I have a niece who has MS and experiences back muscle spasms in her legs. She also has psoriasis, covering most of her body. The doc wants to put in a baclofen pump in her brain to help relieve the spasms. Her MS is in remission at the moment but is told if they put this pump in her brain they would not be able to do MRIs to see if her MS comes back. They would have to remove the pump. Also, she is worried about psoriasis developing on her brain?? Has anyone has these two problems together and had the pump put in? The doc says he has other ways to see if the MS comes back but MRI Is the best way???
A baclofen pump is installed alongside the spine where a catheter is threaded into the spinal canal and the drug can flow directly into the spinal fluid. The unit itself will protrude slightly and look like a bump on the side of the waist.
Psoriasis is a skin disorder and can affect the scalp, arms, legs, chest, and genitals. It does not directly affect internal organs.
People with a baclofen pump avoid having MRIs because the MRI magnets will temporarily stop the pump motor from operating. The MRI imaging itself might become distorted as well, so other scanning methods might be used, though not as effectively.
Her doctor is saying they will have to put the pump on her brain because they can't go thru the back/waist because her psoriasis is so bad. The catheter would then have to run from there down to the spinal canal and into the spinal fluid. Thus, she is worried about it being so close to her brain too. Although I do know of people that have shunts that have catheters run from the brain to the stomach to drain excess brain fluid.
That sounds very unorthodox. Has she thought about getting a second opinion? I can't imagine how an intrathecal pump could be implanted in the skull, let alone the brain, not to mention the risks involved. Do you know if the pump is a Medtronic brand? You might find out what brand pump the doc wants to use and then contact the company and ask about the protocols. Not all docs who perform these pump implants are qualified to do it.
I hope she doesn't agree to this surgery without getting another opinion and doing some research. If she is having doubts, she should get her concerns addressed.
Thank you, You have been very helpful. I am passing all your info on to her. A second opinion is a must. I also think she should ask if there is a support group of patients that have had this done and how they feel about it. Thanks again.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
The opinions expressed in WebMD Communities are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Communities are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.
Do not consider Communities as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.