Intrathecal pumps, also known as pain pumps, are placed within the body to administer medications, such as pain medications or antibiotics, directly to the spinal cord. Since the medications are not consumed by mouth, they do not need to be metabolized and, instead, immediately reach their target. Therefore, lower doses are needed to achieve the desired effects, resulting in fewer side effects and quicker action.
This treatment is most successful for patients with inflammation of the protective layers surrounding nerves, pancreatitis, pain due to peripheral nerve injury, cancer pain, and failed back surgery syndrome. The pump slowly delivers medicine and can be programmed to deliver different amounts at different times of day, allowing for each patient to have their own personalized regimen, specific to their needs.