A baclofen pump is a little device that is surgically implanted under the skin of one side of the abdomen near hear the hip bone. The pump delivers a medication called baclofen directly into the spinal canal (called the intrathecal space). A thin, flexible tube called a catheter runs from the pump to the spinal canal to deliver the medication.
Baclofen is one of the most effective medications for spasticity, (involuntary muscle contractions that stiffness) and dystonia (muscle contractions that can result in twisted or abnormal postures). These movement disorders often accompany conditions such as cerebral palsy, leukodystrophy, and multiple sclerosis.
Baclofen works in the spinal cord to suppress abnormal nerve signals that trigger the muscle contractions of spasticity and dystonia and help restore normal nerve signals.
BSSNY pediatric neurosurgeons place the baclofen pump using a surgical procedure performed while your child is under general anesthesia.
The pump is a round metallic disc, about three inches across and one inch thick. It is typically placed just beneath the skin of the abdomen, to the left or right of the belly button. The catheter to deliver the medication into the spinal fluid is fed from the pump to the point near the spine or in the brain where the dosage of baclofen will most effectively address your child’s symptoms.