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Intracept Procedure

Identifying the root cause of chronic lower back pain can be challenging, especially if it persists for over six months without responding to conservative treatments. Remedy Pain Solutions is a state-of-the-art medical center specializing in interventional, regenerative, and conservative treatments, such as epidural injections, facet injections, radiofrequency ablation, etc. However, if conservative treatments don’t yield results, we use the cutting-edge Intracept procedure to address the true source of lower back pain.

Please schedule a consultation with the interventional pain specialists at our offices in Marina del Rey or Manhattan Beach to discuss your lower back pain treatment options.

What is the Intracept Procedure?

The Intracept Procedure is an outpatient, minimally-invasive, and implant-free procedure that targets the basivertebral nerve in the vertebrae to provide lower back pain relief. This procedure essentially intercepts and interrupts the transmission of pain signals from the internal nerve associated with the affected vertebral bone to the spinal cord.

Clinical studies have shown that pain scores improve by 53% over 24 months for patients receiving this treatment. Our interventional pain specialists conduct thorough examinations and tests to ensure you’re a viable candidate for this procedure.

What Does the Intracept Procedure Treat?

The Intracept Procedure provides relief from chronic vertebrogenic lower back pain, i.e., the pain associated with lumbar vertebral endplate change in the basivertebral nerve. The vertebral endplates line the top and bottom of all the vertebrae, serving as a soft cushion between the bone and the intervertebral discs. The vertebral endplates in the lumbar are at a high risk of damage because the lower back supports the weight of the entire spine. The nerves threading through the vertebral bodies in the lumbar region can often get compressed due to a damaged vertebral endplate, leading to painful sensations.

The Intracept Procedure interferes with the transmission of pain signals from these nerves to the spinal cord, thereby providing pain relief.

Benefits of the Intracept Procedure

  • Suitable treatment option for patients who don’t respond to conservative treatments.
  • Performed as an in-office and outpatient procedure.
  • Minimally invasive procedure that only includes a small incision.
  • The structure of the spine isn’t changed or affected.
  • No need for implants or medical devices.
  • Provides durable and consistent relief from lower back pain.

You’re a Candidate for Intracept if You…

  • Have had chronic low back pain for at least 6 months.
  • Have not responded to conservative treatments for 6 months.
  • Have Type 1 Modic changes on an MRI, such as inflammation, vertebral endplate changes, edema, vascularized fibrous tissues within the marrow, disruption and fissuring of the endplate, or hypointensive signals.
  • Have Type 2 Modic changes on an MRI, such as changes to the vertebral body marrow and hyperintensive signals.

You’re NOT a Candidate for Intracept if…

  • You have severe cardiac or pulmonary problems.
  • The targeted region is within 10mms from a structure that shouldn’t be affected, such as the spinal canal.
  • You’re pregnant.
  • You have an active infection in the targeted area.
  • You’re less than 18 years of age.
  • You have electronic implants or implantable pulse generators.
  • There’s a risk of unintended tissue damage.

The interventional pain specialists at Remedy Pain Solutions always perform thorough investigations to ensure you’re a suitable candidate for the Intracept procedure. We discuss your symptoms, review your health history, run numerous imaging tests, such as MRIs, CT scans, and X-rays, to ensure you don’t exhibit any contraindications for the procedure. We also attempt conservative treatments before recommending the Intracept procedure. You can only be deemed eligible for the procedure if at least 6 months of conservative care fail to yield results.

The Intracept Procedure

The Intracept procedure is performed as a minimally invasive and outpatient procedure that concludes in approximately 1 hour 20 minutes. After applying local anesthesia, the pain specialist makes a small 3-5mm incision in the lower back to insert the Intracept Introducer Cannula under fluoroscopic guidance. The cannula creates a channel in the trunk of the targeted basivertebral nerve. A radiofrequency probe is driven into the curved path and placed at the nerve. Finally, the radiofrequency generator is activated to ablate (burn) the basivertebral nerve. Once the nerve is burnt, it can’t transmit pain signals anymore, relieving lower back pain.