What is the Intracept Procedure?
Intracept is a minimally-invasive, outpatient procedure that has shown improvement in function and reduction in pain for patients with chronic low back pain. The Intracept procedure targets the basivertebral nerves, located within the vertebrae of the spine, to treat pain directly at its source.
What Does Intracept Treat?
The minimally-invasive Intracept procedure treats chronic low back pain, that has lasted longer than 6 months. Chronic low back pain can be caused or linked to the basivertebral nerve, which send pain signals from the superior and inferior vertebral endplates to the brain. The Intracept procedure targets the basivertebral nerve to provide relief from chronic low back pain.
How Does the Procedure Work?
During the minimally-invasive Intracept procedure, the patient will lie on their stomach. Local or general anesthesia is used to prevent pain and discomfort for the patient. A small incision is made in the lower back, and with the guidance of fluoroscopy, a specialized tool known as an introducer, is aligned to guide the rest of the procedure.
A curved cannula is inserted through the introducer, creating a path for the probe to be inserted. The electronic probe is then inserted through the cannula, and is placed at the trunk of the basivertebral nerve. Radiofrequency current is sent through the probe to ablate, or burn, the nerves. Once the nerves are ablated, these nerves, they are prevented from sending pain signals.
The probe, cannula, and introducer are removed from the patient, and the incision site is closed. The patient is monitored in a recovery room, before being released. The patient will need someone else to drive them home following the procedure. Patients may experience initial discomfort and limited movement; however full recovery is typically completed within 6 weeks.
What are the Risks?
Although the complication rate for the Intracept procedure is low, all surgical procedures have risk of infection, and procedures that uses general or local anesthesia have risks of anesthetic complications. The Intracept procedure is considered to be low risk, however complications including device malfunction, or a catheter moving and possibly becoming blocked exist. The Intracept procedure is a minimally-invasive procedure, which has substantially lower risk of complications, including infection, when compared to open surgery.
Benefits of the Intracept Procedure
For patients with chronic low back pain caused by the basivertebral nerves, this procedure allows for long lasting relief, allowing patients to return to the things they love to do.
For more information on the Intracept procedure, visit Relievant Medsystem’s website at