What is Intracept?
Intracept relieves chronic low back pain with an outpatient procedure using a needle down the pedicle applying radiofrequency ablation for the Basivertebral nerve in the vertebral body. That decreases pain from the endplates of the discspace. The procedure is a brief outpatient procedure that has no prolonged recovery. The procedure is a very safe one. Once ablated, these nerves no longer transmit pain signals of back pain.
The mechanism of pain relief from recent studies have shown that the vertebral endplate is the source of pain related to disc degeneration with pain transmitted via the nerve to the endplate the basivertebral nerve (BVN). The endplate degeneration results in the release of inﬂammatory mediators that sets up an escalating inﬂammatory response and the appearance of Modic changes at the vertebral endplates seen on MRI.
Prospective randomized Trial with 5 year results
Our best designed clinical trial prospectively randomized 225 chronic LBP patients that showed great pain relief and restored daily activity function immediately and at the 2-year and now the 5 year mark.
Patient Benefits of Intracept procedure:
- brief outpatient procedure
- Implant-free and preserves the structure of the spine
- very good safely profile
- no required time off of work or recovery period
- 5 year success with maintained low disability and pain scores.
- 30% reported no back pain at 5 years.
- Narcotic usage was stopped in over 60% of patients.
- Provides durable relief of chronic low back pain
Candidates for Intracept procedures:
- chronic low back pain (6 months)
- Failure to respond to conservative physical therapy and cortisone injections.
- Involvement of L3-4, L4-5, or L5-S1 with Modic changes on MRI.
- documented by signs of Vacuum disc, endplate changes, inflammation, edema, disruption, and/or fissuring Fibrovascular bone marrow changes.
Despite its advantages Intracept procedure is not recommended for:
- Patients without Modic changes on MRI
- Patients with Modic 3 changes (end-stage sclerosis)
- Patients with Scoliosis
- Patients with severe cardiac or pulmonary compromise
- Patients with active systemic or local infection
- Patients who are pregnant
- Skeletally immature patients (generally < 18 years of age)
- Patients with implantable pulse generators (e.g., pacemakers, defibrillators) or other electronic implants