Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Focused ultrasound is a rapidly evolving, noninvasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with heterotopic ossification (bone growth in an atypical location). This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasound energy precisely and accurately on targets deep in the body without damaging surrounding normal tissue.
How it Works
Where the beams converge, focused ultrasound produces precise ablation (thermal destruction of the target) which is designed to destroy the undesired bone. While initial technical work has been accomplished, there is still much to be done before this technology will be widely available.
The primary options for treatment of heterotopic ossification primarily include invasive surgery.
For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a noninvasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications – such as surgical wound healing or infection – at a lower cost. Focused ultrasound can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue, and it can be repeated, if necessary.
At the present time, there are no clinical trials recruiting patients for focused ultrasound treatment of heterotopic ossification.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for heterotopic ossification is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
Bucknor MD, Rieke V, Seo Y, Horvai AE, Hawkins RA, Majumdar S, Link TM, Saeed M. Bone remodeling after MR imaging-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound ablation: evaluation with MR imaging, CT, Na(18)F-PET, and histopathologic examination in a swine model. Radiology 2015 Feb;274(2):387-94. doi: 10.1148/radiol.14132605. Epub 2014 Oct 8.