Stem cells to help neck and back pain patients?

Posted on 07 September 2011

People paying for care with back and neck pain could benefit from new findings that stem cells can be used to grow neck vertebrae.

Researchers at the University of California Davis found that adult stem cells promoted the growth of bone tissue, which is essential for spinal fusion following surgery.

Spinal fusion is used after surgery to combat degenerative disc disease. In this condition, the cushioning cartilage wears aways, leaving bone rubbing against herniated discs and other bones, compressing or pinching nerves.

Professor of neurosurgery Kim Kee commented: "We hope that this investigational procedure eventually will help those who undergo spinal fusion in the back as well as in the neck.

"And the knowledge gained about stem cells also will be applied in the near future to treat without surgery those suffering from back pain."

In other news, experts at the Nova Southeastern University hospital believe that iPads could help spinal cord injury patients due to their portable lightweight design.

Posted by Natalie Edwards

 

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