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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2015 March;59(1):47-61

language: English

Degeneration of the intervertebral disc with new approaches for treating low back pain

Le Maitre C. L. 1, Binch A. L. 1, Thorpe A. A. 1, Hughes S. P. 2

1 Biomedical Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University;
2 Emeritus Professor Orthopaedic Surgery, Imperial College London, London, UK


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This review paper discusses the process of disc degeneration and the current understanding of cellular degradation in patients who present with low back pain. The role of surgical treatment for low back pain is analysed with emphasis on the proven value of spinal fusion. The interesting and novel developments of stem cell research in the treatment of low back pain are presented with special emphasis on the importance of the cartilaginous end plate and the role of IL-1 in future treatment modalities.

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seanfrancishughes@imperial.ac.uk