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Intrathecal Baclofen Pump Program

The Children's Mercy intrathecal baclofen (ITB) pump works with patients who require a baclofen pump to treat cerebral palsy, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and spasticity disorders. Our team consists of staff from neurology, neurosurgery, rehabilitation medicine, and social work, which makes it easy for patients and families to see different providers all in a single visit.

What is a baclofen pump?

An intrathecal baclofen (ITB) pump is a device that is a battery operated device that is surgically implanted to treat muscle spasticity in order to help muscles relax. With this device the baclofen is delivered directly into the spinal fluid which requires patients to have a much smaller dose than they would with oral baclofen or other oral medications.

Who is a candidate? 

ITB pumps are recommended for patients with cerebral palsy, brain and spinal cord injuries, and spasticity disorders. It can also be helpful in reducing spasms, abnormal movements, and improving motor function. In your initial evaluation, we will discuss with you if a baclofen pump would be beneficial to your child. You will also be evaluated by social work to review any psychosocial areas of need. 

Initial baclofen pump evaluation appointments are usually held on the 4th Wednesday of the month. You’ll be seen by the multidisciplinary team in the Orthopedic Clinic.

Management of the pump, including pump refills, will be done by the Rehabilitation Medicine Team in the Special Care Clinics on the first floor of the Adele Hall campus.

Baclofen pump implant process

Your child may have a baclofen pump trial prior to implanting the ITB pump. A trial is where a small dose of intrathecal baclofen is injected into the cerebral spinal fluid through a lumbar puncture.  This gives a snap shot of what life may be like with the ITB pump. If the trial goes well and our team decides that a baclofen pump would be beneficial, we will recommend surgery to implant the pump.