Texas Spine Consultants, a North Dallas/Collin County-based spine surgery practice, is the first in Texas to utilize the innovative Intracept Procedure, a minimally invasive out-patient treatment for chronic low back pain. Dr. Andrew Park, a partner and surgeon in the practice, performed the first Intracept Procedure in Dallas on Jan 21, 2019. Three other partner/surgeons at Texas Spine Consultants, Dr. Cameron Carmody, Dr. Michael Hennessy, and Dr. Robert Viere also perform the procedure.
“Because of its nominally-invasive, implant-free nature, the Intercept Procedure is extremely attractive for those looking for durable relief from chronic low back pain,” said Dr. Park. “This also means the structure of the spine is better preserved and the recovery time is minimal. I definitely see us using and perfecting this procedure in the future.”
Low back pain affects nearly 30 percent of the U.S. population, which is responsible for 52 million annual visits to hospitals, emergency departments, outpatient clinics, and physician offices at a cost of more than $87 billion annually. For those who currently suffer from chronic low back pain, the primary medical options are physical therapy, medication, or surgical options like spinal fusion or total disc replacement.
The uniqueness of the Intracept Procedure is that it targets the basivertebral nerve, which primarily sends pain signals from the vertebral end-plates adjacent to the discs. Following a 3-5 mm incision, instruments are used to reach the basivertebral nerve. Radiofrequency energy, or heat, then ablates the basivertebral nerve within the vertebral body to stop the transmission of pain signals permanently. The entire procedure takes approximately 60 minutes. Some treated patients report nearly immediate relief of their back pain, according to clinical studies published by Relievant Medsystems, a privately held medical device company headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, who developed the procedure.
In published clinical studies, the Intracept Procedure has produced exceptional results. In fact, in the recent Level 1 Intracept Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT), the outcomes were so statistically and clinically superior in patients treated with the Intracept Procedure — as seen in the highly significant reductions in patient Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores — the independent Data Management Committee recommended that investigators stop patient enrollment in the trial and offer Intracept treatment to patients.
Stopping a trial for superiority is an extremely rare event in the industry.
“We’re excited about being able to offer our patients a viable, clinically effective and FDA-approved alternative in treating chronic low back pain,” said Dr. Robert Viere. “A very significant part of our corporate DNA is to find and master the most state-of-the-art and effective treatments and offer them to our patients. Intracept is both the latest and the greatest option in the market today.”
Relievant Medsystems spent two decades of research in developing the procedure. The ideal treatment candidates are those seeking relief from chronic low back pain of at least six months duration that has not responded to at least six months of conservative care.
As with any medical treatment, it is highly recommended for those interested in the Intercept Procedure to clearly understand all the risks and considerations involved and thoroughly discuss any actions taken with their healthcare professional.