View Full Version : Stem cell treatment for scoliosis

07-10-2008, 09:59 AM
NEW YORK (WABC) -- There is an exciting new treatment for scoliosis that's a lot less painful.

Surgery to correct scoliosis used to mean cutting a large piece of bone from the iliac crest in the pelvis, then using it to create a spinal fusion so the curve didn't get worse.

The problem with taking bone from the iliac crest is it's a significant source of pain, sometimes even permanent pain," Dr. Flood said. "It requires another incision, potential risk of infection, and that bone is gone forever."

But Matthew was able to take advantage of a brand new therapy, recently cleared by the FDA, to repair his spine using stem cells harvested from his own bone marrow.

What do you think ? And wouldn't it be possible to rebuild the flattened vertebrae ,stabilize it with rods for some period and then remove rods from the spine? Does anyone know more about this treatment?

green m&m
09-07-2008, 10:04 PM
It's one thing to use stem cells to boost bone growth to aid in fusion but a totally different thing to 'rebuild'. We are long time away from getting stem cells to rebuild a whole vertebrae or even repair a damaged one. That'd mean medical science learned how to control stem cells and their actions exactly.

03-25-2009, 05:39 PM
Can you clarify why you think this Anna Maria?

It would be good to know your background, because otherwise people might think you're just here to spam the boards with BMW leasing info, which would be a pretty stupid thing to do because everyone here is too smart/too worried about scoliosis issues to bother with non-scoliosis links like that.

05-24-2009, 09:25 AM
Yeah we are not quite there yet when it comes to rebuilding the spine. Once we do get to that point arms and legs and feet and fingers probably can be rebuilt also.

04-26-2010, 03:55 PM
Whenever my scoliosis comes up, my mother cheerily says: "Just you wait! Stem cells will do the trick for you, Amanda!" (end of topic :rolleyes:).

The "funny" thing is according to the initial reference, it may indeed be possible to regrow bone to replace the need for (permanently) painful bone grafts. This technique (once perfected) could be useful in many diseases and injuries which leave the patient lacking bone.

(Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure I've read of this already being done experimentally. They do it making a paste, using a matrix of lab grown bone and some substrate congenial for its absorption by the body).

I also have great hopes for a method to regrow cartilage. Having Ehler-Danlos (hyper-mobility syndrome) led to premature wearing out of many of my joints at the cartilage. Definitely led to kypho-scoliosis as one would expect. Too much "give" at the joints.

This stem cell business is all very hypothetical for now, of course. I see no reason to scoff at the potential for bone, cartilage, blood or skin growth using stem cells, though . Unless something has been deleted or I missed an implication, I don't know where such comments are coming from. It's not as if the initial poster was claiming scientists were on the point of being able to regrow whole vertebrae or build a brand new spine (I wish!! :o).

...Or trying to sell us (stem cell generated) snake oil! :)

04-26-2010, 04:12 PM
Ooh Ooh! I'd volunteer for a clinical trial for aiding fusion. I already know my bone density isn't so hot and that at least one surgeon is planning to use a "glue" . It definitely sounds like it could be a godsend to osteoporotic patients needing deformity surgery.

Note: they're already using it for extreme battlefield injuries (War always leads to medical breakthroughs! *Sigh* "silver linings to clouds, etc...) and kids with congenital skull defects. As always, I'm sure they will only try it first on patients in such severe condition it's their only hope for a normal life - or (more likely) for life, at all.