Regenerative Medicine for Degenerative Discs

Regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, can help your body heal as recovery takes place following damage to muscles, ligaments, spinal discs and bone. Solomon Kamson, MD, PhD, at the Spine Institute Northwest, is particularly interested in the use of stem cell therapies to help those who are suffering from degenerative disc disease.
doctor treating patient with chronic back pain
One of the most encouraging aspects of regenerative medicine’s use in the orthopedic field is that this type of therapy uses your body’s own cells and other organic substances to stimulate self-healing and regrowth of healthy cells in the damaged areas being treated. Research in this field is ongoing, but when it comes to treating back pain at the Spine Institute Northwest, a focus on regenerative medicine is reaching new heights, as positive research results are very exciting.

St. Louis Study

In 2013, researchers at the Columbia Interventional Pain Center in St. Louis extracted bone marrow rich in adult stem cells from 24 patients who have degenerative disc disease. The stem cells (bone marrow aspirate cellular concentrate or BMAC) were injected in the patients’ damaged discs in order to aid in the growth of healthier tissue. Stem cells have the potential to adapt and grow into different types of new cells within the body. The hope of this research was to discover that, when injected into a spinal disc, the cells would change into healthy new tissue for the damaged disc.

The patients in this St. Louis study had been battling chronic lower back pain, some for up to 12 years. More conservative treatments had been attempted or were no longer an option for these patients, and they were now spinal fusion candidates as a last resort, until the pain center researchers offered the bone marrow treatment to them. Of the 24 people who underwent stem cell therapy in St. Louis, 12 of them underwent other procedures to relieve pain over the next 30-month period. The other 12 patients did not seek other treatments. They reported feeling pain relief 2-4 months following the treatment, with 8 of them still feeling relief after a year’s time. As expected, none of the patients reported any complications of side effects from the stem cell therapy procedure.

The Promise of Stem Cell Therapy

As research in regenerative medicine continues, Dr. Kamson understands the lasting relief these therapies can offer his patients right now. Knowledge about stem cell treatments continue to offer more exciting results, and here at the Spine Institute Northwest in Bothell, WA, we are ready to share our excitement with you and keep you up to date on the latest information.

If you suffer from degenerative disc disease and would like more information about how regenerative medicine can help you, contact Dr. Kamson today at (208) 496-0630 for a consultation.