Biologic Therapies for Aging Discs Vidalia GA
Medical School: Wayne State Univ Sch Of Med, Detroit Mi 48201
Graduation Year: 1977
Orthopedics, Arthroscopic and Reconstructive Surgery of the Shoulder, Elbow and Knee, Sports Medicine, General Orthopaedics
Insurance Plans Accepted: We accept most insurance plans
Primary Hospital: Emory Eastside Hospital
Residency Training: New York University Hospital fo rJoint Disease
Medical School: Emory University School of Medicine,
Member Organizations: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Arthroscopy Association of North America, American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine
Awards: Associate Team Physician, New York Mets MLB 2003-2004 Team Physician, Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils 2006-2007 Associate Physician, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater New York, 2004 Author of multiple textbook chapters involving shoulder and elbow injuri
Languages Spoken: English,Spanish
Medical School: Univ Of Ky Coll Of Med, Lexington Ky 40536
Graduation Year: 1988
Medical School: Emory Univ Sch Of Med, Atlanta Ga 30322
Graduation Year: 1998
Orthopedic Surgeon, Sports MedicineMinimally Invasive and Open Treatments for Shoulder, Knee, and Ankle InjuriesJoint Replacement Surgery
Orthopedics, Adult Spine Surgery, Kyphoplasty, Reconstructive Surgery
Insurance Plans Accepted: Accept most plans
Primary Hospital: Rockdle Medical Center
Residency Training: Howard University College of Medicien
Medical School: Howard University College of Medicine; Washington, D.C.,
Member Organizations: National Medical Association Georgia State Medical Association Atlanta Orthopaedic Society North American Spine Society
Orthopedics, Sports Medicine, Shoulder & Elbow Surgery, Knee Ligament Reconstruction & Cartilage Repair, General Orthopaedics
Insurance Plans Accepted: Accept most insurance plans
Primary Hospital: Rockdale Medical Center
Residency Training: Carolinas Medical Center; Charlotte, North Carolina
Medical School: Medical University of South Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina,
Member Organizations: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy Association of North America
Languages Spoken: English
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...