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As a direct result of the tone clinic, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville began Baclofen pump trials. Baclofen is a medication that when injected intrathecally, causes a decrease in muscle tone.

The tone management clinic team wanted to see if Baclofen could benefit patients seen in the clinic with severe spasticity.

“We wanted to see if the Baclofen would reduce enough of the patient’s tone that it would not only increase their quality of life, but also decrease the burden of care on the parents,” says Lisa Wagner, MHS, OTR/L.

During the trial, pediatric neurologist E. Christopher Troupe, M.D., inserts a tiny catheter into the patient’s spinal column and injects a dosage of Baclofen. After the Baclofen takes effect, physical therapists and occupational therapists assess how much tone was affected by the medicine, talk with the patient and family to see how they feel about the difference, and then recommend whether or not they think a permanent pump would be an effective method of treatment.

Twelve-year-old Faith was one of the first patients treated with a Baclofen trial at the Greenville Shriners Hospitals’ tone management clinic. Faith’s mother, Bessie, said before the Baclofen pump trial her daughter’s muscles were extremely tight, which made eating and picking up items challenging and painful.

Bessie said as soon as the Baclofen was administered, she could immediately see Faith’s muscles relaxing. With the trial a success, Faith went on to have the permanent pump placed.

“After the treatment, Faith’s ability to grasp, reach and pick up items greatly increased and she was able to become more independent,” recalls Bessie. “I honestly don’t know how she would function without it. I don’t know what we would have done without the care we received at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville. There has never been a moment I was dissatisfied with the care and we are blessed to have been a part of their tone management clinic.”

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