Intracept Procedure: Chronic Lower Back Pain


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.

1.  Access the pedicle

Under fluoroscopic guidance, the Intracept Introducer Cannula is advanced through the pedicle

2. Create Channel

The Intracept Curved Cannula is utilized to create a channel to the trunk of the basivertebral nerve

3. Place the Probe

The Intracept Radiofrequency Probe is inserted into the curved path and placed at the basivertebral nerve

4. Ablate the BVN

The Relievant Radiofrequency Generator is utilized to ablate the basivertebral nerve


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

How Description of the problem of low back pain and the Intracept treatment of
ablation of the Basivertebral nerve stopping the low back pain signals.


Allison tells her back pain story and was so much improved with the Intracept procedure. She is ready to travel, exercise, and play on the floor with grandkids.


James relates his chronic back pain story and after intracept procedure returns to full activities in the gym and boating activities. A patient testimonial where chronic daily back pain was relieved by the Intracept procedure. The back pain is gone and he has gradually increased exercise activity and returned to normal daily activities.


Kourtney tells her back pain story and it has a happy ending! A patient testimonial where chronic daily back pain was relieved by the Intracept procedure. Her pain is gone and she has gradually increased her exercise and returned to normal daily activities.


Animated description of the Intracept procedure to ablate the basivertebral. Nerve and stop the perception of the low back pain.