Procedure for stiff muscles

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Procedure for stiff muscles

Postby scoobyjude » Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:53 pm

Not sure I'd want to go this route but it does make sense

New Way To Fight Stiff Muscles
Pocatello, Idaho
Story Published: Mar 5, 2007 at 5:19 PM MST

By Sarah Schwabe

Portneuf Medical Center is now offering a procedure that promises relief for people with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injuries. It's a simple surgery where doctors place a medicine pump in the patient's abdomen.

As KIDK Newswatch 3's Sarah Schwabe reports, this new procedure will help eliminate the stiff muscles associated with those conditions.

At Portneuf Medical Center, taking pills to relieve tight muscles is a thing of the past. Now, a medicine pump can be inserted directly into your abdomen.

"There's a tube that goes inside your spinal canal, but there's the pump itself which has a reservoir and a little engine that will inject the medication through the tube into the spinal column," explains surgeon Dr. Julio Vasquez.

And the medication being dispersed is called Baclofen.

"Baclofen is usually given to patients who have spasticity of the lower extremities, meaning stiffness of the legs," says Dr. Vasquez.

The pump is programmed to inject a certain amount of Baclofen throughout the day. And because it goes straight into the spinal fluid the medicine is more effective.

"If you give the medication directly to the spine, the side effects are lower and the medication is delivered directly where it works better," says Dr. Vasquez.

Meaning that patients lose the stiffness in their muscles, and regain the freedom of mobility.

To find out if you are a candidate for the surgery you can call the Portneuf Rehabilitation Center at 239-1846.
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scoobyjude
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Postby Toyoterry » Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:21 am

It's called the Baclofen Pump. I almost had to go this route because even a high dose of Baclofen wasn't helping me. The benefit being a lower than normal dose can be used because when taken orally, alot of Baclofen is excreted in the urine.
Terry
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Postby watergypsy » Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:42 am

Hi Toyoterry

You say you "almost" went for the Baclfen Pump which implies that you changed your mind - what did you do instead if increasing the oral dose did not help you.

I am desperate for something to help remove the stiffness which is the only symptom I now have after two years on ldn. It is so bad that I am virtually housebound and I really need to get out after five months of not leaving the house...

Any help gratefully received
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Postby Toyoterry » Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:19 pm

My advice, speaking only for myself, would be to try to slowly increase your Baclofen level to the point where it either helps or you begin to experience muscle weakness. My neuro said the first indicator of muscle weakness is usually the bladder muscles. Also Baclofen can make you very sleepy. Coffee, Diet Coke and time have helped me to adjust to the sleepiness. The 90mgs I take is considered to be a high dose. Many people do well on much less. The main reason I didn't need the pump was the dose began to work and my body adjusted to it. I'm also taking Lyrica and a low dose of Amytriptiline. My life has improved greatly on this routine but with MS who can say whether the meds are helping or I'm just in remission. Don't get me wrong I still have symptoms like stiffness, neuropathic pain, balance problems etc.. My muscle where so tight they caused severe tension headaches but on these meds they have mostly settled down. I still lift weights, walk and even jog when the weather and the pain in my feet allow it. MS is still a huge burden on my life but for now it is a tolerable one.
Terry
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Postby watergypsy » Sat Mar 10, 2007 4:45 am

Thanks for your advice Terry. It’s wonderful that you can walk, and even jog you lucky thing – it’s brilliant that you’ve got the oral Baclofen working for you.
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