Intracept/Basivertebral Nerve Ablation
What is the Intracept Procedure?
Intracept is a minimally invasive procedure developed by Relievant to treat chronic low back pain by targeting the basivertebral nerve.
What is the Basivertebral Nerve?
The basivertebral nerve enters the vertebral bodies of the spinal column. Within the vertebral body, the nerve branches and supplies the endplates or the upper and lower surfaces of the vertebral body. When these surfaces undergo damage or degeneration, the nerve fibers at the endplates increase in density, demonstrating a role in the transmission of nerve impulses correlating with chronic back pain.
Who is a candidate for the Intracept Procedure?
The Intracept procedure is ideal if you have chronic low back pain and have not found adequate relief with conservative treatments including rest, medications, physical therapy or steroid injections, but symptoms are not severe enough to warrant invasive spine surgery.
How is the Intracept Procedure Performed?
The Intracept procedure targets the basivertebral nerve for the relief of back pain. This is an outpatient procedure performed under anesthesia. You will lie face down for the procedure. An incision is made over the lower spine and the vertebral body is approached through the pedicle with the help of an introducer cannula. Fluoroscopic (live x-ray) imaging is used to guide the instruments. A curved cannula is used to create a tunnel that extends to the trunk of the basivertebral nerve. A radiofrequency probe is inserted through this tunnel and the basivertebral nerve is ablated thus stopping the transmission of pain signals.
Benefits of the Intracept Procedure
- Minimally invasive procedure
- No implants are used
- Spine structure is preserved
- The long term relief is usually achieved with studies showing significant relief even after 24 months of treatment
As with any surgical procedure, there may be certain risks and complications associated with the Intracept procedure. Your doctor will discuss these with you prior to scheduling the procedure.