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Treatment overview and more!
An intrathecal pump (or pain pump) is a small medical device that is surgically placed in the body. The pain pump delivers medicine directly into the intrathecal space of the spinal cord from its own reservoir. The pump is connected to a small catheter which administers medications around the spinal cord.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this office. I was helping my mom find a place for her arthritis pain, and I explained to them how bad it was. They were able to schedule me the same week! That's almost impossible at any doctor's office...and then add COVID..... I was thrilled. I took my mom, and everyone was absolutely so sweet and kind
- Donyasha B.
Dr. Rao. I can't find the words to tell you how much he has meant to me. I followed him from an old practice to his very new high tech office. They offer so many different areas of assistance to those with issues from nutrition to spinal surgery...and much more. His office is professional.
- Mom To2
Dr. Roa is such an amazing doctor! During my first visit he never tried to rush through my appt., he genuinely listened to all my concerns and then took his time to explain to me in detail all his recommendations and how they would help me.
- Nikki Walker
In the 3 years as a patient of Dr. Rao, it is my opinion that he is a phenomenal and extraordinary doctor. He keeps up to date with the latest treatment options, will sacrifice time no matter how many are in the waiting room to listen and explain. Dr. Rao has treated multiple patients with rare illnesses, and shows more empathy than any Dr. I’ve met.
- Mom To2
I have now been with Dr. Rao for 13 years. He is the most caring Doctor I have ever been to! Dr. Rao makes you feel very comfortable at all times. I would not want to go to any other Doctor... I go to the Hagerstown location, everyone is very nice
- Theresa R.
The entire staff from the folks at the front desk to the Nurse, to the Physicians Assistant to the scribe that records the visit for the doctor - (great idea so the Doctor can focus on the patient!!!)
- NVA F.
Completely the best care you could want the staff is so pleasant and caring and the doctors have true heart for healing, love being a patient here would give 10 stars if I could & absolutely the most caring during my procedure with Dr B
- Cathern C.
Always friendly, courteous, and efficient service. From the ladies, who work the front desk, to the nurses and the doctors. I've always had a good experience with the Harrisonburg office in Virginia.
They scheduled my appointment very quickly so that I can get to help that I needed immediately instead of like most places having to wait two to three weeks to get in I called and was able to be seen the next day
- John H.
After transitioning from a pain and spine doctor in Columbia, MD.. The intake staff member at Pain and Spine Specialist made the scheduling a breeze. They were able to get me in within a week.
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Intrathecal Pump - How It Works
The spinal cord (and the spinal cord nerves) receive pain signals and send them through the body. With an intrathecal pain pump, medication is delivered directly, bypassing the path that oral medications take. This allows for pain symptoms to be treated more effectively with less body-wide side effects. Pain symptoms can also be managed with a smaller dose of medication.
Patients who have an intrathecal pain pump will not have to remember to take their oral medications because the pump will self-administer.
A pain pump can be an ideal solution for those who have suffered from a failed back surgery, cancer pain, sciatica, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and/or chronic pancreatitis
For others, a pain pump could be utilized to treat the pain symptoms of other underlying conditions. For example, the intrathecal pain pump can lessen spasticity (muscle spasms and rigidity) caused by:
An intrathecal pain pump can provide effective pain relief, reduced side effects from oral medications, and improve the quality of your life.
Intrathecal Pump Trial
Potential candidates for a permanent pain pump will first have a trial procedure. This trial pump procedure will help determine if the patient will be a good candidate for a permanent pump placement.
An intrathecal pain pump trial can help determine how successful a permanent implant will be and the appropriate amount of medication it will take to treat your pain symptoms. The titration (or dosage information) will establish the appropriate amount of medication needed to provide the patient with the maximum pain relief with minimal side effects.
A pump trial will place a cathaeter in the intrathecal space, closely resembling the experience of a permanently placed pump. The catheter and the pump are worn outside of the body, and will administer medication to ease the patient’s pain.
Pump trials are performed on an outpatient procedure, and may last several days. If the patient experiences 50% relief (or more) from their pain symptoms the trial is considered successful. With a positive result from the pain pump trial, a patient can move forward with a permanently placed intrathecal pump.
Intrathecal Pump Implant
After a successful trial, the patient will be able to move forward with getting their pain pump implanted. Neurosurgeons who specialize in pain management will implant the pain pump.
The procedure will be done with general anesthesia, and a small incision made in the middle back to place the catheter and another incision made to the side of the abdomen for the pump. The catheter is attached to the pump (which has the reservoir with medication). The surgeon fills the reservoir with medication during the placement.
Pain pumps can be programmed to suit individual pain needs allowing for more effective management of chronic pain.
With a more targeted delivery of medication patients are able to mitigate their pain with lower doses of medication.
Post Pump Implant
A full recovery after having the intrathecal pump surgically implanted may take 6-8 weeks. Patients will be limited to light activity, with some restrictions on their movement. The patient will then have to return to their pain management practice periodically to have the reservoir refilled with more medication. Patients will also be able to discuss with their specialists if doses need to be adjusted and their health journey goals.
Candidates for Treatment
Patients with the following disorders, injuries, diseases may be candidates for an Intrathecal Pumps
Intrathecal Pumps are often used as an alternative to or in combination with the following treatments.
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How To Get Started
If you would like more information about an intrathecal pain pump or the pump trial, please call Pain and Spine Specialists and speak to our dedicated team to improve the quality of your life.
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of doctors offer Intrathecal Pump?
The Intrathecal Pump is offered by various types of doctors including anesthesiologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and physiatrists. However, a pain management specialist is often the primary doctor who manages this treatment.
Is Intrathecal Pump covered by insurance?
Most insurance companies cover Intrathecal Pump therapy, but it varies based on your insurance plan and provider. It's always best to check with your insurance provider for specifics about your coverage.
What are the alternatives to Intrathecal Pump treatment?
Alternatives to Intrathecal Pump treatment can include oral medications, physical therapy, nerve blocks, spinal cord stimulation, and surgery depending on the nature and severity of the condition.
Is Intrathecal Pump considered minimally invasive?
Yes, Intrathecal Pump implantation is typically considered a minimally invasive procedure since it doesn't require a large incision or extensive tissue damage.
How do I find an Intrathecal Pump treatment center near me?
You can consult with your primary care doctor or pain management specialist for referrals. Online health platforms like Healthgrades or Zocdoc might also help you find nearby treatment centers.
How do I find an Intrathecal Pump specialist near me?
Your primary care physician can often provide a referral to a specialist. Alternatively, websites such as WebMD and Healthgrades allow you to search for specialists in your area.
Is Intrathecal Pump considered a minimally invasive treatment?
Yes, Intrathecal Pump is considered a minimally invasive treatment. It involves a small incision and usually has a quicker recovery time compared to more invasive surgeries.
How much does Intrathecal Pump cost?
The cost of an Intrathecal Pump can vary widely depending on factors like your location, the hospital or clinic, and your insurance coverage. It's best to consult with your healthcare provider and insurance company for specific cost information.
What treatments are often tried before considering Intrathecal Pump?
Prior to considering an Intrathecal Pump, doctors may try treatments like medication management, physical therapy, nerve blocks, or even alternative therapies like acupuncture.
What are the reviews for Intrathecal Pump?
Reviews for Intrathecal Pump vary, with many patients reporting significant relief from chronic pain. However, like any medical procedure, it's important to discuss potential risks and benefits with your healthcare provider.
Do Medicare and Medicaid cover Intrathecal Pump?
Medicare and Medicaid often cover Intrathecal Pump therapy, but coverage can vary depending on your specific plan and state. It's recommended to check with your plan provider for details.
We Accept All Insurances!
That includes Medicare and state Medicaid.
At Pain and Spine Specialists we want to provide the most efficient and pleasurable experience possible. As in all medical facilities, we have certain policies in place to ensure that you receive the time you require to address your needs as well as enhance your experience while in our care.
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