Oh, did I mention any benefits? No? That's right there are not many benefits to be gained from the intrathecal opioid pump. Those who have extreme pain and opt for the pump are usually still miserable because the pain is still severe. The pain score might reduce slightly, but remains very high. Is that enough to for someone to have a reasonable quality of life for years to come? Maybe, maybe not. The only people who really can benefit the most are individuals with malignant pain. What little life is left will be prolonged because the pain will be kept manageable enough for the person to remain functional and get his/her affairs in order. The shortened life expectancy from the malignancy negates any potential for pump failures and needs for replacements in the future. In other words, a person with cancer will not be around long enough for a majority of pump problems to become a problem. Yes, the reality about intrathecal opioid pumps is bleak because only in rare cases do the benefits outweigh the risks. Overall, a pump is not something that you should wish for anyone friend or enemy, but on rare occasion it may be absolutely necessary.