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Intrathecal Drug Delivery Specialist

Capital Pain Consultants

Chronic Pain Specialists & Pain Management Specialists located in Sacramento, CA

When you have a severe, incurable pain condition, intrathecal drug delivery could help you manage your symptoms more effectively. Sharon Leano, MD, and James Kim, MD, of Capital Pain Consultants in Sacramento, California, specialize in using advanced interventions like intrathecal drug delivery to help patients with the most serious conditions, including cancer and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). To benefit from their expertise, call Capital Pain Consultants and inquire about intrathecal drug delivery, or book an appointment online today.

Intrathecal Drug Delivery Q & A

What is intrathecal drug delivery?

Intrathecal drug delivery is a method of supplying medication directly to the nerves in your spine. The intrathecal area is a fluid-filled space between the membrane layers covering the spinal cord.

Using an intrathecal pain pump, it’s possible to deliver pain-relieving drugs into the space close to the nerves that are producing pain signals. The drugs prevent the problematic pain signals from getting to your brain, offering a significant degree of relief.

What’s more, you can achieve this with less medication than you’d need to take orally for a similar effect. Intrathecal drug delivery also helps you avoid the side effects that are common with oral pain medication because the drugs don’t go through your digestive system.

Your provider can arrange a trial before you undergo full implantation to ensure intrathecal drug delivery is a good choice for you.

Why might I need intrathecal drug delivery?

Your provider at Capital Pain Consultants might recommend intrathecal drug delivery if you have a painful disorder and no other treatments are helping. It’s also a valuable option for people with muscle spasticity.

Examples of some conditions that might benefit from intrathecal drug delivery include:

  • Cancer pain
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
  • Arachnoiditis
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS)
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)

Muscle spasticity, which is a feature of these last five conditions, causes painful spasms and rigidity that make it difficult to move your legs and arms.

How do I benefit from intrathecal drug delivery?

Intrathecal drug delivery uses an implantable pump that has a reservoir for your medication. The pump connects to a thin tube, called a catheter, that goes into your spine. During a minor surgical procedure, your provider at Capital Pain Consultants places the pump under the skin on your abdomen.

They pass the catheter into your spine’s intrathecal space and position it near the nerves causing your pain. Your provider programs the intrathecal pain pump so it releases your medication as you need it. That could be a consistent amount slowly or a specific dose at regulated intervals throughout the day.

When your intrathecal pain pump is empty, you go back to Capital Pain Consultants for a refill. Your provider replenishes your reservoir using a needle they insert into your skin to access a port (opening) on the top of the device.

If you’d like to find out more about intrathecal drug delivery and how it could work for your pain, call Capital Pain Consultants today, or book an appointment online.