According to a story recently published by the UK-based Daily Mail Online, researchers have successfully treated 15 patients using MRgFUS for facet joint-related back pain in a clinical trial at St. Mary’s Hospital in London.
During the treatment, the patient lies in an MRI scanner while 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 physicians so that they cross over each other at the position of the facet joints, numbing the nerves.
Researchers reported that 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 facet joint back pain, particularly in cases that may be resistant to other treatments.