Southwest Spine and Pain is excited to offer a new approach to provide relief for patients suffering from chronic low back pain (CLBP).
Overview & Procedure
The Intracept procedure (basivertebral nerve ablation) is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that targets a nerve located in the bones of the spine (vertebrae). The Intracept procedure is indicated for patients who have had chronic low back pain for at least six months, have tried conservative care, and whose MRI shows features consistent with Modic changes – indicating damage at the vertebral endplates that has led to chronic inflammation. Modic changes are a common finding in patients that suffer from low back pain and can be easily seen on a standard MRI. The Intracept procedure is supported by several Randomized Control Trials that demonstrated sustained relief of axial back pain for over 5 years. In the clinical trials, patients reported 60-80% reduction in pain.
An Intracept procedure (basivertebral nerve ablation) is performed in an outpatient surgery center or hospital. During the procedure, a Southwest Spine and Pain provider will advance a specialized probe into the vertebrae and use radiofrequency energy (heat) to disable the nerve, rendering it unable to transmit pain signals. Intracept takes approximately 60-90 minutes and does not involve an implant or change the structure of the spine. It is typically performed under a general anesthetic or sedation depending on the patient’s needs.
Immediately after the procedure, patients are sent to a separate room to recover. During this time, the patient’s vitals are monitored for any signs of an adverse reaction. Later that day, the patient will go home after they are given self-care instructions. An adult family member or friend will need to drive the patient home. It is recommended the patient be monitored 24 hours after receiving IV sedation. A prescription for pain medication or other medications will be sent to the pharmacy following the procedure to be filled right away. Use ice at least for the first 48 hours; however, continue to use it as needed after that. An appointment should be scheduled 7-13 days postoperatively. If not already scheduled, please contact the surgeon's office. Patients should report increased pain, fever, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, foul-smelling drainage from the incision, and any sign of an infection to their Southwest Spine and Pain Center physicians immediately.