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UF Health Pain Medicine Offers New Minimally Invasive Procedure for Back Pain

Knee vertebra

UF Health Pain Medicine is among the first in North Central Florida to offer the Intracept® procedure — a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that is clinically proven to relieve chronic lower back pain.

What pain condition does Intracept® help treat?

“In the past, we were unable to provide treatment for a condition called vertebrogenic pain. This condition is known to cause chronic lower back pain that increases with movements like standing, lifting and bending forward.

This procedure has allowed us to gain access to the nerve in charge of these pain signals and provide a thermal lesion in a safe and permanent way. We are fortunate to be able to provide these types of advanced interventions for pain management here at UF Health,” stated Juan Mora, MD, assistant professor of anesthesiology and medical director for the UF Health Pain Medicine Surgical Center.

How does Intracept® work?

The treatment targets a nerve called the basivertebral nerve located in the bones of the spine (vertebrae). During the procedure, a specialized probe is put into the patient’s vertebrae and uses radiofrequency energy (heat) to disable the nerve, making it unable to send pain signals. The Intracept® procedure takes about 60-90 minutes and is implant-free.

Has Intracept® been proven to work for pain medicine patients?

The Intracept® procedure is supported by multiple clinical studies, including two Level I randomized controlled trials, and five-year data showing patient outcomes last long term. Key findings include:

  • Statistically significant improvements in function and pain versus sham and standard care1,2
  • Improvements post-procedure are strong, lasting more than five years post-treatment3
  • Significant decrease in the number of patients using opioids or injections long term3
  • Nearly 80% of patients indicated they would have the procedure again for the same condition3

What patients would benefit from the Intracept® procedure?

The designated patient for the Intracept® procedure has chronic lower back pain of at least six months duration and has not responded to at least six months of conservative care — such as physical therapy, steroid injections or other pain relief treatments. The Intracept® procedure is currently only available for Medicare Part B patients.

North Florida-area residents interested in learning more about the Intracept® procedure can call 352.265.7777 for more information.


1Fischgrund J et al., Intraosseous Basivertebral Nerve Ablation for the Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain: A Prospective Randomized Double-Blind Sham-Controlled Multicenter Study. European Spine Journal. Epub February 8, 2018.

2Khalil J, Smuck M et al. A Prospective, Randomized, Multi-Center Study of Intraosseous Basivertebral Nerve Ablation for the Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain presented at the American Society of Spine Radiology Annual Symposium; February 22, 2019; Miami, FL.

3Fischgrund JS, et al. Long-term outcomes following intraosseous basivertebral nerve ablation for the treatment of chronic low back pain: 5-year treatment arm results from a prospective randomized double-blind sham-controlled multi-center study. Eur Spine J. epub May 25, 2020.

About the author

Christina Hendricks, MA
Web Designer

For the media

Media contact

Peyton Wesner
Communications Manager for UF Health External Communications (352) 273-9620