The Intracept Procedure By Relievant

Innovative Pain Specialists -  - Pain Management Specialist

Innovative Pain Specialists

Pain Management Specialists & Spine Specialists located in Arlington Heights, IL & Libertyville, IL

If you have chronic low back pain without significant pain into your leg, it could be caused by inflammation, edema, and degenerative disc disease leading to vertebral endplate changes in your spine.  At Innovative Pain Specialists in Arlington Heights and Libertyville, Illinois, board-certified pain management specialists, Paul Marsiglia, DO and Demetrios Louis, MD, offer the latest cutting-edge technique to manage your chronic low back pain.  The Intracept procedures is a minimally invasive procedure that will alleviate discomfort and restore your quality of life without the need for a lumbar fusion surgery. 

Call the our office to learn more or book an appointment online today.

The Intracept Procedure Q&A

What is the Intracept Procedure?

The Intracept Procedure (also known as Radiofrequency Ablation of the basivertebral nerve) is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat Vertebrogenic pain, or pain coming from degenerative discs and endplates in your spine.  Your pain specialist will make a very tiny incision and insert a cannula into the vertebrae under x-ray guidance.  A probe is then inserted through this cannula to access the basivertebral nerve within the vertebrae.  The basivertebral nerve is a sensory nerve that innervates the endplate, which is the portion of your vertebrae that comes into close contact with your intervertebral disc.  Once the probe is in close proximity to the basivertebral nerve, your physician will use Radiofrequency Ablation to disrupt the function of the basivertebral nerve and alleviate your chronic low back pain. 

What are the symptoms of Vertebrogenic pain and Degenerative Disc Disease?

Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Low back pain greater than 6 months
  • Buttocks pain
  • Pain worse with sitting
  • Pain that worsens with leaning forward
  • Pain despite epidural injections and traditional radiofrequency ablation

Complications with untreated Vertebrogenic pain might include worsening pain, insomnia, and depression.

What are the risk factors for degenerative disc disease or Vertebrogenic pain?

Chronic low back pain due to degenerative disc disease and Vertebrogenic pain can happen to anyone, but common risk factors include:

  • Older age
  • Arthritis
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Family history 
  • Obesity

You can’t always prevent Vertebrogenic pain, but adopting healthy habits can help. Maintain a healthy weight, eat nutritious foods, and get regular exercise.

Is the Intracept procedure right for me?

To determine if you’re a candidate for the Intracept Procedure at Innovative Pain Specialists, your provider will discuss your medical history, review your symptoms, check your vital signs, and complete a physical exam.  It is also very important that you have an MRI of the lumbar spine. 

Your physician may also order blood tests, X-rays, and other imaging procedures in order to properly diagnose your condition. 

What should I expect during the Intracept Procedure?

During the Intracept Procedure, you will be provided with general anesthesia in order to help you fall asleep. Under imaging guidance, your physician will make a small incision near your lower back and place a small tube (or cannula) into the affected vertebrae.  At this point the probe is inserted through the cannula and your physician will perform radiofrequency ablation of the basivertebral nerve.  After several minutes, the radiofrequency ablation of the nerve is complete and the cannula is removed.  After the procedure, which usually lasts about 45 minutes, your specialist closes the incision with a simple bandage.  There are no sutures or large incisions. 

What happens after the procedure?

After undergoing the Intracept Procedure, you will go home the same day.  Your recovery plan often includes low impact activity, getting plenty of rest, and possibly undergoing physical therapy as needed. You can ice the treatment area if your surgeon recommends it. Recovery from the procedures is typically 1-2 weeks as there is very little post-operative pain.  However, the relief in your chronic low back pain might not be noticeable until up to 4 weeks after the procedure. 

Can I see a video illustrating the procedure?

Sure!  Please visit this link to view the procedure:


To find out if you’re a candidate for the Intracept Procedure at Innovative Pain Specialists, call the nearest office or schedule an appointment online today.