Intrathecal Pump Implants (or Spine Pain Pumps)

The Center for Pain Management uses intrathecal pump implants (or spine pain pumps) as a pain management treatment option to relieve chronic back pain. Intrathecal pumps are mechanical devices that deliver medications directly into a particular area of the spinal cord. Intrathecal pump implants consist of a computerized pain pump, a catheter and a reservoir. The reservoir of the spine pump implants can be filled with any of a host of pain medications.

Studies show fewer side effects with intrathecal opioids than with oral medication. Drowsiness is improved, as are constipation and nausea. Improvement in pain control is particularly effective with multiple medications aimed at different parts of the pain control system. However, intrathecal medication delivery also has its drawbacks, including functional and aesthetic pitfalls to consider. Spine pump implantation causes significant cosmetic alteration at the implant site which is unacceptable to many patients. Also, a pump is a mechanical device that is prone to problems ranging from glitches and mechanical compromise, to total mechanical failure. If a patient with a pump is in an accident, the pump can stop working and the catheter can be displaced. Emergency room physicians and personnel are usually not well versed in how to deal with pump patients.

While statistically it appears that oral delivery is just as effective as intrathecal delivery, it appears that for patients who have failed oral opioid treatment or received only limited benefit, a pump may prove more effective. If so, then the use of intrathecal opioids may prove to be more effective for the individual patient.

Updates + Announcements

Dr. Edward Kowlowitz Named One of America’s Top Doctors in Pain Medicine

Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. named Edward Kowlowitz, MD one of America’s Top Doctors in Pain Medicine. Dr. Kowlowitz is 1 of 7 physicians in Indiana to earn this distinguished designation. He has been practicing medicine since 1988 and founded Center…
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September is Pain Awareness Month

Center for Pain Management joins the global health care community in recognizing September as Pain Awareness Month.  This international campaign was first established in 2001 to create greater understanding that pain is a serious public health issue. Pain Awareness Month…
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CBS Affiliate WLFI-18 in Lafayette Indiana Interviews Dr. Edward Kowlowitz About Prescribing Pain Medications

Reporter Kayla Sullivan with WLFI-18 TV (CBS affiliate), interviewed Lafayette pain management doctor, Dr. Edward Kowlowitz, MD at the Center for Pain Management. The news channel has been investigating why major pharmacies are denying prescriptions for pain medications. Dr. Kowlowitz…
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Meet Dr. David Miller, MD in Our Lafayette, Indiana Pain Center

Dr. David C. Miller is a Board Certified interventional pain management physician with more than 25 years of experience. He specializes in the evaluation and treatment of complex pain problems utilizing advanced interventional therapies, injections, implantable technologies, regenerative medicine, palliative…
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Meet Dr. Scott Kim, MD in Our Greenwood Pain Center

Dr. Scott Kim, MD is board certified in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine. He has notable expertise in a wide range of interventional medical procedures for treating acute and chronic pain conditions. Learn More About Dr. Scott Kim, MD at the…
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