Sometimes pills or injections just don't offer enough relief for our patients that suffer from severe spasticity. In cases such as this, the Neuroscience Institute utilizes Intrathecal Baclofen (ITB) Therapy as a treatment option.
What Does Severe Spasticity Feel Like?
Patients that suffer from severe spasticity tend to experience extremely tight, stiffening of their muscles making it very difficult to control their arms, legs, or body. Daily activities such as sleeping or simple caring for oneself can prove to be a problem while dealing with the disease, thus making the case severe. Spasms, pain, and disability are all common results associated with this condition. Cerebral palsy, Brain injury, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, and Spinal cord injury are all conditions related to spasticity.
How does the Baclofen Pump Work and Why is it Different?
Baclofen, a muscle relaxer, is a common treatment option physicians use to treat spasticity. The medication is usually taken orally (in pill form). Although this is an efficient method to take Baclofen because most of the drug stays in the patient's bloodstream, only a minimal amount actually reaches the spinal cord, even if the medication is being administered at very high doses.
Counter to the experience of taking Baclofen as a pill, the pump carries the drug straight into the patient's spinal fluid. Due to this direct approach, our physicians actually end up using less medication which may help to lessen the side effects that often follow taking Baclofen orally.
Baclofen Pump Procedure
Our highly-trained and skilled surgeons insert the Baclofen pump under the skin of the patient's abdomen. As the pump begins to work, its wireless programming slowly releases an exact amount of Lioresal® Intrathecal (a liquid form of baclofen) into the fluid that encompasses the spinal cord.
The majority of our patients say the implanted pump feels comfortable and doesn't inhibit any of their daily activities.