Spine surgeons at Pine Creek Medical Center in Dallas have established themselves as the leaders of a cutting edge surgical procedure that utilizes a patient’s own adult stem cells to regenerate tissue.
Doctors Douglas Won (pictured), Michael Rimlawi, and Francisco J. Battle, all spine surgeons, have extensive experience in harvesting adult stem cells during routine spinal procedures and delivering those cells back to their patients to aid in the treatment of severe back pain.
According to the World Research Group, disorders of the spine are one of the largest public health problems in the U.S. and as the population ages, incidents of spinal degeneration will likely continue to increase. This means the U.S. Healthcare system will have to figure out how to maintain technological development, while simultaneously reducing the costs of procedures. Pine Creek Medical Center recognizes these growing challenges and with the support of their progressive spine surgeons are able to offer these promising procedures to their patients.
“The advancing technology in stem cell therapy is driving spine surgeons to look at different approaches to what has been considered the standard of care,” says Won. “The latest Fusionary procedure allows me to harvest the stem cells from the patient in a point of care process in the operating room during my routine spinal procedure. We not only deliver these tissue-forming adult stem cells back to the patient in a timely manner, but the pain of harvesting the cells is minimal.”
Adult stem cells have the remarkable potential to differentiate and become new tissue-forming cells in a variety of pathologies including bone, tendon, cartilage, and heart muscle. The potential of stem cells in regenerative medicine is virtually limitless and is being studied for a host of treatments throughout the world today. In addition, the technology is now available to procure adult stem cells from bone marrow and adipose tissue without the challenging ethical issues that are often associated with embryonic stem cells.
“The medical community is now starting to take notice of the impact stem cells have on the future of medicine,” says Rimlawi. “Science has demonstrated the huge potential of stem cells in regenerative medicine and now the technologies are available to deliver these therapies to the patient. This breakthrough shows promising results and should ultimately lower costs. These therapies will become the standard of care in the future.”
Illustration: Southwest Spine Institute.
SpineSmith Press Release (06/09/08)
Medical News Today (06/11/08)