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Banner offers new lower back pain procedure

New same-day procedure provides relief for patients suffering from chronic low back pain

PHOENIX (March 30, 2021) – Banner Health is now offering a new approach to provide relief for patients suffering from chronic low back pain.

The new treatment is the Intracept® Procedure – a minimally invasive, same-day procedure which targets a nerve located in the bones of the spine (vertebrae). The procedure is being provided at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Phoenix.

Banner is the first to offer the Intracept Procedure in Arizona. Interventional pain management specialist, David Currie, MD, is the first to provide the treatment in Tucson. Peter Sunenshine, MD, Banner diagnostic radiology and vascular interventional radiology specialist, provides the treatment in Phoenix.

Both Banner doctors have proven success with patients who have undergone the procedure.

The procedure involves inserting a specialized probe into the vertebrae and using radiofrequency energy (heat) to disable the nerve, rendering it unable to transmit pain signals. Intracept takes approximately 60-90 minutes, is implant-free and preserves future treatment options.

“For pain originating from the vertebrae, patients suffering from debilitating chronic low back pain now have access to a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that provides durable relief for chronic lower back pain,” said Dr. Sunenshine.

The Intracept Procedure is supported by 2 Randomized Control Trials with over 350 patients enrolling in the trials. One trial demonstrated a highly significant difference in pain reduction at 3 months for patients that received the Intracept Procedure compared to patients that received standard care (conservative care). In the other trial patients who received the Intracept Procedure reported a 53% decrease in pain at their 2-year follow up appointments.

“We are proud to be the first in Arizona to offer this new minimally invasive procedure that has resulted in significant improvement in pain and function for our patients. This procedure has proven to an effective treatment,” said Dr. Currie.

Intracept is indicated for patients who have experienced chronic low back pain for at least 6 months and have not responded to at least 6 months of conservative care, and who show certain finding on MRI indicating that they could benefit from the procedure.

Arizona residents interested in learning more about the Intracept Procedure who live in Phoenix can call 602-839-5097 for more information, those in Tucson can call 520-694-8888.

As one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country, the team at Banner Health is committed to ensuring all Banner locations are a safe place for care. Headquartered in Phoenix, Banner Health owns and operates 30 acute-care hospitals and an array of other services, including: Banner Imaging, Banner Telehealth and Banner Urgent Care. Team members are dedicated to protecting the health and safety of patients, be it a routine checkup, elective surgery or an urgent health service. Waiting room and employee workstation layouts maintain proper social distancing; screenings are conducted at hospital entrances to verify that all employees and visitors are well; and, all Banner physicians are equipped to visit patients remotely. Learn more about Banner's commitment to safety at bannerhealth.com/safecare.

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For further information contact us at: media@bannerhealth.com