The intracept procedure is an implant-free, minimally invasive treatment for chronic low back pain. This procedure targets and ablates the basivertebral nerve, which lies inside the vertebra and sends pain signals to the brain. The intracept procedure has been proven to provide long-lasting pain relief for patients with chronic vertebrogenic low back pain.
Who is a candidate for the Intracept Procedure?
Patients with chronic low back pain present for more than 6 months, which has not been relieved by conservative therapies, such as physical therapy, rest, or medication, may be a candidate for the Intracept procedure. An MRI will confirm changes to the vertebral bodies indicating pain is most likely originating from the basivertebral nerve, a strong sign that pain will be relieved by the Intracept procedure.
What are the symptoms of vertebrogenic pain?
Patients with vertebrogenic pain often complain of chronic low back pain that worsens when bending forward, bending and lifting, activity, or prolonged sitting. Quality of pain varies, but this pain is chronic and resistant to conservative treatments.
What are the causes of vertebrogenic pain?
There are multiple potential reasons for vertebrogenic pain to begin. Usually this pain is related to a previous injury or degeneration caused by aging.
What are the most common treatments for vertebrogenic pain?
Treatment usually begins with physical therapy, over the counter medication, and chiropractic treatments. Rest may temporarily relieve the pain and steroid injections may have been tried. The Intracept procedure has been proven to be effective for most people with vertebrogenic pain.
How is the procedure performed?
You will be positioned on your stomach on the procedure table. The lower back will be cleaned and numbed with local anesthetic; you will also receive IV anesthesia by an anesthetist. Your surgeon will use fluoroscopy (or X-ray guidance) to place a radiofrequency probe near the basivertebral nerve. This nerve is then ablated and the probe is removed. There is no implant and the procedure takes less than 30 minutes.
What are the risks associated with the Intracept Procedure?
This procedure is generally very safe and effective. As with all procedures there are some risks, including infection, inadequate pain relief, bleeding, and increased pain for a few days after the procedure.