Biologic Therapies for Aging Discs Buckley WA

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Richard L Molen, DDS
Sumner, WA
Specialties
Orthodontics/Dentofacial Orthopedics

Data Provided By:
Anthony Beaumont Van Bergeyk
(253) 845-9585
3801 5th St Se
Puyallup, WA
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery, Foot & Ankle Surgery

Data Provided By:
Neal Herman Shonnard, MD
(253) 840-4095
3801 5th St SE Ste 110
Puyallup, WA
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Nv Sch Of Med, Reno Nv 89557
Graduation Year: 1984
Hospital
Hospital: Good Samaritan Hospital & Reha, Puyallup, Wa

Data Provided By:
William Arthur Bulley Jr, MD
(253) 841-2929
324 E Pioneer
Puyallup, WA
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Wa Sch Of Med, Seattle Wa 98195
Graduation Year: 1975

Data Provided By:
Duane Fredrick Hopp, MD
702 23rd Ave SE
Puyallup, WA
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Wa Sch Of Med, Seattle Wa 98195
Graduation Year: 1967

Data Provided By:
John Stewart Renn II, MD
10317 122nd St E
Puyallup, WA
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Temple Univ Sch Of Med, Philadelphia Pa 19140
Graduation Year: 1964

Data Provided By:
Steven Charles Brack, DO
3801 5th St SE Ste 110
Puyallup, WA
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Des Moines Univ, Coll Osteo Med & Surg, Des Moines Ia 50312
Graduation Year: 1981

Data Provided By:
Steven K Yamamoto
(253) 845-9585
3801 5th St Se
Puyallup, WA
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery

Data Provided By:
Donald Mott
(253) 697-5200
402 15th Ave Se
Puyallup, WA
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery

Data Provided By:
Wendall William Adams, MD
3801 5th St SE Ste 110
Puyallup, WA
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Case Western Reserve Univ Sch Of Med, Cleveland Oh 44106
Graduation Year: 1979

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Biologic Therapies for Aging Discs

The lines and wrinkles on our faces aren't the only signs of the inevitable aging process. Progressive degenerative changes have also been documented in the spine. One of the areas of great interest is the intervertebral disc . New biologic therapies for aging discs are the subject of this review article on the topic.

There are 33 vertebrae or spinal bones. Between each vertebra is a disc made of tough cartilage with a fluid center. These discs provide the cushion that allows your backbone to bend and twist. Discs also act like shock absorbers as we walk, run, and jump. Each vertebral segment consists of bone next to bone with a cartilage cushion between. They are tied together with connective tissue, ligaments, and tendons.

Degenerative disc disease is an example of something that affects most people as they get older. Everyone is going to have a certain amount of damage to the spine. This occurs throughout a lifetime. The discs can flatten, and protrude from between the bones. In time, most people will have small tears in the outer layers of these discs.

Finding ways to repair damage to the discs is the focus of many research studies. One of the most recent directions in research has been the use of biologic therapies to restore the disc. Examples of these treatment approaches include disc cell reimplantation, stem cell implantation, disc denervation, injection of therapeutic proteins, and gene therapy.

What are these therapies and how do they work? Biologic therapies of this type are meant to help at the cellular level. Scientists have shown that inside the cells of the disc there is a limited amount of blood flow. As a result, there are waste products building up. The cell becomes very acidic and that is a harsh environment that doesn't support cell health very well.

As we age, there are fewer new cells to replace the old. Fluid leaks out of the discs that never gets replaced. We start to lose the strength of the discs needed to cushion and support the spine. A loss of disc height can lead to disc space collapse.

That's what's happening on the inside at the cellular level. On the outside, the affected individual may not feel anything until the degenerative process has gone on quite a while. Eventually, back pain, loss of motion, and loss of function get our attention. By then, there may not be much that can be done to save the disc. Right now, surgery to remove the disc is often the only option.

That could change if any of these biologic therapies can be perfected. Right now they are still in the experimental stages. Most of the studies have been done on animals but a few human trials have been conducted.

For example, disc tissue reimplantation is a process in which a few healthy cells are removed from an intact disc. They are taken to a lab where they can be multiplied and then reinjected into the diseased disc. The hope is that the new, healthy cells will replace the damaged cells and restore the strength of t...

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