Implantable Spinal Drug Infusion Therapy
With spinal drug infusion therapy, a computer-controlled pump and spinal catheter system is implanted entirely within the body and programmed to deliver a continuous infusion of pain relieving medication directly to the spine and central nervous system.
The intrathecal pump is surgically placed under the skin of the abdomen and delivers medication directly to the intrathecal space (the area where fluid flows around the spinal cord) through a surgically implanted catheter. The benefit of this device is that pain medication is delivered directly to the spinal cord, which is the major pathway for transmitted pain signals. Because the medication is delieverd so precisely, pain control can be achieved with much lower doses of medication than would be required when delivered orally. The implanted pump delivers medication continuously and automatically to the spinal fluid space at a dosage, rate and timing that are prescribed by the physician. The therapy is non-destructive and completely reversible, and patients usually experience pain relief with few side effects and gain improved functional ability.