Stem Cell Treatment for Degenerative Disc Disease

Stem Cell Treatment for Degenerative Disc Disease

Degeneration of the intervertebral disc, often called "degenerative disc disease" (DDD) of the spine, is a condition that can be painful and can greatly affect the quality of one's life.

STEM CELL TREATMENT DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE

While disc degeneration is a normal part of aging and for most people is not a problem, for certain individuals a degenerated disc can cause severe constant chronic pain. Often, degenerative disc disease can be successfully treated without surgery. One or a combination of treatments such as physical therapy, chiropractic manipulative therapy (CMT) and other chiropractic treatments, osteopathic manipulation, anti-inflammatory medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, traction, or spinal injections often provide adequate relief of these troubling symptoms.

Degenerative discs typically show degenerative fibrocartilage and clusters of chondrocytes, suggestive of repair. Inflammation may or may not be present. Histologic examination of disc fragments resected for presumed DDD is routine to exclude malignancy.

Fibrocartilage replaces the gelatinous mucoid material of the nucleus pulposus as the disc changes with age. There may be splits in the annulus fibrosis, permitting herniation of elements of nucleus pulposus. There may also be shrinkage of the nucleus pulposus that produces prolapse of the annulus with secondary osteophyte formation at the margins of the adjacent vertebral body.

The pathologic findings in DDD include protrusion, spondylolysis, and/or subluxation of vertebrae (sponylolisthesis) and spinal stenosis.

STEM CELL TREATMENT FOR DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE

Stem Cell Treatment and Degenerative Disc Disease NIH Streaming Database

Related Articles Stem Cell Therapy for Chronic Pain Management: Review of Uses, Advances, and Adverse Effects. Pain Physician. 2017 May;20(4):293-305 Authors: Chakravarthy K, Chen Y, He C, Christo PJ Abstract BACKGROUND: This review article outlines the recent advances, uses, and adverse effects of cell-based therapy for chronic pain management. Cell based therapies are gaining increasing ground as novel treatment modalities for a variety of pain pathologies that include, but are not limited to, neuropathic pain and degenerative disc disease. As these treatment modalities become more common practice, we have focused our review to provide pain practitioners and other practicing physicians an understanding of the technology and to summarize key clinical data and existing clinical trials that are being pursued by clinical investigators worldwide. OBJECTIVE: Review of stem cell technology and applications in pain management. STUDY DESIGN: Narrative review. METHODS: The Pubmed NCBI and EMBASE databases was utilized to review published reports of clinical studies reported from 2000 to 2015, and ClinicalTrials.gov (www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/search) search function was used to document ongoing clinical trials [keywords: "chronic pain," "disc pain," "cell therapy," "osteoarthritis," "neuropathic," "stem cell"] currently active and recruiting patients. RESULTS: Articles were screened by title, abstract, and full article review. They were then analyzed by specific clinical indications and appropriate data were presented based on critical analysis of those articles. LIMITATIONS: More studies looking at the systematic use of stem cells in pain management will be required to draw conclusions about the benefits of the technology. CONCLUSION: Though the data from existing studies look promising for the use of stem cells as a novel therapeutic strategy for discogenic pain, neuropathic pain, and osteoarthritis, additional clinical studies will be needed to validate the benefit of the technology for clinical use. However, we hope that this narrative review will help guide pain physicians in making informed decisions for their patients about the potential of cell-based therapy for treating chronic pain conditions. PMID: 28535552 [PubMed - in process]
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