Biologic Therapies for Aging Discs Byhalia MS

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Ivan Bryant Hirsberg, DDS
(662) 895-4070
8925 Goodman Rd
Olive Branch, MS
Specialties
Orthodontics/Dentofacial Orthopedics

Data Provided By:
William Harold Knight, MD
(901) 725-5136
4816 Riverdale Rd
Memphis, TN
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ok Coll Of Med, Oklahoma City Ok 73190
Graduation Year: 1978
Hospital
Hospital: Methodist Univ Hosp, Memphis, Tn
Group Practice: Memphis Orthopaedic Group

Data Provided By:
Ana Katrina Palmieri
(901) 850-1150
1458 W Poplar Ave
Collierville, TN
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery

Data Provided By:
Dr.Jeffrey Dlabach
(901) 759-3100
1500 West Poplar Avenue
Collierville, TN
Gender
M
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ok Coll Of Med
Year of Graduation: 1994
Speciality
Orthopedic Surgeon
General Information
Accepting New Patients: Yes
RateMD Rating
5.0, out of 5 based on 3, reviews.

Data Provided By:
S F Moorehead, MD FACS
10279 Willow Reade Cv
Collierville, TN
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Tennessee
Graduation Year: 1946

Data Provided By:
Tommy N Whited, DDS
(901) 367-2316
6747 E Shelby Dr
Memphis, TN
Specialties
Orthodontics/Dentofacial Orthopedics

Data Provided By:
John R Crockarell Jr, MD
(901) 861-2645
2645 Halle Pkwy
Collierville, TN
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Tn, Memphis, Coll Of Med, Memphis Tn 38163
Graduation Year: 1991

Data Provided By:
Dr.Robert Pickering
(901) 759-3111
99 Market Center Drive
Collierville, TN
Gender
M
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ms Sch Of Med
Year of Graduation: 1991
Speciality
Orthopedic Surgeon
General Information
Accepting New Patients: Yes
RateMD Rating
5.0, out of 5 based on 1, reviews.

Data Provided By:
Douglas A Linville III, MD
(901) 767-9500
1500 W Poplar Ave
Collierville, TN
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Mo-Kansas City Sch Of Med, Kansas City Mo 64108
Graduation Year: 1991

Data Provided By:
Susan M Austin
(901) 850-9543
1500 W Poplar Ave
Collierville, TN
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery

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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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