Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Focused ultrasound is an early-stage, non-invasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with rotator cuff injury. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasound energy precisely and accurately on targets in the body without damaging surrounding normal tissue. Where the beams converge, the ultrasound produces localized injury to the tissue. This small injury causes stimulation of the tissue to heal, and can result in improved function without additional surgery. While significant work has been accomplished, there is still much to be done before this technology will be widely available.
The primary options for treatment of rotator cuff injury includes medication and invasive surgery.
For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a non-invasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications and lower cost.
- Focused ultrasound is noninvasive, so it does not carry added concerns like surgical wound healing or infection.
- Focused ultrasound can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue.
- It can be repeated, if necessary.
At the present time, there are no clinical trials recruiting patients for focused ultrasound treatment of rotator cuff injury.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for rotator cuff injury is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
Simon J, Vidt M. Histotripsy as a novel therapeutic approach to rotator cuff tendon injury. Abstract presented at Focused Ultrasound Foundation's 2018 Symposium.
Yamamoto N, Kinnick RR, Fatemi M, Muraki T, Sperling JW, Steinmann SP, Cofield RH, Itoi E, An KN. Diagnosis of small partial-thickness rotator cuff tears using vibro-acoustography. J Med Ultrason (2001). 2015 Jan;42(1):3-7. doi: 10.1007/s10396-014-0553-9. Epub 2014 Jun 26.
Gellhorn AC, Gillenwater C, Mourad PD. Intense focused ultrasound stimulation of the rotator cuff: evaluation of the source of pain in rotator cuff tears and tendinopathy. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2015 Sep;41(9):2412-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2015.05.005. Epub 2015 Jun 6.
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