An intrathecal drug pump is a medication administration device which delivers medicine directly into the Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This is more effective than oral administration, as it is delivered directly into the afflicted area rather than being metabolized through digestion beforehand. Therefore, much less medication is necessary, usually a fraction of the amount of around one three-hundredth.

What does the procedure look like?

The pump is a round metal device, surgically implanted beneath the skin of your abdomen. A catheter is surgically placed in the subarachnoid or intrathecal space of the spine and connected to the pump. A reservoir in the pump holds the medication, which is administered through the catheter and to intrathecal space. The pump can be programmed to administer a specific amount of medication, and at what times the medication is released. When the pump is low on medication, a physician will use a needle to refill the device. This procedure is easily reversed.

The procedure generally takes three to four hours to complete, and the patient is administered narcotics for pain management afterward.

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We want to assure our patients that Portland Pain and Spine remains open and actively managing your pain. Medication management is given the highest priority. Our relocation across the hall in the Washington building is complete but requires office renovation before we can accommodate patient visits. Staffing shortages affected our ability to communicate last month, however, this was temporary. Dr. Balog has reached out to all patients but asks that if anyone has additional questions or concerns to contact him at [email protected].
We have updated our phone messaging system to assist with calls. There are now options to speak with a live receptionist, leave messages or speak with our new billing company. Medical record requests can be processed on our website at and are handled by Morgan Records Management. Thank you for your patience during this transition. We look forward to providing you high-quality care as we enter into 2024! 

Wishing you all a joyful holiday season.