What is the purpose of a Morphine/Baclofen Pump?

This device delivers concentrated amounts of medication into spinal fluid allowing the patient to decrease or eliminate the need for oral medications. It delivers medication around the clock, thus eliminating or minimizing breakthrough pain and/or other symptoms.

Should you have this procedure?

If you are on a blood thinning medication (e.g. Coumadin®), or if you have an active infection going on, you should not have the procedure. The patients also have to meet certain other screening criteria before implanting the pump.

Can the pump help me?

It is very difficult to predict if the procedure will indeed help you or not. For that reason a trial is carried out to determine if a permanent device (pump) will be effective to relieve your pain or not. 

Do I need a pump?

Currently Intrathecal Pumps are offered to patients with : chronic and severe pain, who have not adequately responded to other treatment modalities, or are on very large doses of oral medications and/or experience significant amount of side effects with oral medications.  Patients that are implanted intrathecal medication delivery systems receive infusion of painkillers such as Morphine, Dilaudid or Fentanyl. Patients with spastic disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis or Spinal Cord Injury receive infusion of an antispasmodic medication called Baclofen. 

What is an Intrathecal Pump Implant ("Spinal Morphine Pump")?

An Intrathecal Pump is a specialized device, which delivers concentrated amounts of medication into spinal cord area via a small catheter (tubing). 

How long does the procedure take? 

It is done in two stages. In the first stage, trial medication injection is performed to assess effectiveness of intrathecally placed medications and patient's response to this type of treatment modality. If this trial is successful in relieving symptoms, then the permanent device can be implanted under the skin. The patients have to meet certain other screening criteria before implanting the pump.

Are there risks?

Generally speaking, this procedure is safe. However, with any procedure there are risks, side effects, and possibility of complications. Please discuss your concerns with your physician.