Intrathecal Therapy

The intrathecal pump delivers a small dose of medication directly into the spinal column to help with chronic pain and/or spasticity. The Medtronic SynchroMed pump is a programmable device that delivers powerful medication around the clock, directly where it can have the biggest impact on your severe spasticity. After you successfully complete a 1-day screening test, expect a 2-hour procedure and a stay in the hospital, if advised by your doctor.

Many individuals have experienced great relief from utilizing the intrathecal pump system. The pump resembles and is approximately the same size as a hockey puck. It is usually placed in the right or left lower abdomen. A catheter is attached to the pump and tunneled around the person’s side to reach the spinal column. The catheter, which resembles a hollow piece of spaghetti, is secured into the intrathecal space in the spine. Both the pump and catheter are not visible by just looking at the skin. The whole system is completely implanted in the body.

The pump is programmed by a specific programming device to deliver medication as ordered by your managing physician. The medication will run continuously at a programmed rate from the pump reservoir through the catheter into the intrathecal space in the spine. The medications placed in the pump are used to treat symptoms of chronic pain and/or spasticity.

As with any medication therapy, there are associated risks and potential side effects of the intrathecal medication delivery system. Please speak with your physician for more details.