Local Doctor Offers Breakthrough Treatment for Patients with Chronic Lower Back Pain

Dr. Sergio Hickey—dual board certified and fellowship trained in anesthesiology and interventional pain medicine—is among the select few physicians in the area who provide an innovative solution for patients grappling with chronic low back pain. Utilizing the Intracept® procedure, Dr. Hickey offers a minimally invasive approach clinically proven to alleviate chronic low back pain by targeting a nerve situated within the spinal vertebrae.

During this straightforward procedure, Dr. Hickey inserts a specialized probe into the vertebrae and applies radiofrequency energy (heat) to deactivate the nerve, thereby halting the transmission of pain signals. The Intracept procedure, lasting approximately 60 to 90 minutes, does not involve any implants.

Supported by multiple clinical studies, including two Level I randomized controlled trials, the Intracept procedure demonstrates long-term patient outcomes, with five-year data showcasing enduring benefits. These studies reveal several advantages of the procedure:

  • Significant enhancements in function and pain compared to sham and standard care.
  • Sustained improvements post-procedure, lasting over five years.
  • Substantial reduction in long-term opioid or injection usage.
  • Nearly 80% of patients expressing willingness to undergo the procedure again for the same condition.

“The Intracept procedure presents an exciting minimally invasive option, scientifically proven to alleviate chronic lower back pain,” Dr. Hickey remarked. “Until now, aside from surgery, we lacked effective solutions for patients enduring debilitating chronic low back pain resistant to conservative therapy. With the Intracept procedure, we are pioneering a new approach to managing chronic low back pain. The notable relief in pain and improvement in function demonstrated by the Intracept procedure underscore its effectiveness.”

The ideal candidate for the Intracept procedure is someone who has experienced chronic low back pain for at least six months, hasn’t responded to at least six months of conservative care, and presents with degenerative endplate changes consistent with Type 1 or Type 2 Modic changes at L3 through S1 on an MRI.

About Dr. Sergio Hickey

We are pleased to introduce Dr. Sergio Hickey, who holds dual board certification in interventional pain medicine and anesthesiology. Dr. Hickey is dedicated to employing state-of-the-art minimally invasive techniques to provide long-term relief for a wide range of conditions. His repertoire includes various therapies covering major body regions, such as spinal epidurals, spinal cord stimulation, dorsal root ganglion stimulation, peripheral nerve stimulation, spinal and peripheral nerve ablation, minimally invasive lumbar decompression and fusion, and Botox for migraines. He addresses an extensive array of conditions, including back and neck pain, spinal arthritis, degenerative disc disease, neuropathic pain, arthritis, pain stemming from traumatic or chronic injury, and pain associated with cancer.

Dr. Hickey earned his BSc in Biology from Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR, and his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pittsburgh, PA. Following his service as a Naval Officer practicing general medicine, he completed his Residency in Anesthesiology and a Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Interventional Pain Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

Se habla Español.

Fischgrund J et al., Intraosseous Basivertebral Nerve Ablation for the Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain: A Prospective Randomized Double-Blind Sham-Controlled Multicenter Study. European Spine Journal. Epub February 8, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-018-5496-1
Khalil J, Smuck M, Koreckij T, Keel J, Beall D, Goodman B, Kalapos K, Nguyen D, Garfin S. A Prospective, Randomized, Multi-Center Study of Intraosseous Basivertebral Nerve Ablation for the Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain presented at the American Society of Spine Radiology Annual Symposium; February 22, 2019; Miami, FL.
Fischgrund JS, Rhyne A, Macadaeg K, Moore G, Kamrava E, Yeung C, et al. Long-term outcomes following intraosseous basivertebral nerve ablation for the treatment of chronic low back pain: 5-year treatment arm results from a prospective randomized double-blind sham-controlled multi-center study. Eur Spine J. epub May 25, 2020. https://doi.org/10.
Our content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

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