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Minerva Ortopedica e Traumatologica 2003 August;54(4):297-303

Copyright © 2003 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Current perspectives on novel biologic therapies for intervertebral disc degeneration

Gruber H. E.,Hanley E. N. Jr.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC, USA


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Recent advances in our understanding of the biology of the intervertebral disc, coupled with advances in tissue engineering, recognition of the potential value of stem cells in cell-based therapies, and advances in gene therapy techniques, have directed attention towards novel biologic therapeutic approaches for the treatment of disc degeneration. Since current non-surgical treatment methods, such as fusion, disc spacers and disc replacement, are not physiologic, limit motion, and place excess stress on adjacent spinal segments, biologic approaches to therapy merit serious consideration. In this article, we provide a review of the current literature relevant to biologic treatments for disc degeneration. Because they represent a very specialized research area, projects directed towards development of an artificial disc are not reviewed here.

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