Dr. Thomas Lufkin, Bayard and Virginia Clarkson Endowed Chair of Biology at Clarkson University, discusses techniques in regenerative medicine being used to treat herniated discs. Please watch the video below with key points to take away on this exciting treatment for a very common back injury.
Key Points Include:
- With the US spending billions of dollars each year on treatments for lower back pain, it is no doubt a very prevalent health issue. One of the most common spinal injuries is a herniated disc
- A herniated disc occurs when the fibrous outer tissue (annulus fibrosis) of an intervertebral disc tears, causing the discs’ soft inner material (nucleus pulposus) to leak and aggravate surrounding nerves.
- The most frequently used treatment for a herniated disc is to surgically remove the damaged intervertebral disc altogether. With intervertebral discs being critical components of spinal flexibility and mobility, this remedy for back pain is far from ideal
- By taking stem cells and growing them in culture, Dr. Lufkin and his team of researchers are able to generate annulus fibrosis and inner nucleus pulposus cells to produce a new intervertebral disc specialized for the patient. When the patient undergoes surgery, the new disc can be implanted to replace the damaged herniated disc, allowing the patient to maintain spinal flexibility!
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