Biologic Therapies for Aging Discs Los Lunas NM

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William B Pratt, MD
(505) 869-4212
Bosque Farms, NM
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

Data Provided By:
Frank Hamilton Peacock, DDS
(505) 452-8633
2127 Los Padillas Rd Sw
Albuquerque, NM
Specialties
Orthodontics/Dentofacial Orthopedics

Data Provided By:
Anthony F Pachelli, MD
(505) 724-4300
201 Cedar St SE
Albuquerque, NM
Business
New Mexico Orthopaedic Associates
Specialties
Orthopedics

Data Provided By:
Irvine G Jordan, MD FACS
4632 Greene St NW
Albuquerque, NM
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Tulane
Graduation Year: 1946

Data Provided By:
David Joseph Khoury, MD
(505) 272-4107
8308 Gardenbrook Pl NW
Albuquerque, NM
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Wa Sch Of Med, Seattle Wa 98195
Graduation Year: 2002

Data Provided By:
John Charles France, MD
(304) 535-6343
3436 Isleta Blvd SW
Albuquerque, NM
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Pittsburgh Sch Of Med, Pittsburgh Pa 15261
Graduation Year: 1986

Data Provided By:
Paul Lesko, MD
Albuquerque, NM
Specialty
Orthopaedic Sugeon

Data Provided By:
Michael E Mc Cutcheon, MD
(505) 242-5205
201 Cedar St SE Ste 6600
Albuquerque, NM
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Languages
Spanish
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Md Sch Of Med, Baltimore Md 21201
Graduation Year: 1969
Hospital
Hospital: Albuquerque Reg Med Ctr, Albuquerque, Nm; Presbyterian Hospital, Albuquerque, Nm
Group Practice: New Mexico Orthopaedic Assoc New Mexico Spine

Data Provided By:
John Barlow Reid III, MD
(505) 758-0009
7016 NDCBU 1219-A Gusdorf Rd
Taos, NM
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Or Hlth Sci Univ Sch Of Med, Portland Or 97201
Graduation Year: 1998

Data Provided By:
Richard Nelson Castillo, MD
(505) 242-5205
201 Cedar St SE Ste 6600
Albuquerque, NM
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Nm Sch Of Med, Albuquerque Nm 87131
Graduation Year: 1982

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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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