Part 1

Approximately 13 years ago the spasticity in my legs became unbearable. Bending at the knees was like trying to break a two by four with your hands. I was taking the maximum dose of oral Baclofen and pretty  much sleeping in between each one. My PA suggested having a Baclofen pump placed in my abdomen to receive the drug intrathecally thru a catheter that is attached to the spinal cord. I had never heard of such a thing and the idea of a machine the size of a hockey puck inside of me seemed completely horrifying! But after another month of oral Baclofen and lots of research I decided to have the surgery. To be a candidate for the pump required a procedure that infused the drug into my spinal cord to see if my spasticity improved. I passed and scheduled the surgery. Following the surgery, I was required to do in-patient PT for about ten days. After about a month and without seeing much improvement, my PA removed the drug from the pump to see how much had been used. Hearing a doctor or PA say “uh, oh”, is not very comforting. Turns out the pump was not working or the catheter was kinked, so back into surgery I went. The kink was repaired and I began to receive the drug successfully. It would take several months to find the “sweet spot” of a dosage that worked for me. Every 7 years the battery needs to be replaced and I have had this done once and I am due again next summer. 

Moral of this story is, if you are considering having a Baclofen pump placed, despite the issues I had in the beginning, it has been a very successful decision to relieve spasticity in the lower extremities.