St. Paul Chiropractor Blog

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Stem Cells Grow New Vertebrae

Spinal Degeneration of Neck Vertebrae

Pre op (left) and post op (right) X-ray of a p...

Pre op (left) and post op (right) X-ray of a person with thoracic dextroscoliosis and lumbar levoscoliosis. The X-ray is usually projected such that the right side of the subject is on the right side of the image; i.e., the subject is viewed from the rear (see left image; the right image is seen from the front). This projection is typically used by surgeons, as it is how surgeons see their patients when they are on the operating table. Surgery was a fusion and instrumentation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you have ever been to a chiropractor, you likely have learned that the bones of your spine can misalign. These misalignments are called subluxations. One of the detrimental effects of this happening is the wear and tear that happens to the bone and joint surface at that level of the spine.

We now know that a properly aligned spine reduces this “wear-n-tear” effect and can lead to a longer lasting and longer-functioning spine.

The medical term for this wear and tear degeneration is osteoarthritis. Many falsely believe that this is a normal part of aging. If that is true than why do some 60 year-olds have arthritic, degenerating spines and some do not?

Why are some joints arthritic and some are not in the same person? They’re the same age, are they not?

I hope you see my point. While degeneration (arthritis) is a common occurrence in the aging process – it is not normal and it is not merely a function of the aging process.

Usually, at this point the neurosurgeon will recommend spinal fusion – a less than gentle procedure that permanently halts normal function of the affected joint. Now the medical scientists are finding that they can manufacture new spinal bones that have decayed beyond a point of normal function using stem cells.
Read the article below…

Neurosurgeons Use Adult Stem Cells to Grow Neck Vertebrae

ScienceDaily (Sep. 6, 2011) — Neurosurgery researchers at UC Davis Health System have used a new, leading-edge stem cell therapy to promote the growth of bone tissue following the removal of cervical discs — the cushions between the bones in the neck — to relieve chronic, debilitating pain.

The procedure was performed by associate professors of neurosurgery Kee Kim and Rudolph Schrot. It used bone marrow-derived adult stem cells to promote the growth of the bone tissue essential for spinal fusion following surgery, as part of a nationwide, multicenter clinical trial of the therapy.

Removal of the cervical disc relieves pain by eliminating friction between the vertebrae and/or nerve compression. Spinal fusion is used following surgery for degenerative disc disease, where the cushioning cartilage has worn away, leaving bone to rub against bone and herniated discs, where the discs pinch or compress nerves.  Continue reading…

Wouldn’t it be easier and cheaper in the long run to maintain normal alignment of the spine?

Of course.

This would virtually eliminate the need for surgical intervention in many cases of arthritis. Not to mention the improved quality of life and avoided pain and suffering of the individual.

Do you have questions about arthritis and whether you should make an appointment with a chiropractor?

Call us – we’re here to help!

Your St. Paul Chiropractor,

Dr. Joel

 

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