Morphine is a strong analgesic medication used to treat severe pain. It may be administered through a delivery system called a pain pump to treat severe back pain and related symptoms. The system delivers morphine at a predetermined rate set by your doctor into the intrathecal space around the affected region of the spinal cord.
Intrathecal morphine pain pump is indicated for those with severe back pain and related symptoms for whom conservative treatments are unsuccessful and surgery is not feasible. It is used to treat pain due to conditions such as cancer, brain or spinal cord injury, failed back surgery syndrome, multiple sclerosis, stroke and cerebral palsy.
The pain pump consists of a reservoir or pump which is embedded under the skin of your abdomen just below your ribs. The pump is connected to a catheter which reaches the intrathecal space containing cerebrospinal fluid. The reservoir pumps morphine through the catheter into the cerebrospinal fluid, through which it reaches the affected part of the spine. The rate of delivery may be adjusted according to the severity of symptoms. The advantage of the intrathecal pain pump over oral administration is that the morphine is delivered directly to the source of pain in the spine.
Implanting an intrathecal pain pump may occasionally be associated with certain complications which include infection, bleeding, nerve injury, headaches, cerebrospinal fluid leaks and catheter blockage.