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Vertebrogenic pain is a distinct type of chronic low back pain caused by damage to vertebral endplates that are located above and below a disc. Degenerative wear and tear that occurs with everyday living, along with injuries, may lead damage and inflammation to the disc. Over time, these stresses may also result in damage of the vertebral endplates, leading to inflammation leading to vertebrogenic pain. Vertebrogenic pain is associated with distinct changes on magnetive resonance imaging (MRI) called Modic endplate changes. The basivertebral nerve (BVN), found within the vertebrae (or bones in your spine), carries pain signals from the inflamed endplates to the brain.

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Patients with vertebrogenic pain often describe their pain symptoms to be in the middle of their low back, made worse by physical activity, prolonged sitting, and bending forward or with bending and lifting. These symptoms are generally localized to the lower back only and do not tend to radiate into the legs.

The Intracept® procedure relieves vertebrogenic pain by heating (or ablating) the basivertebral nerve (BVN) with a radiofrequency probe to disrupt pain signals coming from the vertebral endplates. The procedure is a minimally-invasive which generally takes less than one hour. The patient is given twilight anesthesia for comfort during the procedure. Although there may be soreness for a few weeks following the procedure, once the BVN is destroyed it does not grow back. As a result the Intracept® procedure may provide durable low back pain relief.

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