About 900,000 new cases of lower back pain are diagnosed in the United States yearly. While there are various causes of persistent back pain, the majority of cases can be attributed to stress-induced microfractures in the vertebra. This disorder is known as vertebrogenic pain syndrome, and it is characterized by pain signals being transmitted to the brain via the basivertebral nerve, resulting in chronic low back pain. The board-certified physicians at Pain Management NYC use the most innovative techniques such as the Intracept Procedure to stop the pain signals being transmitted through your basivertebral nerve and provide long-term pain relief.
What Is the Intracept Procedure?
The Intracept Procedure is a new outpatient, minimally invasive procedure for chronic vertebrogenic low back pain. Intracept® addresses chronic low back pain by interrupting the transmission of pain signals from the damaged vertebral bones to the brain while preserving the spine’s structure.
What Happens During the Intracept Procedure?
Sedation will be provided through an IV prior to the procedure. You will be laid on your stomach and brought into the procedure room. The skin at the incision site will be cleaned and numbed using a local anesthetic.
Your physician will make a single small incision along your spine through which a tool called an introducer would be inserted. A tube-like instrument will then be passed through it, creating a direct channel to the basivertebral nerve. A specialized probe will then generate radiofrequency energy (heat) that will be run through the channel to effectively disable the nerve and provide a significant improvement in pain and function.
Your physician will then carefully remove the instruments. The incision will be cleaned, stitched, and covered with a bandage.
What can I expect after the Intracept Procedure?
While the anesthesia wears off, you will be transferred to the recovery room, where a nurse will monitor you for up to an hour. After being discharged, you will require someone to drive you home.
Rest is recommended for the remainder of the day. You can resume your regular activities the day after. The incision site may be uncomfortable, and the symptoms felt in the affected area may worsen within a few days after treatment. Consider using cold compresses to ease the discomfort.
You will be instructed to abstain from specific movements and physically demanding activities for a while after the treatment. Before discharging you, your doctor will go over the best plan of action with you.
What Are the Benefits of the Intracept Procedure?
With over two decades of scientific research on the anatomy of the nerve and its involvement in lower back pain, the intercept procedure offers a plethora of benefits for treating chronic back pain, including:
- FDA-approved treatment method
- Great option if conservative treatments fail to provide results
- An outpatient procedure using a tiny incision
- Fast recovery period
- Implant-free and maintains the structure of the spine
- No restrictions put on the patient after the procedure
- Provides durable relief of chronic vertebrogenic low back pain
- Covered by most insurance
Are There Any Contraindications to the Intracept Procedure?
Specific factors indicating a patient should not be considered for the procedure include:
- Being pregnant
- Having a weakened cardiac or pulmonary function
- Having an implanted electronic medical device in the body
- Having a systemic or local infection
- Being under the age of 18
Is the Intracept® Procedure Right for Me?
You may be a candidate for Intracept® if 6 or more months of conservative care have failed to provide adequate relief for your chronic low back pain.
How Long Does the Procedure Take?
The procedure takes about 60 to 90 minutes to complete. Since it’s done on an outpatient basis, you’re able to go home later the same day.
What is the Recovery Time?
Because Intracept® is implant-free and preserves the structure of the spine, the recovery period is usually only a couple of days.
What Are the Outcomes?
According to three clinical trials sponsored by Relievant Medsystems, the company that developed the Intracept Procedure, 400 patients that received the procedure reported a 53% reduction in pain and restoration of function.
You do not have to suffer from persistent low back pain. Schedule a consultation today to find out if this minimally invasive, outpatient pain treatment could be a great option for you.
Boleslav Kosharskyy, MD, is a top-rated, best-in-class interventional pain management doctor. He is board-certified in Anesthesiology, Interventional Pain Medicine, and Palliative Care.
Dr. Kosharskyy is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Rehabilitation Medicine at Albert Einstein Medical College. He’s also the Associate Medical Director of Pain Medicine and Director of Anesthesia for the Joint Replacement Center at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein Medical College.
He is an active member of the American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA), the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA), and the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists (NYSSA)