Tacoma General Hospital

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Neurosurgery

Baclofen Pump Surgery

Baclofen is a medication commonly used to decrease spasticity — tight or stiff muscles that may interfere with voluntary muscle movements — related to multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, or other neurological diseases.

Baclofen can be taken orally as a pill or delivered directly into an area of the spine called the intrathecal space. The intrathecal baclofen pump system delivers the drug directly into the spinal fluid. The system consists of a catheter (a small, flexible tube) and a pump. The pump — a round metal disc, about one inch thick and three inches in diameter — is surgically placed under the skin of the abdomen near the waistline.

Patients with spasticity who are not responsive to or experience negative side effects may be candidates for this procedure.