We describe a patient with an intrathecal drug delivery system (IDDS) for management of chronic back pain who developed worsening pain symptoms associated with an infected catheter tip, identified years after initial implantation. A 72-year-old woman had an IDDS initially implanted for management of chronic back pain. Years later, after suffering a vertebral compression fracture, workup revealed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings suggestive of infection despite unremarkable laboratory findings. Her pain worsened, and after explantation of the IDDS, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonized the catheter tip. Worsening pain symptoms in a patient with intrathecal morphine pump must be met with a broad differential diagnosis.
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