Oral medicines for back pain relief sometimes either don’t work sufficiently, have undesirable side effects, or take too long to begin working. The spinal pain pump delivers long-term targeted relief to your spinal cord to more effectively manage your symptoms and get you back on track to enjoying life once again.When Andrea Snyder was successfully operated on for bone cancer, she subsequently suffered from acute, chronic pain in her leg, the area from which the cancer had been removed. Her attempts at treating the pain were unsuccessful. Her last resort was a prescription for long-term use of a narcotic pain reliever, which still did not alleviate her agony.
After seven years of physical and mental anguish, Andrea found Dr. Sol Kamson at the Spine Institute Northwest. Dr. Kamson suggested a different course of treatment for Andrea: a spinal pain pump. Andrea agreed to try it and today she is back at work, back to spending time with her family, and no longer needs to take oral narcotics.
A spinal pain pump can provide you with effective pain relief and enable you to once again participate in the usual activities of daily life. You will need less oral medications, which should lessen your chances of experiencing unwanted side effects.
When you meet with Solomon Kamson, MD, PhD, he will help determine whether you are a candidate for a spinal pain pump. If Dr. Kamson finds that you have not responded to other treatments or have experienced severe side effects from alternative therapies, he may suggest a pain pump to reduce your symptoms. The pump the doctor will insert is a device that delivers medication to constantly eliminate or minimize breakthrough pain and spasms.
Dr. Kamson performs the procedure in two stages. First he will insert a temporary catheter to see if the medication relieves your symptoms and to preview any possible side effects. If all goes well with Stage One, then Dr. Kamson will be prepared to position the permanent device. During the procedure, a needle is inserted through the skin and deeper tissues, which are numbed beforehand to avoid most of any discomfort that may be felt. You can also be given IV sedation and pain medications during the procedure. The tubing for the pump is placed at the lower back, with the pump positioned on the side of your back. The entire procedure takes about two hours to complete, after which you will recover for a short period of time and go home.
The medication in the spinal pain pump lasts from one to six months. It is refilled in the office as needed, and takes a few moments to do so. The pump’s batteries can last for seven years or so. After that time, a new pump can be fitted.
For more information about Medtronic’s spinal pain pump, contact our office at the Spine Institute Northwest in Bothell, WA, where you may schedule a consultation with Dr. Solomon Kamson, MD, PhD.