Understanding Vertebrogenic Pain and the Intracept® Procedure



Vertebrogenic pain, what is it?

Vertebrogenic pain is a unique form of chronic lower back discomfort, stemming from damage to the vertebral endplates.

These endplates, which separate the vertebral body from the disc, can be damaged due to disc degeneration or everyday wear and tear.

This damage causes inflammation, which in turn triggers vertebrogenic pain. The basivertebral nerve (BVN), located within the vertebrae, is responsible for transmitting these pain signals from the inflamed endplates to the brain.



How is Vertebrogenic Pain Experienced?

Vertebrogenic pain shares similarities with the discomfort originating from the anterior spinal column. However, pain from the endplates is linked with unique MRI-visible changes known as Modic changes.

Patients who have undergone the Intracept Procedure often report a centralized lower back pain that intensifies with physical activity, prolonged sitting, or movements like bending forward or lifting.


Treatment for Vertebrogenic Pain: The Intracept® Procedure

The basivertebral nerve (BVN) branches out to the endplates from the back of the vertebral body. When these endplates are damaged, the nerve endings multiply and start transmitting pain signals via the BVN to the brain.

The Intracept® Procedure offers relief from vertebrogenic pain by using a radiofrequency probe to heat the BVN, thereby disrupting its ability to send pain signals to the brain.


The Intracept® Procedure: How Does It Work?

The Intracept® Procedure is a minimally invasive, implant-free treatment that maintains the structural integrity of the spine. It is an outpatient procedure typically performed under anesthesia, with a duration of about an hour.

The procedure has received FDA clearance and has been proven to be safe, effective, and long-lasting in multiple studies.



Duration of Pain Relief Post-Intracept® Procedure

Clinical studies have shown that a significant number of patients report considerable improvements in pain and function three months post-procedure. These improvements have been observed to last for over five years following a single treatment session.


Who is Eligible for the Intracept® Procedure?

The Intracept® Procedure is recommended for patients who:

  • Have experienced chronic lower back pain for a minimum of six months,
  • Have pursued conservative care for at least six months, and
  • Have MRI results showing Modic changes, indicative of inflammation due to damage at the vertebral endplates.

As with any medical procedure, the Intracept Procedure carries certain risks which should be discussed between the patient and their physician. Contact Performance Pain and Sports Medicine today to learn more.

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