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Intracept® Q&A

Atlantic Coast Spine & Pain Center

R. Blake Kline, MD

Interventional Pain Management & Anesthesiologist located in Conway, SC

The Intracept® procedure is indicated for patients who have had:

-chronic low back pain for at least 6 months

-tried conservative care for at least 6 months, and

-MRI shows features consistent with Modic changes - indicating damage at the vertebral endplates has led to inflammation

How does the Intracept® Procedure work?


The Intracept® procedure is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure for patients with vertebrogenic pain.  The procedure targets a specific nerve within the vertebra called the basivertebral nerve (BVN) and has been shown to improve function and relieve pain long-term.  The procedure is implant-free, preserving future treatments for other spine conditions. 

What is Vertebrogenic Pain?

Vertebrogenic pain is a distinct type of chronic low back pain caused by damage to vertebral endplates, the tissue that covers the top and the bottom of each vertebral body and separates it from the disc. Disc degeneration and wear and tear that occur with everyday living, procedures stress on the endplates that damage them leading to inflammation and vertebrogenic pain. The basivertebral nerve (BVN), found within the vertebra, carries pain signals from inflamed endplates to the brain. 

How do patients describe Vertebrogenic Pain?  

The disc and endplate are both part of the anterior spinal column and produce similar low back pain signals. However, endplate pain is associated with distinctive changes on routine MRI called Modic changes. Patients who find relief from the Intracept® procedure often describe pain in the middle of their low back that is made worse by physical activity, prolonged sitting, bending forward, or with bending and lifting.

How is Vertebrogenic Pain treated?

The basivertebral nerve (BVN) enters the bone at the back of the vertebral body (the bones in your spine) and "branches" to the endplates. When endplates are damaged, these nerve endings increase in number and "pick up" pain signals that are sent to the brain through the BVN. The Intracept® procedure relieves vertebrogenic pain by heating the basivertebral nerve (BVN) with a radiofrequency probe to stop it from sending pain signals to the brain

How long does pain relief last?

Clinical evidence demonstrates the majority of patients experience significant improvements in function and pain 3 months post-procedure that are sustained more than 5 years after a single treatment.

More Intracept® information and Animation Video