Stem cells for stenosis – Dr. Marc Darrow is a Stem Cell …

By Sykes24Tracey

Marc Darrow MD, JD. Thank you for reading my article. You can ask me your questions aboutthis articleusing the contact form below.

I want to begin this article with a case study from our recently published research in theBiomedical Journal of Scientific & Technical Research.

Afterphysical assessment of her lower back, we determinedher pain was generated from a lumbosacral sprain. Not the narrowing of the L1-L5,S1

She had oneBone marrow derived stem cell treatment and at first follow up two weeks after the injections,the patient experienced no pain or stiffness and reported 90% total improvement. Approximately a year after treatment, she felt evenbetter, and stated that she was able to perform aerobics and line dancing for an hour and a half a day with no pain. She reportedinfrequent stiffness, but not as severe as it was prior to treatment.

Her resting and active pain were 0/10 and functionality score was 39/40.(1)

This was one document case in the medical literature. Over the years we have helped many people avoid a stenosis surgery they did not want or possibly did not even need.

Despite the fact that many studies insist that surgical treatment is the best option for lumbar spinal stenosis, a startling study was published in the medical journal Spine. In this study, American, Canadian and Italian researchers published their evidence:

We have very little confidence to conclude whether surgicaltreatmentor a conservative approach is better forlumbarspinal stenosis, and we can provide no new recommendations to guide clinical practice. . .However, it should be noted that the rate of side effects ranged from 10% to 24% in surgical cases, and no side effects were reported for any conservativetreatment. (2)

In the above research it should be pointed out the comparison between lumbar surgery and conservative treatments did not include stem cell therapy. They included the traditional conservative treatments including physical therapy, cortisone injections, pain medications and others listed below.

One of the reasons surgery may be no better than conservative care is that the surgery tried to fix a problem that was not there: Pain.

In the medical journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage,doctors reported that many asymptomatic individuals, those with no pain or other challenges, have radiographic lumbar spinal stenosis. In other words they only have lumbar spinal stenosis on the MRI.

The doctors noted:

A diagnosis of spinal stenosis can be frightening because of the implications that a surgery may be needed to avoid paralysis.It is important to note that in instances where stenosis is so severe that the patient has lost circulation to the legs or bladder control a surgical consult should be made immediately.

In the December 2017 edition of the medical journal Spine, doctors from the University of Pittsburgh and University Toronto reported these observations in patients seeking non-surgical treatments for lumbar spinal stenosis.

Individuals with lumbar spinal stenosis may believe misinformation and information from non-medical sources, especially when medical providers do not spend sufficient time explaining the disease process and the reasoning behind treatment strategies. Receiving individualized care focused on self-management led to fewer negative emotions toward care and the disease process. Clinicians should be prepared to address all three of these aspects when providing care to individuals with lumbar spinal stenosis.(4)

Back pain can certainly cause anxiety, depression, and catastrophizing thoughts. The people in this study wanted education and involvement in their choice of treatment. I hope I can provide some for you here in this article.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis is a narrowing of the space between vertebrae where the spinal cord and the spinal nerves travel. It is a diagnostic term to describe lower back pain with or without weakness and loss of sensation in the legs. It is a very common condition brought on mostly by aging and the accompanying degeneration of the spine.

In the recommended surgical procedures for spinal stenosis, two choices are the most favored.

A paper published in October 2017 gives a good outline where conservative medicine is in the treatment of Lumbar stenosis. It is from doctors at the University of South Carolina

This is indeed a fair assessment of SOME of the treatment options available to patients.However, not all doctors agree. At New York University in June 2017 research, doctors wrote:

The highest levels of evidence do not support minimally invasive surgery over open surgery for cervical orlumbardisc herniation. However, minimally invasive surgery fusion demonstrates advantages along with higher revision and hospital readmission rates. These results should optimize informed decision-making regarding minimally invasive surgery versus open spine surgery, particularly in the current advertising climate greatly favoring minimally invasive surgery.(6)

Researchers at theUniversity of Sydneysay that the evidence for recommending lumbar spinal surgery as the best option to patients is lacking and it is possible that a sham or placebo surgery can deliver the same results.(7)

In the research I cited at the top of this article, doctors at the Italian Scientific Spine Institute in Milanwrote: We cannot conclude on the basis of this review whether surgical or nonsurgical treatment is better for individuals with lumbar spinal stenosis. We can however report on the high rate of effects reported in three of five surgical groups and that no side effects were reported for any of the conservative treatment options.(8)

Considering the majority of these procedures are unnecessarily being performed for degenerative disc disease alone, spine surgeons should be increasingly asked why they are offering these operations to their patients

Ateam of Japanese researchers found thatpatients with lumbar spinal stenosiswho do not improve after nonsurgical treatments are typically treated surgically using decompressive surgeryand spinal fusion surgery. Unfortunately the researchers could not determine if the surgery had any benefit either.(9)Maybe the patients problem was not the stenosis?

Now lets go to another paper that has more of an opinion: From Dr. Nancy Epstein ofWinthrop University Hospital:

Surgeons at Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlandsspeculate that doctors go into a diagnosis oflumbar spinal stenosis with the thought that there is osteoarthritis a bony overgrowth on the spinal nerves. Once determined, the symptoms of patients can be categorized into two groups; regional (low back pain, stiffness, and so on) or radicular (spinal stenosis mainly presenting as neurogenic claudication nerve inflammation).

In the patients who primarily complain of radiculopathy (radiating leg pain) with an stable spine, a decompression surgery may be recommendedto removebonefrom around thenerve root to give the nerve root more space.The surgeons warn of thefear that surgery to a stable spine will make it unstable.(11)

Afusion procedure to limit the movement between two vertebrae and hopefully stop the compression of nerves is another option. As mentioned by independent research above surgery for spinal stenosis should onlybe considered after conservative therapies have been exhausted.Surgical treatment of lumbar spinal disorders, including fusion, is associated with a substantial risk of intraoperative and perioperative complications,as pointed out in the research by surgeons from Catholic University in Rome.(12)

Bone growth occurs in the spine because the bone is trying to stabilize the spine from excessive movement or laxity. Fusion surgery is recommended as a means to accelerate that type of stabilization. Regenerative medicine includingPRP andStem Cell Therapy(watch the video)works in a completely different way. Theystabilize the spine by strengthening the often forgotten and underappreciated spinal ligaments and tendons.These techniques help stabilize the spine, which is imperative as unstable joints can lead to or further exacerbate the arthritis that causes spinal stenosis.

In the medical journal Insights into imaging, researchers wrote of the four factors associated with the degenerative changes of the spine that cause spinal canal stenosis:

The same research suggests that these conditions can prevent the formation of new tissue (collagen) which can initiate repair.(13)

Collagen is of course the elastic material of skin and ligaments. Here the association between collagen interruption and spinal stenosis can be made to show spinal instability can be THE problem of symptomatic stenosis.

A fascinating study on what damaged spinal ligaments can do

A fascinating study in the Asian Spine Journal investigated the relationship between ligamentum flavum thickening and lumbar segmental instability, disc degeneration, and facet joint osteoarthritis. Ligament thickening is the result of chronic inflammation. Chronic ligament inflammation is the result of a ligament injury that is not healing.

What these researchers found was a significant correlation between ligamentum flavum thickness, spinal instability and disc degeneration. More so, the worse the degenerative disc disease, the worse the ligamentum flavum thickness.(14)

PRP and stem cells address the problem of ligament damage and inflammation. Addressing these problems address the problems of spinal instability. Addressing the problems of spinal instability can address the problems of spinal and cervical stenosis.

A leading provider of bone marrow derived stem cell therapy, Platelet Rich Plasma and Prolotherapy11645 WILSHIRE BOULEVARD SUITE 120, LOS ANGELES, CA 90025

PHONE: (800) 300-9300

1 Darrow M, Shaw BS. Treatment of Lower Back Pain with Bone Marrow Concentrate. Biomed J Sci&Tech Res 7(2)-2018. BJSTR. MS.ID.001461. DOI: 10.26717/ BJSTR.2018.07.001461.

2 Zaina F, TomkinsLane C, Carragee E, Negrini S. Surgical versus nonsurgical treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis. The Cochrane Library. 2016 Jul 1.

3 Lynch AD, Bove AM, Ammendolia C, Schneider M. Individuals with lumbar spinal stenosis seek education and care focused on self-managementresults of focus groups among participants enrolled in a randomized controlled trial. The Spine Journal. 2017 Dec 12

4 Ishimoto Y, Yoshimura N, Muraki S, Yamada H, Nagata K, Hashizume H, Takiguchi N, Minamide A, Oka H, Kawaguchi H, Nakamura K. Associations between radiographic lumbar spinal stenosis and clinical symptoms in the general population: the Wakayama Spine Study. Osteoarthritis and cartilage. 2013 Jun 1;21(6):783-8.

5Patel J, Osburn I, Wanaselja A, Nobles R. Optimal treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis: an update. Current Opinion in Anesthesiology. 2017 Oct 1;30(5):598-603.

6 Vazan M, Gempt J, Meyer B, Buchmann N, Ryang YM. Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion versus open transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion: a technical description and review of the literature. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2017 Jun;159(6):1137-1146

7Machado GC, Ferreira PH, Yoo RI, et al. Surgical options for lumbar spinal stenosis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Nov 1;11:CD012421.

8Zaina F, Tomkins-Lane C, Carragee E, Negrini S. Surgical Versus Nonsurgical Treatment for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2016 Jul 15;41(14):E857-68.

9 Inoue G, Miyagi M, Takaso M. Surgical and nonsurgical treatments for lumbar spinal stenosis. Eur J Orthop Surg Traumatol. 2016 Oct;26(7):695-704. doi: 10.1007/s00590-016-1818-3. Epub 2016 Jul 25.

10 Epstein NE. More nerve root injuries occur with minimally invasive lumbar surgery: Lets tell someone. Surg Neurol Int. 2016 Jan 25;7(Suppl 3):S96-S101. doi: 10.4103/2152-7806.174896. eCollection 2016.

11Overdevest GM, Moojen WA, Arts MP, Vleggeert-Lankamp CL, Jacobs WC, Peul WC.Management of lumbar spinal stenosis: a survey among Dutch spine surgeons. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2014 Aug 7. [Epub ahead of print]

12.Proietti L, Scaramuzzo L, Schiro GR, Sessa S, Logroscino CA. Complications in lumbar spine surgery: A retrospective analysis. Indian J Orthop. 2013 Jul;47(4):340-5. doi: 10.4103/0019-5413.114909.

13 Kushchayev SV, Glushko T, Jarraya M, et al. ABCs of the degenerative spine.Insights into Imaging. 2018;9(2):253-274. doi:10.1007/s13244-017-0584-z.

14 Yoshiiwa T, Miyazaki M, Notani N, Ishihara T, Kawano M, Tsumura H. Analysis of the Relationship between Ligamentum Flavum Thickening and Lumbar Segmental Instability, Disc Degeneration, and Facet Joint Osteoarthritis in Lumbar Spinal Stenosis.Asian Spine Journal. 2016;10(6):1132-1140. doi:10.4184/asj.2016.10.6.1132.2373

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