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Live disc implant could kill back pain

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posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 08:44 AM

A live implant could kill the pain associated with slipped discs, a study in rats suggests.

Between 1.5 and 4 million Americans are waiting for surgery to fix a herniated spinal disc, but the relief provided from a synthetic implant is the best it's ever going to be "the minute you put it into the patient", says Lawrence Bonassar of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Living tissue can grow and adapt, so may provide a better long-term solution, he says.

Bonassar's team used cells taken from sheep spines to build replicas of rat discs, and implanted them into the spines of rats.

The implanted discs stood up to pulling and compression like the original discs. Crucially, they also improved with age, growing new cells and binding to nearby vertebrae in the six months after surgery.

Although the study was in rats, "it shows us what is possible", says Abhay Pandit at the National University of Ireland in Galway. He adds that future studies will need to address the load borne by upright human spines.

Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1107094108

I am certain there are many sufferers of disc problems that might want to keep their eyes on this development.... assuming Big Pharma doesn't shut it down.

posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 09:16 AM
This kind of relief will only be available to the stinkin rich anyway for the next decade or two....
The advances they keep making never seem to trickle down to us peons.
Medicine is gotten to be just another rip off......its a carnival of bankruptcies just to obtain the treatments they invent.
There is need for a gentler less mechanical approach to medicine,with less emphasis being put on the patients financial statement.
Its ludicrous to be putting hundreds of thousands of dollars into just one operation or treatment.This approach has gotten out of hand.

posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 12:06 PM
FIve back surgeries here. J&J/Dupuy has had a pig grown implant for torn rotator cuff shoulder injuries for years and they seem to setup quickly and work well in repairing this type of injury. As a person with health insurance any procedure is sure to cost a few thousand bucks after deductibles, etc. so these treatments can probably be made for the "comfortably well off" not just the super rich. Just a thought.


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