What are the contraindications for Intracept?

Answered by Willian Lymon

Contraindications for Intracept include:

1. Active systemic or local infection: Intracept should not be used in patients with an active infection, either in the area to be treated or systemically. This is because the procedure can introduce bacteria into the body, potentially worsening the infection or causing it to spread.

2. Pregnancy: Intracept is contraindicated in pregnant patients. The safety of the procedure during pregnancy has not been established, and there is a potential risk to the fetus. It is important to consider alternative treatment options for pregnant patients with chronic low back pain.

3. Skeletally immature patients: Generally, patients who are under 18 years of age are not suitable candidates for Intracept. This is because their spines are still developing, and the long-term effects of the procedure on their growth and development are not well understood.

4. Implantable pulse generators or other electronic implants: Patients who have pacemakers, defibrillators, or other electronic implants are not suitable candidates for Intracept. The procedure involves the use of radiofrequency energy, which may interfere with the functioning of these implants or cause damage.

It is important to thoroughly assess patients for these contraindications before considering Intracept as a treatment option. This may involve taking a detailed medical history, conducting a physical examination, and performing any necessary diagnostic tests.

Risks associated with Intracept include:

1. Infection: As mentioned earlier, there is a risk of introducing infection during the procedure. This can lead to localized infection at the treatment site or systemic infection, which can be serious and require further medical intervention.

2. Bleeding: Intracept is a minimally invasive procedure, but there is still a risk of bleeding, particularly if a blood vessel is inadvertently damaged during the insertion of the device or the delivery of the radiofrequency energy. This can lead to excessive bleeding or hematoma formation.

3. Nerve injury: In rare cases, there is a risk of nerve injury during Intracept. This can result in neurological symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected area. Careful technique and proper training can help minimize this risk.

4. Pain exacerbation: While Intracept aims to alleviate chronic low back pain, there is a possibility that the procedure may not provide the desired pain relief or may even worsen the pain. This can occur due to individual patient factors or technical issues during the procedure.

It is essential for healthcare providers to thoroughly discuss the potential risks and benefits of Intracept with their patients, ensuring they have a clear understanding of the procedure and its potential outcomes. This allows patients to make informed decisions about their treatment options.