AMSTERDAM AMSTERDAM St. Mary’s Healthcare has introduced a new method of managing chronic back pain. The hope is that it can assist patients who haven’t found relief from other avenues.

The spinal intracept lies between the available options which is a minimally-invasive procedure that is a mix of physical therapy at the gentle end and surgical removal discs or fusions of vertebrae on the stronger end.

The issue is that not all patients will be able to respond to surgery or physical therapy according to the Dr. Joseph Popper, the orthopedic surgeon who conducted the very first spinal incision surgery at St. Mary’s on Aug. 3.

“This is a clearly defined group of patients,” he said, who suffer from a form of spinal degeneration known as modic changes. In these patients, intracept provides the possibility of pain reduction or even elimination.

The process involves threading two needles through skin and into an opening inside the bony protrusion the vertebra affected.

The needles’ tips are heated for about 15 minutes, leaving two scars of 6 millimeters along the nerve route from where pain originates.

Scar tissue isn’t able to conduct electricity it doesn’t conduct electricity. nerve impulses are electric. Therefore, if the procedure goes well it is likely that the nerve impulse isn’t able to move through the low back towards the brain and the brain won’t be aware that there’s pain in the area.

Nerve impulses that travel to and from different parts of the body are carried out through other routes.

“About three-quarters of all people should experience complete relief from pain,” Popper said. “That is usually the person who is younger, in their 30s to 40s, maybe 50s, who has an average-looking spine but has one disc issue.”

He went on to say: “10% see no benefits, and it’s difficult to figure out what the reason. It’s clear that this wasn’t the cause of pain.”

The remainder, Popper said, will experience a partial relief, which is from 25% to 75 percent reduction in discomfort.

There’s a little gray zone as to who belongs into which category, and why.

“Pain generally is incredibly complicated,” Popper said. “A number of psychosocial elements are at play but they aren’t looked at. We’re able to go by the MRI and figure out who’s likely to be a suitable person to do this.”

Many Americans have lower back discomfort, however the majority will experience relief within 4 weeks of the beginning to feel better, and do not require treatment.

The chronic suffererssuffering for six months or more require the greatest help, Popper said. The number of them is estimated to be 30 million.

Alternative treatments for conservative conditions like prescription painkillers, physical therapy and recommendations for weight loss and core-strengthening exercises are the most effective options and can be used by a quarter to three-quarters percent of people.

If you are still suffering There are more effective options like pain injections, epidurals, or muscle relaxants.

Popper has started with a process where stem cells taken from the bone marrow of the patient are injectable back into the discs in need of repair within the patient’s spine However, Popper doesn’t have any information about its efficacy.

In the most severe instances, surgery is an alternative.

“I perform the entire spectrum of spine surgery.” Popper said, “laminectomy decompression spinal Fusion.”

The results of spinal fusion are mixed with modic changes. In this case, the vertebra’s end plate vertebra begins to weaken and the adjacent disc begins leakage.

A specific receptor located in the final plate called the basivertebral nerve is the source of pain in this disease. If it is closed off by the intracept, patients will experience less pain in some weeks. Because it’s an un-sheathed nerve the nerve won’t be able to regenerate and start sending pain signals once more.

There could be a reason that causes pain in other parts of the back one day however, the surgically ablated basivertebral nerve is now completely blocked.

This could lead to a secondary issue: If there is no any pain or discomfort as a warning sign one could believe it’s okay to return to the activities that could have led to the issue in the first place.

“Obviously there’s no way to know what’s behind the nerve in the area, but” there’s a reasonfor it, Popper stated. “By taking the nerve away, you’re loosing some of the feedback.”

A man aged 44 who suffered from back discomfort since two decades was Popper’s latest intracept patient. The procedure provided relief.

“That is why he doesn’t allow him to get carried away and lift anything,” he said. “He’s very cautious about what the things he does.”

There’s not a specific trigger that causes low back pain, he explained. Traumatic impact, overexertion or family history could be contributing factors, as could the stressors in one’s own life. His patients range from mild to severe.

“I have seen some who are powerlifters, and others who are physically laborers, warehouse workers and warehouse workers, but there are also many people who are sedentary and suffer from pain,” Popper said.

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