Pain Unplugged: Intracept Revolutionizes Back Relief

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Story by Ann E. Butenas

Intracept, the groundbreaking procedure at the forefront of chronic low back pain relief, has sparked hope among sufferers worldwide. This innovative technique, known as Basivertebral Nerve Ablation, is reshaping the landscape of pain management, providing an alternative solution for those plagued by chronic back pain.We consulted with leading board-certified physiatrist,

C. Lan Fotopoulos, MD of Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance, to unravel the intricacies of Intracept and Basivertebral Nerve Ablation, shedding light on this transformative treatment option that promises relief to countless individuals enduring persistent discomfort.

“How can Innovative Basivertebral Nerve Ablation Offer Hope for Chronic Low Back Pain Sufferers.?”

Chronic low back pain, which can be a highly debilitating condition, affects countless people around the world. When conventional treatments fail – such as injections, physical therapy, and medication – innovative approaches like Intracept, also known as Basivertebral Nerve Ablation, can be a potential solution.

Chronic low back pain differs from the acute variety in that it persists for over three months or longer and may continue to worsen over the course of time. Various causes include herniated discs, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and facet joint arthritis, all of which can severely impact daily life and well-being.


Role of Basivertebral Nerves

Basivertebral nerves are tiny sensory nerves that carry messages of pain from the bones in your spine. With chronic low back pain, these nerves can become overly sensitive, leading to ongoing pain even after underlying structural issues have improved.


Intracept: A Revolutionary Approach

Intracept is an FDA-approved, minimally invasive, out-patient procedure targeting and ablating these basivertebral nerves to disrupt pain signals and provide relief for chronic low back pain. This procedure does not require any implants or alterations to the spinal structure, and it has been clinically proven to provide fast and ongoing relief from back pain.


Identifying a Good Candidate for Intracept

This procedure is ideal for people experiencing low back pain without sciatic predominance, especially when pain is exacerbated by bending, sitting, and standing. To be eligible for this procedure, patients must have an MRI evidencing modic changes, which indicate a manifestation of degenerative disc disease. Additionally, patients must meet specific criteria for insurance approval, including three months of pain duration, presence of those modic changes on MRI, and unsuccessful attempts with other approaches such as physical therapy, medication, or injections.


The procedure involves the following steps:

Patient Selection: Not everyone qualifies for Intracept; a specialist evaluates eligibility based on the pain’s origin in the basivertebral nerves.

Preparation: The procedure uses local anesthesia, with patients often remaining awake to provide real-time feedback to ensure precise nerve targeting.

Access and Ablation: A specialized device is inserted into the affected vertebral body using real-time X-ray guidance. Radiofrequency energy is then used to thermally destroy the basivertebral nerves, halting pain transmission.


Post-Procedure Recovery: Intracept is an outpatient procedure, allowing patients to return home the same day. Recovery is quicker than traditional surgery, with most resuming light activities within days to weeks.

 


Benefits of Intracept

Intracept offers several advantages for chronic low back pain treatment:

Minimally Invasive: Smaller incisions, less tissue damage, and quicker recovery compared to traditional open surgery.

Targeted Pain Relief: Intracept specifically addresses the basivertebral nerves, potentially offering long-lasting pain relief.

Preservation of Spinal Stability: It doesn’t involve removing or altering spinal structures, helping maintain stability.

Quick Recovery: Many experience rapid pain relief and a shorter recovery period.


Considerations and Limitations

Overall, Intracept offers a new way to treat long-lasting lower back pain. It works by precisely pinpointing and eliminating the small nerves in your spine responsible for transmitting pain signals. This can lead to significant pain relief and an overall improvement in your quality of life. According to Dr. Fotopoulos, this procedure has good data behind it and practical benefits.

While Intracept shows promise, complete pain relief isn’t guaranteed, and results vary among individuals. Further, just as with any medical procedure, potential risks and complications could arise. Consultation with a spine specialist is essential before deciding to undergo this procedure. Always rely on healthcare professionals for personalized guidance based on your personal situation.

For more information on Intracept/Basivertebral Nerve Ablation and to contact C. LanFotopoulos, MD

Visit KCORTHOALLIANCE.COM or call913-319-7678 Ext. 3109

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