Once authorized, treatment with the Neurolyser XR will provide multiple benefits for patients with chronic pain. The technology is being tested in clinical trials for low back facet arthritis, and it has potential as an effective non-invasive treatment for conditions such as knee and hip arthritis, sacroiliitis, and pain from bone metastases.
Low Back Facet Joint Pain
More than 27 million Americans suffer from chronic back pain, a leading cause of disability and lost work days. Arthritis of the facet joint is the most common cause of low back pain, affecting 4 to 6 million people a year in the US.
The facet joints, located in the back portion of the spine, are lined with smooth cartilage to allow movement. This cartilage can break down due to injury, repeated trauma and aging. This damage leads to friction that reduces motion, increases stiffness and results in pain that can radiate across the lower back and down the legs.
Better Treatments Needed
The first line of treatment for patients with chronic facet joint includes oral pain relievers, physiotherapy and lifestyle changes. If these approaches fail, patients may undergo steroid injections or radiofrequency (RF) ablation, the current standard treatment for destroying painful nerves.
RF ablation involves inserting multiple sterile electrodes into the skin surrounding the targeted spinal region and inserting two to four electrodes to thermally ablate adjacent sensory nerves. RF ablation reduces pain for an average of 6 to 12 months, but the procedure is painful and invasive, with inherent risks of infection and bleeding.
The Sound of Relief
Proposed treatment with the Neurolyser would be simple and quick with minimal discomfort. Focused beams of energy generate heat, to destroy the neural tissue, leaving skin and other tissue along the pathway intact. The Neurolyser may destroy more nerve tissue in single treatment than RF ablation, enabling pain relief to last longer and giving patients the opportunity to maintain activity and quality of life without the need for strong medications like opioids.