FUS Proves Safe, Effective in Treating Patients with Facet Joint Osteoarthritis


European Radiology has e-published ahead of print the results of a Foundation-funded pilot clinical trial in which Evan M. Weeks, MD and his colleagues at St. Mary’s Hospital in London used focused ultrasound to successfully treat 18 patients with low back pain caused by facet joint osteoarthritis.

The study is entitled, MRI-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) to treat facet joint osteoarthritis low back pain-case series of an innovative new technique.

“Our phase I observational pilot study has evaluated an innovative new technique that is both non-invasive and radiation free. It is the first description of this procedure in the literature,” noted Weeks, who performed the study as part of his Foundation-funded fellowship. “Our small case series demonstrated that MRgFUS resulted in improvements in both pain scores and functional disability measures at each follow-up time point from 1 week post treatment to 6 months after treatment.” He also noted, “In all patients the technique was safe, free of complications, effective and well tolerated.”

Study co-authors were Wladyslaw Gedroyc, MD and Michael W. Platt, MD of St. Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. READ ABSTRACT


MR-guided FUS shows exciting promise as noninvasive treatment for back pain (April 2010)
Funded Fellowship: Evan Weeks, MD (Fellowship project overview and progress reports)