time, as well as the actual procedure.
Does the intrathecal pump procedure hurt?
Most pain management specialists give you a local anesthetic, which numbs
the skin and deeper tissues to eliminate pain. In addition, you are given
a sedative (twilight anesthesia), so that you can remain unconscious during
the operation. The needle used to numb your skin does not hurt, but you
may feel a slight pinching sensation when the medication is instilled.
General anesthesia is sometimes used to implant the pump, so you will
have no memory of the surgery and not experience any pain.
How is the intrathecal pain pump procedure performed?
When you arrive to the surgical center, a nurse has you sign a consent
form and change into a gown. Then, the nurse places an IV line in your
arm and attaches monitoring devices to your finger and arm. Once you are
positioned face-down on the table, the nurse administers a sedative, and
the doctor numbs the skin near your spine.
To insert the tubing, a special needle is guided into the space around
the spinal cord using real-time x-ray. During the final implant procedure,
a tiny incision is made over the abdomen, and the device is placed under
the skin. The tubing is threaded from the device to that tubing previously
placed during the trial period. After the pump is set and working, the
incision is closed with sutures.