This story reflects the experience of one individual who is receiving Medtronic ITB TherapySM for the treatment of severe spasticity. Medtronic, Inc. invited this person to share this story candidly. As you read it, please bear in mind that the experiences are specific to this particular individual. Results vary; not every response is the same.
Kaleigh, living with cerebral palsy
Despite being diagnosed with spasticity and cerebral palsy when she was 15 months old, Kaleigh has a can-do attitude that inspires everyone she meets.
"She has an awesome personality," her mother Julie says. "I've had perfect strangers come up to me and say, 'Your daughter just brightened my day.'"
As Kaleigh grew, her spasticity worsened. She walked arched over on her tiptoes, and her mom occasionally needed to carry her.
To treat her severe spasticity, Kaleigh tried a year of injection therapy and casting, but didn't get the relief she hoped for. Julie began searching for alternative options and decided to ask Kaleigh's clinician about a ITB Therapy using a Medtronic programmable pump system.
ITB Therapy relieves severe spasticity by using a programmable pump placed just under the skin of the abdomen. The pump is connected to a flexible catheter that delivers anti-spastic medication directly into the area where fluid flows around the spinal cord, called the intrathecal space.
Kaleigh first needed a screening test to see if ITB Therapy would relieve her symptoms. After the screening test, "Kaleigh's muscles were like limp noodles," Julie recalls. "I was excited, but Kaleigh was a little scared. She'd never been able to move that much without feeling pain."
As the medication wore off, Kaleigh experienced cramping in her legs. Several hours later, her muscles were back to the way they were before the screening test. They decided to go forward with the surgical procedure so Kaleigh could receive a pump.
Kaleigh didn't experience any complications with her surgery. However, some people do experience surgical complications, side effects of the drug, or both. As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with ITB Therapy. Some of these risks include meningitis, spinal fluid leak, infection, paralysis, headache, swelling, bleeding, and bruising. Drug-related side effects may include loose muscles, drowsiness, nausea/vomiting, headache, and dizziness.
Since receiving ITB Therapy, Kaleigh has found that she no longer needs crutches when walking short distances. Her gait and posture have also improved, and she's gained enough dexterity to play the piano.
Julie loves the independence that the pump has given her daughter. Kaleigh no longer needs to be carried and enjoys walking in stride with her friends and family.
"I like being able to jump rope and do other hard stuff," Kaleigh says. "Now I can walk better and I don't need Mommy there to make sure I don't fall!"
This story reflects one person's experience. Not every person will receive the same results. Talk to your doctor about your treatment options.