Back pain could be solved by man-made spinal discs
Written By Betty van der Mark on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 | 4:18 AM
Degenerative disc disease, where the shock-absorbing discs that cushion the vertebrae of the spine wear away, affects almost everyone over 50. In the most severe cases, the damaged discs are removed in a major operation and the vertebrae fused together using rods, pins and other devices to stabilise the spine. But recovery can take months and may not be completely satisfactory. But now, back pain could be solved by man-made spinal discs, which could be available within a decade. The ‘living’ discs are packed with shock-absorbing cells and, in preliminary trials, behaved just like the real thing when implanted into bad backs.