New Study Reveals The Impact of Stem Cells On Patients Suffering From Degenerative Disc Disease, Degenerative Spinal Conditions, and Spinal Fusions

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Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj Unveils The Benefits Of Stem Cell Use In Treating Disc Issues In Patients Suffering From Moderate To Severe Disease

Illustration by Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj |

According to a new study recently published in Surgical Technology International, when it comes to spinal treatments using stem cells there is growing evidence of safety and feasibility in the injectable treatment of degenerative disc disease (DDD) with autologous bone marrow concentrated cells (BMC) that indicates a favorable outcome of mesenchymal cell concentration on discogenic pain reduction. This paper summarized 14 study with 533 patients for the posterolateral fusion model augmented with bone marrow aspirate.The study also finds that the stem cell augmentation of spinal fusion surgery is equivalent to the gold standard for iliac crest bone graft in posterolateral fusion models.

Advancements in regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies, particularly the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC’s) and allogeneic mesenchymal precursor cells (MPC’s), have occurred in numerous clinical trials utilizing cell-based therapies to enhance spinal fusion and treat DDD and degenerative spinal conditions. The use of adult stem cells is an innovation that promises fewer complications and improved function in patients who are demographically suitable for stem cell therapy.

The study finds success through human trials consisting of autologous BMCs to treat moderate to severe DDD, specifically discogenic low back pain, in an attempt to avoid or delay progression to lumbar fusion or to avoid artificial disc replacement. It demonstrates that MSC’s can augment degenerative discs by changing them so that they resemble chondrocyte, a cell that has secreted the matrix of cartilage, producing proteoglycans, a compound consisting of a protein bonded to glycosaminoglycan similar to that in connective tissue, and type II collagen.

Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj, Chief of Spine Surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine, analyzed the data from the study based on the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and the Visual Analog Scale (VAS). On average, scores showed a reduction in pain by 22.8 and 29.2 at 3 months, 24.4 and 26.3 at 6 months, and 25.0 and 33.2 at 12 months. Nearly half of the patients that were treated as part of this open-label pilot study improved by 1 modified Pfirrmann grade, grading system for lumbar disc degeneration, at the one-year mark.

“With back problems being a leading culprit of pain both nationally and internationally, the findings of MSC’s to support degenerative disc disease and degenerative spinal conditions can positively impact the lives of countless people across the globe,” said Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj.

About Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj:
Kenneth K. Hansraj, M.D. is a spinal and orthopedic surgeon specializing in cervical, thoracic and lumbar procedures, bloodless spine surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery, laminectomies and spinal fusions. He believes in whole body wellness, preventative care and that the spine is a principal indicator of general health impacted by “human software and hardware.” Dr. Ken is the author of the internationally bestselling book, Keys to an Amazing Life: Secrets of the Cervical Spine, (January, 2013), which he was inspired to write based on this concept. Dr. Hansraj is also the author of Bloodless Spine Surgery: Pictures and Explanations. His goal with each of his books is to bring years of accumulated expert medical knowledge to the public at-large in an easy-to digest format and to help countless individuals with ongoing spinal and health issues.

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