Intrathecal Baclofen Pump

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(608) 263-7502


Health Information

Intrathecal Baclofen Pump for Severe Spasticity and Dystonia

UW Health neurosurgeons in Madison, Wisconsin, offer intrathecal baclofen pump therapy as a method of controlling spasticity, dystonia and other muscle movement problems, and easing pain in adult and child patients.


What is the intrathecal baclofen pump?


The intrathecal baclofen pump is simply a system for delivering baclofen, a medicine that relaxes excessive muscle movements and severe muscle tightening.


The pump is three inches in diameter and ¾-inch thick. It runs on batteries that last five to seven years. A tiny catheter is attached to the pump and tunneled beneath the patient's skin around to the back, then into the spinal fluid. The pump is programmed via an external computer to deliver specific doses of medication into the spinal fluid.


The placement of the pump is a surgical procedure that lasts one to two hours.


Benefits of Intrathecal Baclofen Pump


Patients may realize the following benefits:

  • Increased physical comfort
  • Patients are easier to care for
  • Improved quality-of-life for patient and parent/caregiver
  • Improved speech and function in arms and legs in approximately 1/3 of patients
Should I ask about the intrathecal baclofen pump?
Adults and children with spasticity (increased resistance to passive muscle stretching) and dystonia (severe muscle tightness that cause sustained and abnormal twisting) throughout the entire body may be candidates for the intrathecal baclofen pump.
Patients who may benefit from the insertion of the intrathecal baclofen pump are evaluated by our multidisciplinary team. The baclofen pump is often one of several possible treatment options, and our team will discuss its viability with patients and caregivers.