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Beaumont's tested procedure could eliminate your chronic back pain

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Posted at 12:27 PM, Mar 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-27 14:13:50-04

(WXYZ) — Back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to their doctors, and according to the National Institutes of Health, 80 percent of adults will experience low back pain during their lives.

But one Berkley woman said Beaumont's minimally invasive procedure gave her life back.

Every morning, Erin Marchese faced a major challenge when pulling back the covers on her bed: getting up on her feet.

“I got out of bed like a 90-year-old,” Marchese said. “I couldn’t roll over.”

For four years, she tried different treatments to relieve her pain: physical therapy, injections, acupuncture and acupressure. Marchese, a mother, wife and nurse practitioner, in her 30s, said her back pain was almost constant.

“It definitely wears you down and changes your mood,” she said. “You’re stiff and hurting all the time – sitting, standing.”

She learned about a new minimally invasive back treatment Beaumont orthopedic spine specialists were studying and was encouraged to check it out. The procedure uses radio frequency energy to disable the targeted-nerve, called the basivertebral nerve, responsible for low back pain.

“The outpatient procedure takes place under local anesthesia with mild sedation," said Dr.Khalil. "Through a small opening in the patient’s back and under X-ray guidance, an access tube is inserted into the bony structure in the lower spine. Then, radio frequency energy is transmitted through the device with the goal to disconnect or disable the nerve signal causing pain. This surgery takes about 45-60 minutes.”

On Feb. 28, 2018, Dr. Khalil performed the intracept procedure on Marchese. While she experienced some soreness at the site of her small incision for a few days, she was amazed at how she felt and what she could do.

“Within a week, I could roll over and stand up like a normal person,” she said.

Marchese says her pain was gone.

“The one-time treatment changed my life. I’m back practicing yoga four nights a week.”