LifeBridge Health Offering New Radiofrequency Treatment for Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain

Health system is first in Maryland to offer minimally invasive Intracept® procedure, which targets pain cause by a nerve in the lower spine

Baltimore, MD- Sinai Hospital’s Center for Pain Treatment and Regenerative Medicine, part of the Sinai Rehabilitation Center, is now offering a new minimally invasive procedure to provide long-lasting relief to some patients suffering with chronic low back pain. The Intracept procedure uses radiofrequency technology to heat a specific nerve in the bone of the spine, making it unable to transmit pain signals.

“Constant low back pain is extremely frustrating as it can disrupt everything in your life: your hobbies, your sleep and your daily activities. This procedure could be a real game changer for some patients who have gone for years without getting significant relief from medications, physical therapy, injections or even surgery,” says Thomas Lee, M.D., medical director of the Center for Pain Treatment and Regenerative Medicine.

The Intracept procedure addresses pain caused by a specific nerve in the bone (vertebra) of the spine called the basivertebral nerve. Patients are carefully screened to ensure they meet the criteria for the procedure. The suitable patient has had chronic-ongoing low back pain for at least six months and has not had sufficient pain reduction from conservative treatments such as physical therapy, medication or injections. There can be swelling and inflammation that is irritating the nerve in the vertebra.

Basivertebral nerve (image courtesy: Relievant)
Basivertebral nerve (image courtesy: Relievant)

During the 90-120 minute-outpatient procedure, the physician uses a specialized probe to reach that nerve and apply radiofrequency heat to disable the nerve and bring pain relief. The procedure is done under general anesthesia.

“One of my patients had debilitating back pain and had tried everything. Starting two to three weeks after Intracept procedure, he said he was performing household chores pain-free for the first time in two decades,” adds Dr. Lee.

The Intracept procedure is less invasive compared to surgeries. Because Intracept does not use an implant, it preserves future treatment options for other spine conditions.

“When creating a care plan for patients, it is beneficial to have as many options as possible available at your disposal. This procedure is another tool in our arsenal to more efficiently and effectively treat lower back pain,” explains Scott E. Brown, M.D., medical director of the Sinai Rehabilitation Center at LifeBridge Health.

To learn more about the procedure or the Center for Pain Treatment and Regenerative Medicine, call 410-601-6597 or visit our Intracept webpage.

About LifeBridge Health
LifeBridge Health is one of the largest, most comprehensive providers of health services in Maryland. LifeBridge health includes Sinai Hospital, Northwest Hospital, Carroll Hospital, Grace Medical Center, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, and related subsidiaries and affiliates, including ExpressCare Urgent Care Centers and LifeBridge Health & Fitness. For more information, visit

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