Intrathecal (Spinal) Drug Delivery

Medications can be placed at the source of the pain at a very low dose, providing better pain relief and fewer side effects. To reset the pain receptors, a patient is tapered off of oral medications and undergoes a drug “holiday” for a few weeks. A small catheter (tube) is placed into the spine through a small needle. The catheter tip is placed at the level of the pain. A very small amount of morphine or morphine equivalent medication is placed through the catheter. These doses are increased over a 3 day period to see if the patient’s pain significantly improves. This procedure can be performed in the office procedure suite. If the patient responds favorably, a permanent catheter and pump can be placed at the hospital as an outpatient. The pump is fully programmable to deliver the right amount of medication to provide the best pain relief. The pump can be refilled in the office every 2-3 months with a very simple 10 minute procedure.

Est. 2011