Baclofen Pump Therapy
Henry Ford Health is Michigan’s leader in care for complex neurologic problems and their side effects. We are among the few programs in the region offering comprehensive care that includes intrathecal baclofen pump therapy for spasticity.
What is baclofen pump therapy?
Baclofen pump therapy relieves spasticity that does not respond to standard treatments. Spasticity occurs when a neurologic condition, like Parkinson’s disease, or injury prevents smooth muscle movements. You may experience stiff muscles, jerky movements or feeling as if muscles are “locked” in place.
Baclofen is a muscle relaxant medication that relieves the symptoms of spasticity. An implantable pump and long tubes (catheters) deliver baclofen directly to the fluid around your spinal cord, the intrathecal space. Receiving baclofen this way can be more effective than taking a pill and has fewer side effects.
Conditions we treat using intrathecal baclofen pump therapy
We use baclofen pump therapy in people living with conditions that cause spasticity, including:
- Cerebral palsy
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson's disease
- Stroke, including ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke
- Traumatic brain injury
Baclofen pump therapy at Henry Ford: Why choose us?
Henry Ford is home to highly skilled neurologists and neurosurgeons, many of who are nationally renowned for treating disorders causing spasticity. We work together to determine whether intrathecal baclofen pump therapy is right for you. Our comprehensive approach includes ongoing services that help you get the most out of treatment.
Baclofen pump therapy is one of the many services we provide to help you live a good quality of life. Find out more about our expertise in:
- Movement disorders: This group of conditions makes it difficult to control muscle movements, leading to spasticity and other issues. Get more information about our Movement Disorders Center.
- Neuromuscular diseases: These problems, which include multiple sclerosis, cause muscle tissue to waste away. Read more about our Neurodegenerative Diseases Center.
Our team has a decades-long history of contributing to the science of movement disorder and neurodegenerative disease care. We perform research uncovering the causes of these conditions and are exploring new therapies. Find out more about neuroscience research and innovation.
Baclofen pump therapy: What to expect
Before proceeding with baclofen pump therapy, we first conduct a test to determine whether it will help. We inject a small dose of baclofen directly into the intrathecal space. If your spasticity symptoms improve, you are likely to benefit from regular baclofen dosing from an implantable pump.
Here’s what to expect:
- Implant surgery: We perform a procedure to implant the pump under the skin below your waist. We connect the pump to catheters under your skin that lead to the intrathecal space.
- Filling the pump: Specialists fill the pump with baclofen either during or after surgery.
- Follow-up visits: We maintain regular contact with you, so you receive the appropriate baclofen dose for your needs. Visits are also a good opportunity for us to evaluate your symptoms and progress with other treatments.
- Rehabilitation: Treatment may include working with physical therapists to build up your strength and flexibility. Occupational therapists help you find safe methods of performing everyday activities, like moving from a seated to standing position. Learn more about neurological rehabilitation.