Basivertebral Nerve Ablation (BVN Ablation) Treatment in New Jersey
Chronic back pain can disrupt every aspect of a patient’s life, from recreation to everyday chores. New Jersey’s most advanced comprehensive spine care center, Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics (CNSO) is well-versed in treating a wide variety of back and spine conditions. For chronic low back pain which does not resolve with conservative treatment, or the standard indicated steroid injections, the pain experts at CNSO have an advanced innovative procedure called basivertebral nerve ablation (BVN) that can help alleviate painful lower back symptoms. CNSO serves patients in Northern NJ and the surrounding area.
Diagnosing and Treating Chronic Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is quite common, with four out of five people experiencing discomfort at some time in their life. The cause of chronic back pain, however, can be difficult to diagnose. Sometimes, there is a clearly identifiable incident, such as an injury from sports, work or an automobile related-accident. Either an injury or arthritis can cause progressive degenerative changes within the spine. Initially, conservative (non-surgical) treatment options should be attempted, such as:
- Hot or cold compresses: Applying ice or a heating pad to the lower back may provide temporary pain relief.
- Physical therapy: A course of structured physical therapy can strengthen back muscles to support the joints of the spine and lend stability to its construct.
- Anti-inflammatory medications: Over-the-counter or prescription anti-inflammatory drugs can help manage lower back pain symptoms.
- Muscle relaxants: Prescription muscle-relaxing medication can reduce back pain.
- Injection treatments: Many patients with lower back pain find that certain steroid injections near the spine can provide relief.
However, some patients with chronic lower back pain try these treatment options and still do not experience long-term pain relief. They may have ongoing symptoms such as muscle spasms, stiffness, or difficulty sitting or standing for long periods.
Vertebral Endplate Damage
Recent studies have shown that vertebral endplates can be a significant source of chronic lower back pain. A vertebral endplate is the area where a vertebra and disc meet. When disc degeneration causes vertebral endplates to become damaged, a person can experience significant chronic pain. Endplate regions that have been damaged tend to have higher basivertebral nerve density, which may be the cause of ongoing lower back pain.
BVN Procedure and Recovery
If despite conservative care options having been exhausted, a patient still experiences lumbar or sacral back pain, they may qualify for a basivertebral nerve ablation (BVN). BVN has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a minimally invasive procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to interrupt pain signals from the basivertebral nerve to the brain. By interrupting the signals, pain can be eliminated. CNSO believes in using any surgical method as a last resort.
Patients may be eligible for BVN if they:
- Have experienced chronic lower back pain for at least six months
- Have not seen positive results from at least six months of conservative treatments
- Show spinal inflammation and swelling on imaging scans (known as Type 1 and Type 2 Modic changes)
The BVN procedure is typically performed in an outpatient setting with sedation. With CNSO spine specialists, it takes less than two hours to complete. First, two very small incisions are placed on the lower back of the patient for access to the basivertebral nerve. They will then place a heat probe on the nerve to eliminate a tiny portion of it with radiofrequency energy. This prevents the nerve from sending pain signals through the spine and into the patient’s brain. This focused procedure prevents the surrounding nerves and tissues from being affected. No implant or permanently placed device near the spine is necessary. Patients are monitored for a short time after the procedure is complete. Patients go home the same day. While some patients find they have immediate pain relief, others will need one to two weeks to see full results.
After the procedure, patients can resume their normal activities within one or two days of rest. Some patients may have a small amount of pain or swelling at the incision site which resolves within 2 – 3 days.
Expert and Personalized Patient Care
The medical staff at CNSO understands that both surgery, as well as minimally invasive surgery, is a major decision. Each patient is thoroughly evaluated, diagnosed, and provided the best treatment option given the stage of their medical condition and their previously attempted care. The best options are always evidence-based techniques that have been medically proven. CNSO’s award-winning pain experts, neurosurgeons, and orthopedic spine surgeons have been educated at the top institutions in the country. They bring their years of experience each time they provide thorough and compassionate care. CNSO has been recognized as NJ’s most comprehensive spine care center.
Learn More About Treatment Options at CNSO
Chronic lower back pain shouldn’t hold patients back. To help patients get back to doing the things they love, the award-winning surgical team at CNSO offers comprehensive treatment options for back and spine conditions. With multiple convenient locations across Northern NJ, CNSO uses state-of-the-art technology and the latest advances in minimally invasive surgical techniques. To learn more about basivertebral nerve ablation and other innovative procedures, contact CNSO to schedule a consultation today.