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IGNITE: Non Invasive Growth Plate Ablation Treatment

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Key Personnel


Discrepancy in lower limb lengths in children is a common condition, with as many as 40 percent of children affected. If untreated, in approximately 8 percent  of all children, the condition may lead to a noticeable limping, lower back pain, scoliosis, poor posture, osteoarthritis of the hip and spine, lower extremity stress fractures, and other conditions that require surgery. Reliance of current treatment options on incisions and physical physeal destruction or use of surgical implants exposes the patient to risks of infection, intra-articular damage, post-operative fracture and pain, joint stiffness, and the need for protected weight-bearing.

This project explores use of magnetic resonance-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound (MR-HIFU) for epiphysiodesis due to the advantages offered by its noninvasive nature and precision. These features have the potential to render the technology superior to conventional surgical methods, possibly allowing a greater number of children to benefit from it. The overall objective of this project is to evaluate feasibility of MR-HIFU treatment of limb length discrepancy in ex-vivo phantoms as well as in survival and non-survival experiments in animals.

Findings / Accomplishments
Initial pig study results indicate that MR-HIFU can be rapidly configured to aim into the physis while sparing surrounding tissue from ablation.

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