About Neurostimulators and Drug Pumps

If your chronic pain isn't responding to medication, your doctor may prescribe one of our neurostimulators or drug pumps. These implantable devices may help you manage your pain, restore your ability to do everyday activities, decrease your need for oral pain medications, and improve your quality of life.1-4 For more than 30 years they have enhanced the lives of people with chronic pain.

What Are They?

Medtronic Pain Therapies – neurostimulators and drug pumps – are surgically placed devices that interrupt pain signals before they reach the brain. 

Neurostimulators send mild electrical impulses to the spine. These impulses replace pain with a tingling sensation.

Drug pumps (also called “intrathecal drug delivery systems”) deliver pain medication directly to the fluid around the spinal cord, providing pain relief with a small fraction of the medication needed if taken orally.5
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Our Drug Pumps and Neurostimulators for Pain

Drug pumps are implanted in the abdomen. Neurostimulators are implanted in the abdomen or buttocks.
More: RestoreSensor® Neurostimulator
More: RestoreUltra® Neurostimulator
More: RestoreAdvanced® Neurostimulator
More: PrimeAdvanced® Neurostimulator
More: Synchromed® II Drug Pump

A programmer allows you to adjust the neurostimulation therapy settings, and a personal therapy manager allows you to receive a dose of medication, within limits set by your doctor.
More: MyStim® Programmer
More: Personal Therapy Manager (PTM)

Benefits and Risks

People who have success with Medtronic Pain Therapies typically report significant pain relief, reduction in oral medications, and improvement in their ability to go about day-to-day activities.1-4

Device complications associated with the drug pump may result in drug-related adverse events that may be severe or even life-threatening.

Medtronic Pain Therapies are not for everyone. In addition to surgical risks, device problems can occur and may require corrective surgery.
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Questions and Answers

Get answers to frequently asked questions about neurostimulators and drug pumps.
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Personal Stories

Read about the experiences of people who have received our products and therapies. You'll learn first-hand what life was like for these particular patients, both before and after receiving their neurostimulation or drug delivery therapy.


  1. Ohnmeiss DD, Rashbaum RF, Bogdanffy GM. Prospective outcome evaluation of spinal cord stimulation in patients with intractable leg pain. Spine. 1996;21:1344-1350.
  2. Kumar K, Taylor RS, Jacques L, et al. Spinal cord stimulation versus conventional medical management for neuropathic pain: a multicentre randomised controlled trial in patients with failed back surgery syndrome. Pain. 2007;132:179-188.
  3. Winkelmüller M, Winkelmüller W. Long-term effects of continuous intrathecal opioid treatment of chronic pain of nonmalignant etiology. J Neurosurg. 1996;85:458-467.
  4. Deer T, Chapple I, Classen A, et al. Intrathecal drug delivery for treatment of chronic low back pain: report from the National Outcomes Registry for Low Back Pain. Pain Med. 2004;5:6-13.
  5. Brogan SE. Intrathecal therapy for the management of cancer pain. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2006;10:254-259.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 18 Apr 2014

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