Updated on 12 April 2013
Columbia Interventional Pain Center study Insertion of concentrated bone-marrow cellular aspirate into lumbar discs can be used to treat treating low-back pain (LBP)
Singapore: Dr Donald J Meyer and his team at the Columbia Interventional Pain Center in Missouri, US, have conducted a new research that revealed that the type of bio-cellular grafts that are being increasingly used by surgeons to repair damaged tissue, may be useful for treating low-back pain (LBP).
The procedure involved injecting a concentrated form of bone marrow cellular aspirate into lumbar discs in patients with clinical and objective evidence of disc degeneration.
The practice of using autologous grafts, in which material is transferred from within the same individual's body, has evolved beyond the simple use of platelet-rich plasma to encompass cellular bone-marrow concentrate and cells drawn from body fat, the study authors explained.
Intrigued by the technique's possibilities in treating LBP, the team retrospectively examined data for 22 consecutive patients treated at Columbia Interventional Pain Center in Columbia over 18 months. Patients had LBP lasting an average of four years along with evidence confirming degenerative disc changes via CT scan or MRI.
Dr Meyer, who is the study's primary author, said that, "The results of our case review are encouraging. Currently, when conservative treatment measures fail, therapeutic options are limited for individuals with back pain due to disc degeneration. Many resort to disc surgery or spinal fusion with mediocre results. Our goal is to help develop a safe, natural method to boost the body's own capacity to heal discogenic pain."