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PAIN IN THE BACK? Novel new treatment may offer complete relief, CoMo physician discovers

Two thirds of patients completely pain free
COLUMBIA, 4/27/13 (Beat Byte) -- Bone-marrow grafts surgeons use to repair damaged tissue may effectively treat low-back pain (LBP) in some people, a study from the Columbia Interventional Pain Center suggests.
Results reported at the 29th Annual American Academy of Pain Medicine conference ranged from complete pain relief to no improvement at all.
Five to 24 months following treatment for those patients who improved, concentrated bone-marrow injected into degenerated lumbar discs relieved back pain with no reported complications, renewed activity tolerance, and reduced pain medication use.
"The results of our case review are encouraging," said Donald J. Meyer, MD, PhD, the study's primary author. "Currently, when conservative treatment measures fail, therapeutic options are limited for individuals with back pain due to disc degeneration. Many resort to disc surgery or spinal fusion with mediocre results."
Meyer's team examined 24 patients treated at Columbia Interventional Pain Center over 18 months. Informed of the study's experimental nature, the patients had LBP lasting an average of 4 years and degenerative disc changes. Some patients also complained of leg pain.
The team injected concentrated bone marrow into at most two discs in 12 patients. In the other 12, they used a mix of techniques that included other low-back injections traditionally used to relieve pain.

Eight of the 12 patients -- 66% -- who only received bone marrow injections reported significant pain relief.

Meyer's team included two other physicians, Kristin Oliver, M.D. and David Crane, M.D.

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