Tunneling Permanent Intrathecal Catheters

  • Timothy R. Deer


Once the catheter is successfully placed in the spinal canal, the stylet and needle are removed, the purse-string suture is secured, and the anchor is successfully placed, the physician must pass the catheter from the dorsal incision at the spine to the pocket that has been created for the intrathecal pump. The process of tunneling can be simplified as a simple “passage” of the catheter, but the technique is important and when done improperly can lead to a poor outcome.


Local Anesthetic Placement Risk Avoidance Tunneling Device Dorsal Incision Proper Depth 
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Suggested Reading

  1. 1.
    Follett K, Burchiel K, Deer T, et al. Prevention of intrathecal drug delivery catheter complications. Neuromodulation. 2003;6(1):32–41.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    McIntyre P, Deer T, Hayek S. Complications of spinal infusion therapies. Tech Reg Anesth Pain Manag. 2007;11(3):183–192.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Pain ReliefCharlestonUSA

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