MRgFUS Could be a Viable Option for Facet Joint Back Pain

August 4, 2011
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Researchers have treated 15 patients with MRgFUS for facet joint-related back pain in a clinical trial at St. Mary’s Hospital in London.

While the patient lies in an MRI scanner, doctors deliver beams of ultrasound to the nerves of the facet joints, using images from the scanner to position the beams. The low-energy sound waves do not damage healthy tissue but are angled by the doctors so that they cross over each other at the position of the facet joints, numbing the nerves.

Researchers have treated 15 patients with MRgFUS for facet joint-related back pain in a clinical trial at St. Mary’s Hospital in London.

While the patient lies in an MRI scanner, doctors deliver beams of ultrasound to the nerves of the facet joints, using images from the scanner to position the beams. The low-energy sound waves do not damage healthy tissue but are angled by the doctors so that they cross over each other at the position of the facet joints, numbing the nerves.

According to data from the trial, the focused ultrasound treatment resulted in a 62 percent decrease in pain and a 55 percent decrease in disability.

MRgFUS shows promise as a viable option for back pain in cases that are resistant to other treatments.

Read the article.