Suffering Back Pain? New Implants offer hope to Eradicate Back Pain

Back pain isn’t for sissies and low back pain is the most common reason people visit their doctor. Back and neck pain can come about because of intervertebral discs separating the vertebrae of the spine.

For sufferers of back pain, there is now new hope that may eradicate back pain once and for all, by using implants made of the patient’s own cells. This according to new research, says Medical News Today.

Intervertebral discs which are healthy play an important role such as keeping the vertebral column stable. They also act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae in the spinal column. They do this by keeping the vertebrae separated when there is an impact from any kind of activity. Now, because of research, there is hope for relieving pain with a personalized tissue implant from the patient’s own cells.

Transplants are an awesome medical advancement, but despite being such an amazing advancement, rejection of the tissue from the body’s immune response remains a major issue. But now, with new technology, there is the reality of creating fully personalized tissue implants making use of the patient’s own cells.

With new technology, researchers can actually engineer any tissue type. It is mind-boggling to know that after transplantation, diseased or injured organs such as the spinal cord can be regenerated.

If discs wear out, pain can be experienced in the person’s neck or back. Discs are made of 2 parts – the annulus fibrosis and the nucleus pulposis, but when these soft, gelatinous cushions wear down, degenerated discs can’t act as a shock absorber any more. Discs can degenerate anywhere along the 26 vertebrae of the spine, but it’s more frequent in the lumbar- and cervical region.

Apart from pain, other complications such as osteoarthritis, bone spurs, and herniation of disc can occur. As the discs wear away, the space between the vertebrae narrows, putting the joints under greater stress and further degeneration.

Up until fairly recently, treatment for intervertebral disc degeneration would be either replacing the damaged discs with artificial ones or surgery - spinal fusion surgery. Unfortunately, not being able to restore full function of the replaced intervertebral discs is one drawback with these treatments.

Now, in Philadelphia, a multidisciplinary research team is planning to bring about a solution to this issue by developing bioengineered intervertebral discs which have been made from the patient’s own stem cells. These stem cells have the potential to become specialized cells and have become the focus of much research.

Bioengineered spinal discs can be implanted to provide long-term function. The cells of patients with neck and back pain will be used to build a new spinal disc to replace a deteriorated one.

The multidisciplinary team is from the Perelman School of Medicine-, Engineering and Applied Science and the School of Veterinary Medicine. They believe that this solution can help the millions of people suffering from neck and back pain.

In their most recent efforts, the research team has implanted bioengineered spinal discs into goat spines. They then studied them for up to 20 weeks. Preliminary results in goats have been so good as to spur the University of Pennsylvania researchers on. They have been working toward this goal for about 15 years, with goats being chosen because their cervical spine discs are much the same size as human discs.

Discs Became Part of your own Tissue

The development of a tissue-engineered replacement disc is a huge step towards having it integrated with the surrounding native tissue. The team’s hope and goal is to replace the disc in a way that the patient regains full range of motion. The team is thrilled and excited that they have come so far that instead of using animals, they are now able to use human-sized implants.

Tissue engineering offers great hope for patients with degenerative disc disease, combining the patients’ own stem cells so as to create a composite structure which is implanted into the spine, acting as a replacement disc.

World-renowned and legendary golfer, Jack Nicklaus would have suffered from a lifetime of back pain were it not for his stem cell surgery. The 78-year-old touts an experimental stem cell surgery that he says has been most effective.

The research team at Pennsylvania believes that they have every reason to be optimistic that implants made of your own cells' could end back pain. The team can actually engineer any tissue type, and regenerate any organ which won’t be rejected by the body.

In the Meantime

Current trials with the implants are being conducted on animals with great success. The next step is to conduct more extensive trials on goats before hopefully taking it to the clinical trial stages.

In the meantime, Mayo Clinic offers the following tips for preventing and tackling back pain:

-Quit smoking
-Adopt  low-impact aerobic exercises
-Build up your muscles in the abdominal and back areas
-Maintain a healthy weight
-Choose a chair that’s good for back pain, such as a high contoured back and lumbar support.

Taking a proactive approach to back pain is still the best approach, according to doctors.

A Woman Developed A Fatal Infection With Vibrio Bacteria After She Ate Raw Oysters


According to a news report, a woman from Texas died after eating raw oysters. A report stated that she developed an infection with flesh-eating bacteria. 

CBS News reported that the woman’s name was Jeanette LeBlanc. She went out with her friends and family to the coast of Louisiana to go crabbing. During her trip, she and her friends ate two dozens of raw of oysters. But after eating them, Jeanette experienced difficulty breathing. She also developed a rash on her legs. The rash looked like she had an allergic reaction. 

Her condition worsened prompting her to see doctors. Her doctors found that she developed a flesh-eating bacterial infection known as Vibrio.  

What are Vibrio bacteria? 

They live in coastal waters. These bacteria thrive in warm water. That’s why they’re abundant from May to October. 

You can easily develop Vibrio infection by merely eating uncooked or undercooked shellfish, including oysters. And if you have open wounds on your skin and it’s exposed to infected salt water, then you’ll develop this infection as well. 

Each year, these bacteria cause around 80,000 illnesses and result in 100 deaths in the US alone. The majority of individuals would experience diarrhea and vomiting when they contract Vibrio from eating raw oysters. If the infection is mild, they can recover in a few days. 

But some patients could develop a severe infection, resulting in bloodstream infection. One in every four people who developed a severe disease dies from it. 

Unfortunately, Jeanette was exposed not just to raw oysters but also to brackish water. However, the report didn’t state whether or not it was the fresh oyster or brackish water that caused her infection. 

For 21 days, she battled the infection. Then again, she wasn’t able to recover and died on October 15, 2017. 

Because of that, her partner and friends want to raise awareness about this type of infection. If only Jeanette knew the risk was high, she would not opt to eat raw oysters or expose herself to brackish water.
Related Posts with Thumbnails