FAQs on Morphine Pain Pumps in Colorado
Morphine pain pumps have been used to treat chronic and severe pain associated with cancer and other agonizing medical conditions since the 1990s. The direct delivery of medication to intrathecal space around the spine saves many from side effects of the analgesic drug while ensuring better pain management.
What is morphine pain pump?
A pain pump is a metal device implanted underneath the skin and programmed to deliver a pre-fixed amount of pain medication to the spine at a regular interval. Morphine pain pumps have morphine as the pain medication and are mostly used by patients suffering from pain due to cancer and neuropathy problems. It is also useful in treating chronic back pain and spasticity impacting muscles.
Similar in size to a hockey puck, a morphine pain pump has small catheters that deliver the analgesic pain medication directly to intrathecal or subarachnoid space, an area round spinal cord containing fluid. The pumps act like a reservoir of medication and release controlled amount of medication automatically, as preprogrammed according to patient needs. It bypasses the oral route and ensures direct delivery of pain medication to the spine and nerves over long period of time.
Morphine pain pumps can be refilled or removed according to the need.
How does a morphine pain pump ensure pain relief?
Morphine is a known and widely used analgesic painkiller. Programmed as per the patient need, the medication from the morphine pain pump is delivered automatically and directly to the spine. The process numbs the nerves and obstructs their ability to carry pain signals to the spinal cord and brain. Steady administration of medication helps continued pain relief over a long period.
What are medical conditions best treated with morphine pain pumps?
Patients suffering from pain associated with the following conditions may be benefited from implantation of morphine pain pumps.
- Pain arising out of spinal nerves squeezed due to tumors or cancer
- Pain due to spinal cord injury
- Pain from nervous system disruption, failed back surgery, causalgia, chronic pancreatitis, reflex neurovascular dystrophy and peripheral nerve injury
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Pain emanating from muscle spasticity, inflammation spinal nerves
- Spasticity due to nerve cell damages, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, stroke and cerebral palsy
Why should a patient go for morphine pain pumps?
Morphine pain pump provides better pain control and other benefits in a number of ways.
- It is used by Boulder pain management doctors to treat pain unresponsive to medication and other therapies. The pump is often used in case of failed surgeries.
- No need to bother about daily medication dosages.
- The pump reduces the intake of drug by 300 times and delivers significantly lesser pain medication than a patient requires to take orally.
- It delivers drug directly to the spine getting around the oral route. Lesser and direct delivery of pain medication assures pain relief without any side effect.
- Direct pain medication delivery ensures a greater psychological satisfaction and faster action.
How effective are morphine pain pumps?
- In 2007, a report in the Acta Neurochirurgica journal claimed that morphine pain pumps are highly beneficial to those experiencing cancer-related pain and severe spasticity due to recurrent spasm in muscles and lower extremities.
- According to a 2005 study published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, pain pumps assure pain relief and improve cognitive and motor functions.
Who is a candidate for morphine pain pumps?
A patient is suggested to implant a morphine pain pump if
- he suffers from chronic pain related to cancer, spinal cord injury, failed back surgery, nerve injury, pancreatitis and similar medical conditions
- he has no pain relief despite using medication and other therapies for a long time
- he needs to have pain medication for a significantly longer duration
- he has no records of psychological disorders or health problems that is adversely impacted by the pain pump implant
How is a morphine pain pump implanted in Boulder, Greeley or Loveland?
Morphine pain pumps are implanted in two stages. The first is a trial process and if it is found to be effective a surgical implant is carried out.
The trail is performed in a number of ways.
- One or more injections deliver morphine to the lumbar spine to observe the effect on pain relief.
- An external pump with a catheter is used to deliver the medication. The impact is monitored while the amount of medication is increased after every two hours.
The trial process helps to ensure if the pain pump is helpful for the patient and the amount of morphine a patient requires to have pain relief. If doctors found success with the trial, the surgical implant is performed.
The Morphine pain pump implant involves a number of stages. An incision is made to open the skin and tissues over the “vertebra posterior arch in the lower back” and a catheter is inserted. Another catheter is placed creating a tunneled connection with the first under the abdominal skin. The preprogrammed pain pump is installed through a six-inch incision on the abdomen side and fixed with the catheter. The place is bandaged after incisions are closed.
How much time does it take?
It takes up to 4 hours to perform the morphine pain pump implant.
When can I experience pain relief?
Pain relief is immediate and patients’ conditions improve with time.
What should I expect after morphine pain pump is implanted?
- Patients are discharged after an overnight hospital stay to monitor for blood pressure, heart beat and respiratory problems, if any.
- Take pain killers for the next two three weeks
- Increase eating of fibrous food and intake of water
- Don’t use NSAID drugs to avoid delayed bone healing
- Monitor yourself for spinal headaches, high temperature, depression, severe leg or back pain, dizziness
- Avoid sleeping on stomach
- No stretching or stressful activities for six weeks
- Avoid activities that may displace the catheter
When I need to refill morphine pain pumps?
Morphine pump continues to relieve pain for years at a time are filled easily using injections. Battery of the pump lasts between 5 and 7 years. It can be replaced or removed.
What are the side effects of morphine pain pumps?
Unless performed by an expert pain management doctor in Boulder, Greeley or Loveland, patients face the risk of bleeding, infection, cerebrospinal fluid leak, spinal headaches, nerve or blood vessel damage, catheter blocking, etc.
Colorado Clinic offers intrathecal morphine pain pumps with Board Certified, Fellowship Trained pain doctors at several locations in Northern Colorado. This includes locations in Boulder, Loveland and Greeley. Success rates for nonoperative chronic pain are impressive, call the location closest to you today!