Biologic Therapies for Aging Discs Hastings NE

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Gary L Chingren, MD
(402) 462-2139
606 N Minnesota Ave
Hastings, NE
Specialties
Orthopedics, Hand Surgery
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ne Coll Of Med, Omaha Ne 68198
Graduation Year: 1975
Hospital
Hospital: Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital, Hastings, Ne
Group Practice: Hastings Orthopaedic Assoc

Data Provided By:
John Gantt Yost, MD
(402) 462-2139
Hastings, NE
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ne Coll Of Med, Omaha Ne 68198
Graduation Year: 1978

Data Provided By:
Barry Allan Bohlen, MD
(402) 462-2139
606 N Minnesota Ave
Hastings, NE
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ne Coll Of Med, Omaha Ne 68198
Graduation Year: 1997

Data Provided By:
John K Pershing, DDS
(402) 462-4173
624 N Minnesota Ave
Hastings, NE
Specialties
Orthodontics/Dentofacial Orthopedics

Data Provided By:
Dennis P McGowan, MD
(308) 237-0889
1215 First Ave
Kearney, NE
Business
Dennis P McGowan MD
Specialties
Orthopedics

Data Provided By:
Charles James Nowacek, MD
(402) 462-2139
606 N Minnesota Ave
Hastings, NE
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Case Western Reserve Univ Sch Of Med, Cleveland Oh 44106
Graduation Year: 1964
Hospital
Hospital: Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital, Hastings, Ne
Group Practice: Hastings Orthopaedic Assoc

Data Provided By:
Eugene W Peck, MD
(402) 462-2139
309 N Shore Dr
Hastings, NE
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

Data Provided By:
Scott L Franssen
(402) 462-4241
223 E 14th St
Hastings, NE
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery

Data Provided By:
Stephen Michael Hansen, MD
223 E 4th St
Hastings, NE
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Il Coll Of Med, Chicago Il 60680
Graduation Year: 1999

Data Provided By:
Brent Eugene Adamson, MD
(308) 865-2500
PO Box 2168
Kearney, NE
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ca, Irvine, Ca Coll Of Med, Irvine Ca 92717
Graduation Year: 1980

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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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