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Indian J Orthop. 2009 Jan;43(1):46-9. doi: 10.4103/0019-5413.45323.

Intrathecal baclofen: Its effect on symptoms and activities of daily living in severe spasticity due to spinal cord injuries: A pilot study.

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1
Specialist Registrar, Northern Deanery, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Spasticity is a major problem related to spinal cord injuries. Use of intrathecal baclofen with an implanted pump seems a very useful mode of therapy in patients in whom oral antispasmodic agents are either not effective or produce intolerable side-effects.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Twenty-four patients with mean age 50 years (range 32-72 years) had intrathecal baclofen pump implanted for the severe spasticity of spinal origin. One patient died following implantation of pump due to natural causes and was not included in the study. The patients were followed up for mean 22 months (range, one to five years).

RESULTS:

All 24 patients showed improvement in their spasm following the procedure. Improvement was noted in pain (12), sleep disturbance (20) and sphincter control (14). Patients had improvement in activities of daily living such as feeding ability (10), self care (10), indoor and outdoor mobility (19), and driving (4). One patient had catheter leakage immediately after the surgery and required change of catheter. The radio telemetry allows very good adjustment of the dose according the individual patients needs.

CONCLUSION:

Intrathecal baclofen pump improves the symptoms of spasm and also the quality of life. It helps the patient to live more independently. It is not an irreversible surgery for the patient and hence it is very useful in the changing the dynamics in this group of patients.

KEYWORDS:

Activities of daily living; intrathecal baclofen; spasticity; spinal cord injury

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