Roderick J Finlayson

Academic title(s): 


Roderick J Finlayson
Contact Information
Email address: 
roderick.finlayson [at]
514-934-1934 Ext 43268
Research areas: 
Clinical Science
Areas of interest: 

Research Interests

Ongoing and future projects include multicenter clinical trials to examine the use of USG in other areas of the spine such as the lumbosacral levels. In a recent effort we described a novel block technique to diagnose sacroiliac joint related pain and found it to be as accurate, but significantly more efficient than the existing x-ray based one. The development of lumbar procedures has been hindered by the greater depth of block targets at this level, which has up to now resulted in lower accuracy when compared to fluoroscopy. Going forward we hope to develop new USG approaches that will overcome these difficulties.




The field of pain management has seen a rapid and enthusiastic adoption of ultrasound guidance (USG) over the last decade. Because it allows direct visualization of soft tissue structures such as nerves and blood vessels, USG is replacing existing modalities such as nerve stimulation and fluoroscopy (X-rays) for many commonly performed pain management procedures. The need to describe and validate USG techniques spurred the creation of a new field of research, which has been the main focus of my efforts.

A highlight of my work in the field of interventional pain management has been the description and validation of an USG in-plane approach for cervical medial branch blocks, one of the most common blocks used to diagnose and treat neck pain. This procedure anesthetizes facet joints by placing a needle at specific target points along the lateral surface of the cervical spine. USG presents many potential advantages when compared to fluoroscopy, the current imaging standard for this procedure. In contrast to X-ray based imaging, USG can identify important soft tissue structures such as blood vessels and provides a way to avoid them by allowing an in-plane needle to be seen in real time as it is advanced toward the target. Over the course of several clinical trials, we were able to demonstrate that USG was able to reliably identify vascular structures and provided accuracy levels similar to fluoroscopy.

Associate Member
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