Question: I Have Heard That Pain Pumps Can Be Surgically Implanted? Is That True And, If So, When Are They Used?
Answer: Pain pumps are one of the most effective tools that we have in pain management for patients with very severe pain. The pumps are reserved for patients who either don't respond to medications, or patients who have severe reactions to the medications such as inability to concentrate, memory loss, or just general sleepiness, lack of energy.
When medications cannot do the job being administered by regular means, then the pump is implanted after a trial. The advantage of the pump is that it delivers minute amounts of medication into the spinal fluid. In fact, 1/300th the amount of medication delivered into the spinal fluid provides the same amount of pain relief as 300 times more delivered by mouth. The advantage of that is very clear; patients taking 1/300th amount of medication don't have the side effects. So it's possible to deliver the medications in the spinal fluid and provide excellent pain relief without side effects.