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| Patient Story

Karen’s Summit Story

The Intracept Procedure is a minimally invasive, nonsurgical way to treat low back pain. Hear directly from Karen, a patient who came to Summit after over 20 years of back pain, met Dr. Ekstrom and had a life-changing experience.

Karen: My back pain probably started close to 20 years ago, but really these last three to four years have been unbearable. It affected every single aspect of my life. Just getting up to the standing position was excruciating. And then every step was like a knife jabbing in my lower back to different variations throughout the day, but always painful. And that’s something I always loved to do was walk, but it really took the joy out of walking for me. I met with a surgeon, and just the week before I had come to sit down with him – he had read an article about this new procedure called Intracept. That’s how I met up with Dr. Ekstrom. They gave me his name, and I made an appointment right away to see him. Looking at my MRI, he could see that this might be a solution for me.

Dr. Ekstrom: The first indication for me that she was an Intracept candidate was when I looked at her images. She had degeneration, but she also had motor changes. She had end plate disruption along the degenerative disc. And so she fit the criteria for Intracept. She had done all the rehab, physical therapy, chiropractic care, multiple clinics, multiple directions. She had tried different medications, put up with those side effects. She got into injections with marginal results. She wasn’t going to give up, but she was close.

Karen: It wasn’t until about a week and a half after the procedure that I had that moment where I knew that this had worked for me. We had our first post-op visit with Dr. Ekstrom. I stood to get out of the car and took about 10 steps and just stopped dead in my tracks. And I turned and looked at Mark and said, “Oh my God, that did not hurt.” Getting out of the car did not hurt. And that was just incredible for me. And that’s when I knew that it was successful. It’s just been life-changing for me and my family.

Dr. Ekstrom: When I present this to the patient, more often than not they go from this state of what am I getting myself into? You know, this is another song and dance. To – oh my God, there’s something here. You know, I’ve got this pain issue and his word is he’s got objective evidence to show where it could be coming from. And now he’s got a legit procedure that might work. It’s a missing piece to date on why somebody has chronic low back pain. And now there’s a treatment for it. And I’m just hopeful the word gets out there sooner than later, and we’re going to help a few people out.

Summit Orthopedics offers comprehensive spine expertise

Our back specialists diagnose spine problems and design custom treatment plans built on a conservative, nonsurgical approach. Most patients find relief through treatments including guided injections, specialized physical therapy, biofeedback, exercise, activity modification, and medication. When conservative care does not relieve symptoms, our highly skilled surgeons offer proven, evidence-based surgical options. Together with you, we will determine the right course of action.

Start your journey to a healthy spine. Find your spine expert, request an appointment online, or call us at (651) 968–5201 to schedule a spine consultation.

Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MNPlymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota. 

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