Intrathecal medication are used in patients who have failed all other conservative treatments and are not a candidate for surgery. Small doses of narcotic with or without non-narcotic medication is infused into the spinal fluid surrounding the spinal cord to interrupt transmission of pain signals between your spinal cord and brain.
A spinal drug pump may help provide chronic pain patients round-the-clock pain relief. Intrathecal drug pump and infusion pump are other names for these devices. Spinal pumps are implanted inside the body. These programmable devices deliver measured and safe drug doses of pain medicine.
Unlike oral pain medication, an intrathecal drug pump bypasses the gastrointestinal system and delivers medication directly into the cerebrospinal fluid . (The brain and spinal cord float in cerebrospinal fluid.)
- Less pain medication is needed
- More sustainable pain relief, better control
- Side effects reduced (e.g., constipation, nausea)
- May increase quality of life