Breakthrough Treatment in Back Pain Could Mean Noninvasive Relief for Spine Patients

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Gene therapy, biologics expand treatment options for spine patients.

Spine Treatment

The Spine Journal, the official journal of the North American Spine Society (NASS), released a special issue Tuesday, November 1st showcasing the latest research in the areas of spine biologics and bioactive materials, what many researchers are calling the future of spine surgery. The issue is the brainchild of Drs. Howard An and Frank M. Phillips of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL.

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Howard An, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL, is the editor of the "Spine Biologic and Bioactive Materials" special issue. The use of biologic material has been one of the most exciting developments in spine care and continued research will bring many of these projects into the market place in spine care," says Dr. An.

Multidisciplinary spine care has come a long way in offering relief for patients suffering from spine disease or injury, and even providing relief from the natural process of degeneration that tends to come with aging. Spine researchers are investigating a new type of spine treatment options called "spine biologics" that work with the body's natural processes to assist in healing after surgery or to provide alternative products that can be implanted to mimic the normal function of diseased or degenerated spine components.

These new technologies in development focus on two primary areas for the spine: therapies to assist healing for patients who undergo a spine fusion procedure, and treatments for patients who have injured or diseased intervertebral discs (the cushions between the vertebra that allow movement).

Some of the most exciting work is in the area of gene therapy.

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