Baclofen is a medication used to treat patients who suffer spasticity and pain secondary to spastic spasm. An Intrathecal Baclofen Pump (IBP) is administered to help patients with pain caused by severe spasticity who are already on high doses of baclofen and unable to experience satisfactory pain relief. An intrathecal pump that dispenses baclofen is implanted into the spine. The intrathecal pump is beneficial because it requires less baclofen to produce symptom relief and side effects of the medication are reduced.
How is a Intrathecal Baclofen Pump Used?
Trial period: Before an intrathecal pump system is implanted, the patient’s response to therapy is assessed. This involves an injection of morphine or other opioid into the spinal canal and evaluating for pain relief. Keep in mind that pain reduction is an individual response and patients may experience a higher level of pain relief.
Procedure: This surgical pain relief procedure is performed under general anesthesia using fluoroscopic guidance, or real time x-ray, and may take 1 to 2 hours. The pump can be implanted either on the left or right side of the abdomen beneath the skin. The catheter is attached to the pump and fed to the appropriate place in the spinal canal.
What should be expected?
Implantation of a spinal pump, like other surgical and medical procedures, may present risks. Complications include risk of infection, bleeding, headache, allergic reaction, spinal fluid leakage, paralysis, and device malfunction. From a patient’s assessment and trial results, the pump reservoir is filled with a drug and programmed. Patients must periodically return to the office to refill the pump, adjust dosage as necessary, follow-up pain management and discuss therapy goals.
If you need an evaluation or consultation or are interested in learning more about an Intrathecal Baclofen Pump, please contact us at (201) 729-0001 and ask for one of our specialists. Our conveniently located clinics are in West Orange, Aberdeen, Clifton, and Lyndhurst. We offer weekday and weekend appointments.