http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110906152501.htmNeurosurgeons 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.
"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." (more...)(snip...)
""We hope that this investigational procedure eventually will help those who undergo spinal fusion in the back as well as in the neck," said Kim, who also is chief of spinal neurosurgery at UC Davis. "And the knowledge gained about stem cells also will be applied in the near future to treat without surgery those suffering from back pain."" (more...)(snip...)
"Current methods of promoting spinal fusion include implanting bone tissue from the patient's hip or a cadaver to encourage bone regrowth as well as implanting bone growth-inducing proteins. However, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved the use of bone morphogenetic proteins for cervical spinal fusion. Their use has been associated with life-threatening complications, particularly in the neck." (more...)
See webpage for many more related stories - interesting.