Back pain can fall anywhere in the range from uncomfortable to downright debilitating. The type of pain management used will vary depending on the level of pain and the reason for the back pain. One pain management option is known as the spinal pain pump or an intrathecal pump implant.
What is a Spinal Pump?
A spinal pain pump is a special medical device that dispenses pain medication directly to the spinal cord. The pump is implanted under the abdominal skin and a small catheter runs from the pump to the affected area on the spine. The pump will dispense specialized medication into the spinal fluid to relieve spinal and back pain. Since the pump can deliver the medication right to the affected area, lower doses of medication are needed and the results tend to be better than oral medication. Lower doses also mean fewer side effects.
When is an Intrathecal Pump Implant Used?
A spinal pump is typically used only on patients with severe, chronic pain. It is a good alternative to oral medications for patients that are not receiving adequate pain relief from their current medications or that are experiencing debilitating or extreme side effects from oral medications. Oral treatments spread a medication throughout the entire body, but the spinal pump allows concentrated medication to be delivered precisely to problem areas for a lower dose and decreased side effects.
What Types of Pain Medications are used with a Spinal Pain Pump?
Spinal pain pumps can be used with a variety of different pain relief options making this treatment option a viable choice for many patients. They can be used with local anesthetics, opiods like morphine, adrenergic agonists and other pain relief options. If this treatment option is right for you, your doctors will carefully create a pain relief regiment for your specific problems and needs. It may take time to find the most appropriate combination of treatments and medication for your situation. Most spinal pain pumps will need to be refilled with medication every one to six months. The implant can remain in place for several years until the batteries wear out and the pump needs replacing.
How Do I Determine If This Treatment is Right for Me?
Only a doctor can determine if a spinal pain pump can help you with your back pain. Schedule an appointment and come in to our offices. As with any medical procedure there are risks associated with this treatment option. Your doctor can explain the risks and benefits of this treatment option. We would love to discuss your specific problems and find treatment options that will work for you.
An intrathecal pump implant allows pain medication to be delivered directly to your spinal cord allowing for better pain relief and fewer side effects. It is one of many back pain relief options available to our patients.