Meadville, P.A., – Meadville Medical Center (MMC) announces that the first Intracept procedure was performed on February 12, 2021 at MMC by Haibin Wang, M.D., Ph.D, Pain Management Physician at Meadville Pain Management, Meadville.
Haibin Wang, M.D., Ph.D., noted “I am very excited to be able to offer this technology to the community, and I am looking forward to helping more patients with chronic lower back pain.”
Chronic lower back pain is one of the most common clinical complaints, and changes in the lumbar vertebral endplate can be one of the many causes. The vertebral endplate is the transition region between a vertebral body and the intervertebral disc. It is innervated by the basivertebral nerve. Degenerative processes can disrupt the integrity of vertebral endplate. In MRI images, these are called Modic changes. As a result, the basivertibral nerve overgrows and becomes sensitized. The mechanical force from lumbar activity can activate those sensitized nerves and produce axial type lower back pain.
The Intracept procedure is a cutting-edge technology, specifically designed for treating vertebral endplate-induced lower back pain. Patients who have over six months of chronic axial lower back pain, have failed conservative treatments and have specific Modic changes on lumbar MRI, may become candidates for the Intracept procedure.
Using a minimally invasive approach, the physician places a special type of electrode next to the basivertebral nerve within the vertebral body to ablate the nerve. Once the nerve is ablated, patients are expected to achieve long term relief for their axial lower back pain.
The Intracept procedure is done as an outpatient under sedation. A typical case takes about 1-2 hours. There is no incision, no post-operational recovery or physical therapy needed. Several randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials have shown that the Intracept procedure is safe and effective for appropriate candidates.