A morphine pump delivers pain medication (typically morphine) directly to the intrathecal space around the spinal cord via an implanted pump. The pump is implanted during a surgical procedure, and medication in the pump is added periodically (e.g. monthly) by injecting medication through the skin into the pump reservoir.
Spinal pumps may be used to manage chronic pain from osteoporosis or axial somatic pain (nociceptive pain), and sometimes may by used to manage pain from failed back surgery syndrome (although the efficacy for this use is unclear). Spinal pumps are also used to treat painful spasticity as is seen in multiple sclerosis.
Often multiple medications are put into the pump to treat certain specific situations. That is, morphine to treat the nociceptive pain and local anesthetics (such as bipuvicaine) to treat a neuropathic pain component.
For each of the above procedures, a trial is first performed to see if it is effective and how the patient reacts before the surgery is performed. Both of the procedures are reversible and the implantable system can be removed.