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Novel Basivertebral Nerve Ablation Provides Lasting Relief for Chronic Back Pain

September 13, 2023
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To provide longer-lasting relief for patients suffering vertebrogenic back pain, interventional pain management specialists at Orlando Health Neuroscience Institute are using the novel Intracept® Procedure. This minimally invasive technique delivers targeted radiofrequency energy to the basivertebral nerve located in the vertebrae, preventing it from transmitting pain signals to the brain.

The novel therapy treats patients experiencing chronic lower-back pain that does not radiate into the leg and for whom alternatives such as physical therapy, cortisone injections, muscle relaxants and facet ablation have failed. Fluoroscopic guidance is used to advance the cannula assembly through the pedicle to create a channel to the basivertebral nerve’s trunk. A radiofrequency probe is then inserted into the channel to ablate the nerve and disrupt its pain signal. Patients go home the same day with minimal pain and quick recovery times.

Neil Patel, MD
Neil Patel, MD

“Intracept is designed for those patients who honestly have tried traditional pain procedures or facet ablations with no relief,” says Neil Patel, MD, a fellowship-trained interventional pain specialist with Orlando Health Neuroscience Institute. “The procedure specifically focuses on the basivertebral nerve, ablating the innervation from the two bones rubbing against each other due to degenerative disc disease. We look for a biomarker of Modic changes or changes in the endplates in the spine.

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“Candidates are confirmed when chronic anterior column symptoms, most commonly related to flexion and weight bearing, persist after failed conservative measures and positive confirmation of radiographic vertebral body end plate changes are identified,” says Dr. Patel. “It’s an implant-free, minimally invasive outpatient procedure specifically focused on ablating the basivertebral nerve and has been proven to improve function and relieve pain long term.”

Active in research, certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology and aNovel Basivertebral Nerve 3 web presenter at professional conferences, Dr. Patel was an early adopter of this advanced technique. “The data behind this procedure is based on Level One randomized controlled trials that have monitored patients for pain-relief durability for more than five years,” says Dr. Patel. “Before Intracept, there was little relief for patients with vertebrogenic pain, and none of the therapies were long-lasting. Now, we have a solution backed by data, evidence and experience. I'm getting excellent results for my patients.”

The Orlando Health Neuroscience Institute team of award-winning pain specialists focuses on the latest minimally invasive treatments for a broad range of chronic conditions. With 45 physicians and over 20 advanced practice providers, the institute is home to Central Florida’s only Joint Commission-certified Designated Spine Center of Excellence.

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