- A Chinese Remedy - Remove Your Back Pain
of chronic back pain were offered fresh hope with news of
successful "spinal transplant" surgery. Spinal discs from
accident victims were transplanted into patients with disc
degeneration in the cervical spine in the cervical spine,
the area nearest the neck. All reported improvements in
their mobility and a reduction in symptoms such as weakness
of legs and bladder.
A report in the Lancet
says the pioneering treatment, carried out in china, offers hope for
thousands or may be millions of sufferers of severe disc problems, particularly young people.
They often cannot be
helped by existing treatments such as spinal fusion - which surgically joins
bones in the spine, making them rigid - or artificial material to replace
the defective discs. In some cases, these methods cause further degeneration
of the disc above and below the area are most affected.
The disc transplants
were carried out by doctors at the
General Hospital, Beijing, and the
University of Hong Kong.
Although disc transplants have been carried out in primates, it is a first
time doctors have reported such surgery in humans.
The discs consists of
cartilage that cushions the individual movements of vertebral bones. When
the discs wear away or are damaged by disease, the bones press on nerves,
causing pain and restricting movement.
Nia Taylor, chief executive of Back Care, said "It would be very
interesting to read the full details because there are a minority of people
for whom a problem with discs does not naturally get better. We would
welcome any new treatment that can help."
The Chinese doctors used
13 discs, which was frozen and thawed out prior to transplant. Within three
months the donor discs had successfully bedded in with existing spinal disc
tissue. Now, five years later, all the patients show improvement and none
has rejected the donor material.