What is Intracept?

The Intracept Procedure is a radiofrequency ablation treatment for lower back pain. It involves the use of specialized instruments that can reach the spinal nerves inside the vertebrae and heat them using radio frequency energy.Intracept specifically targets the basivertebral nerve (BVN) in the middle of the vertebra that sends pain signals to your brain. The BVN serves the vertebral body endplates, where the bony vertebra joins the spongy disc. This is a common location for chronic lower back pain.When the radiofrequency energy heats the BVN to a certain temperature, it causes enough damage to stop the nerves from transmitting any more pain signals. After your Intracept treatment, you could benefit from a noticeable, long-lasting reduction in your back pain.

Step 1: Access the Pedicle

Step One: Access the Pedicle

Step 2: Create the Channel

Step Two: Create the Channel

Step 3: Place the RF Probe

Step Three: Place the RF Probe

Step 4: Ablate the BVN

Step Four: Ablate the BVN

Why might I need the Intracept procedure?

You might need to undergo treatment with Intracept if your lower back pain is causing disabling pain, weakness, or stiffness.
At Pacific Sports and Spine, conservative measures such as physical therapy, medication and activity modification are often highly successful in improving lower back pain when you have conditions such as:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Chronic Low Back Pain

For patients whose pain doesn’t improve, there are other interventions. These include a range of spinal injections containing steroids to reduce inflammation, a local anesthetic to block the pain temporarily, or a mixture of both.

If, after trying these treatments for several months, you aren’t feeling any benefit, radiofrequency ablation with Intracept is the next step.

How long does it take for Intracept treatment to work?

It normally takes a week or two to start feeling the effects of the Intracept treatment, although it can differ between patients. The results also vary, so you may experience a significant improvement or only feel a little better.
Over time, the nerves Intracept destroys can grow back. This may take months or even longer, and some patients are still reporting treatment benefits after several years.

If your chronic lower back pain isn’t responding to other nonsurgical treatments, the Intracept Procedure may provide the solution. Find out more by calling Pacific Sports & Spine today.