Biologic Therapies for Aging Discs Moundsville WV

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Andrew Joseph Tatich, DDS
(304) 845-7050
912 2Nd St
Moundsville, WV
Specialties
Orthodontics/Dentofacial Orthopedics

Data Provided By:
Robert A Caveney
(304) 243-1050
30 Medical Park
Wheeling, WV
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery

Data Provided By:
Ronald Alan Fawcett, MD
(304) 233-4422
2 Orchard Rd
Wheeling, WV
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Wv Univ Sch Of Med, Morgantown Wv 26506
Graduation Year: 1971

Data Provided By:
Charles Alan Tracy
(304) 242-0590
40 Medical Park
Wheeling, WV
Specialty
Hand Surgery

Data Provided By:
James Joseph Caveney, DDS
(304) 232-7571
505 United National Bank Bldg
Wheeling, WV
Specialties
Orthodontics/Dentofacial Orthopedics

Data Provided By:
Dante Anthony Marra
(304) 242-8042
10 Medical Park
Wheeling, WV
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine

Data Provided By:
Marjorie L Bush
(304) 242-0590
40 Medical Park
Wheeling, WV
Specialty
Hand Surgery

Data Provided By:
Jonathan David Lechner, MD
2101 Jacob St Ste 402
Wheeling, WV
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Georgetown Univ Sch Of Med, Washington Dc 20007
Graduation Year: 1979

Data Provided By:
Anthony John Spadafore, DDS
(304) 233-1180
302 United National Bank 12Th And Main St
Wheeling, WV
Specialties
Orthodontics/Dentofacial Orthopedics

Data Provided By:
Dr.Dante Marra
(304) 242-8042
Ste 203, 10 Medical Park
Wheeling, WV
Gender
M
Education
Medical School: Columbia Univ Coll Of Physicians And Surgeons
Year of Graduation: 1992
Speciality
Orthopedic Surgeon
General Information
Hospital: Wheeling Hospital
Accepting New Patients: Yes
RateMD Rating
4.1, out of 5 based on 14, reviews.

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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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