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Encouraging news and hopefully helpful advice

firewater1981ffirewater1981 Posts: 84
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello all,

For those who don’t know me my name is Chris and I posted an introduction about myself on the introduction section of this website. In my introduction I explained that due to my chronic pain I scour the internet for hope and for a cure. This is a long read but hopefully it will give all of you (if not some of you) some hope. We all know that there is not a cure for herniated and degenerated discs to date, but that does not mean that medical science is not advancing at an unprecedented rate and that there will not be one in the future. Too many times I have been told to stay away from surgery. That surgery is more times than not ineffective and always causes advanced degeneration through the rest of the spine. Because I am so young (28) and I have been down so many routes with alternative, conservative therapies to no avail, I have been told by doctors to continue the conservative therapies and pain meds and to deal with the pain until I cannot bear it anymore and then get surgery. Although it is bad, and at time, excruciating, overall it is bearable. I will bear it. Especially if something is right around the corner. I know this is not everyone of you so please if you need surgery get it! Most importantly listen to yourself and your doctor. Surgery is permanent and final. If I have anything to say about it I will hold off on as long as I can as there are very promising technologies just on the horizon. My plan with this blog page is to post links and some information periodically on some interesting things I have found throughout my internet searches. My goal is to provide hope both to myself and to bring that hope to you. If any of you find an article of interest please post it here on this blog. This blog is to bring hope to me too!

This article is what inspired me to get back onto spine health and to start posting again., an Australian company has been doing research in regenerating intervertebral disc cartilage. On September 10, 2009 they announced “A single low-dose injection of Mesoblast's allogeneic or "off-the-shelf' adult stem cells into severely damaged intervertebral discs resulted in dramatic reversal of the degenerative process, regrowth of disc cartilage, and sustained normalization of disc pathology, anatomy and function.” Very inspiring news. I have this company (Mesoblast) bookmarked as they are one of the only companies doing research into regenerating spinal discs instead of replacing them and has made substantial progress.

Another company has recently reported success on Intervertebral disc regeneration.

A couple of things that helped me. Granted everyone is different and different techniques help different people. I am by no means a doctor so dont take this as medical advice.
The best thing that I did for myself was purchase items to help with pain and to change my lifestyle.
I tried traction treatment. A local chiropractic clinic here in San Antonio had a machine called DRX 9000. After a couple of weeks of using it my sciatic pain was significantly reduced. Granted I still get flare ups if I over due it but I am glad I did the treatment.
How is your mattress? A firm mattress works best for me. I noticed that by replacing my mattress I woke up with little to no pain. It helps me get through the day realizing that I have one place I can go to eliminate at least some (if not all) of the pain. I purchased a sleep number bed. Best purchase I ever made. I sleep on 90 or 95 out of 100.
I purchased a good office chair. Not just a nice leather one but one that support me and my spine. I found that one with a mesh back supports my spine the best. The office chair I used at work in the Air Force was the Herman Miller Aeon office chair. Its the only chair that I can sit in for longer then a few minutes. This helps me watch movies and sit and type at my computer.

I by no means am saying they will work for you, but I am willing to pay the price and try new things because my train of thought is, how valuable is a good nights sleep? How valuable is sitting for a while and watching Tv or typing. I didnt mind making payment on these things and they have helped me change my life.
I still of course need to be careful in what I do. Just because I did something’s that help doesn’t mean I can go back to running or doing a lot of activities, but it has helped me get a lot of my quality of life back. I hope this helps.

On Oct 26, 2009, held a question and answer section titled investors briefing with the CEO. This article with show you the direction that is going and will hopefully answer some of your questions about both the company and their stem cell technology. In the article the CEO explains that while the company has other uses for its stem cell line product (bone repair, fusion) its primary purpose is to continue on it successful results with healing mild to advanced stage degenerative disc disease and herniations with stem cells. This as you will read is one of their main goals. You can check outwebsite to get more details.

Click on the Oct 26, Investors briefing

Unfortunately for both you and I, in my most recent search for medical and technological advancements to help us spineys I have been unable to come up with anything other then this Mesoblast article. Fortunately there is a company out there doing research to help us return naturally (non implant) to as close as possible before our disease. Unfortunately they are the only one. Do a search and see if you can find any other companies doing research and please post them here.

Keep your head up people. Technology is advancing and a breakthrough I feel is just around the corner.


Poster warned again. Post Edited to remove URL's Solicitation of any kind is not permitted on Spine-Health
Poster has received a formal warning.

Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health Administrator 11/02/09


  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Sorry,Not for me!
  • For those of you considering spinal fusion:

    On the website Link Removed by Mod - Jeauxbert If interested, please contact the poster via PM) . They say that artificial disc replacement is as good as or better then spinal fusion. Its not for everyone but worth checking out.

    For those of you considering surgery maybe you should look into an artificial disc. Anyone have any thoughts or experience?

    Please note that Spine-Health reserves the right to edit any messages posted or submitted or e-mailed to the Company and use them for content on the website or in other company materials. No e-mail solicitation or advertising of other companies, products, services, or web sites is permitted in the Spine-Health.com forums.
  • Not a sales pitch Sir. Just something I hope that will come to fruitation. I am a back pain sufferer just like yourself. As we all know with any kind of advancement in medical science, whether it be medication, alteration... (any type of change to the body or a part of it), it could fail, at any time. This stem cell thing is not a guarantee but rather something I believe is on the right track. I just wish more companies would invest in this stem cell thing. Fusion (in my opinion) is archaic and according to doctors, in the end (10+ years down the road) worse then if you hadnt done it at all. I hold my glass (not my breath) for advancements like the one Mesoblast is trying to make. I also hold my glass high for some companies here in the US to take root. This company is over in Australia. We are supposed to be the innovation country of the world! Regardless.. heres to advancement, wherever it may come. <:P <:-P
  • My doc has assured me that the artificial disc has a long way to go before being perfected. I appreciate the sharing of info with us. I have heard about the stem cell research and it is quite exciting. You seem to have the same opinion about surgery as I do. A fusion does not have a very high rate of success so I will not consider one unless I am unable to move. I do realize that there are situations that people do not have a choice but as long as I can hold off I will. Thanks for sharing your research. I will check out the links.
  • Yes JJ. I have talked to quite a few people. In between, family, co-workers, friends, doctors, people on here and others who have had the surgery I have spoke to over 20 people. All of them except 2 said stay away from surgery. Those two that got it that said they are happy with it just had the surgery done. The ones who said dont get it were 6-10 years + out and were having other problems. The surgery is supposed to fix the problems. Not cause further pain and irreversible damage down the road. Needless to say I am holding off on surgery. My point of sharing this information is because if I feel this way about surgery (and you do) then I know others will too. Plus I want to give people hope. Ive had my bouts with depression because of chronic pain and because of the limited options Ive had, and its forced change of lifestyle. I want to bring hope to others. Not keep it. If I had a magic wand I'd heal everyone. Honestly. I want to get the word out so that people dont go ahead with surgery unless its absolutely necessary as it is irreversible and often ineffective. I have been following Mesoblast for a few years now. One of the other companies is EDITED ** . Although they are not as far along as mesoblast you should check them out. Also do some research on your own. If we can get the word out that we are not settling for surgery then maybe those small pushes can lead a big change in America. After all. Back pain is the leading cause of disability in America so its not like we are the minority with an obscure unheard of disease. Mesoblast is expanding their human trials starting either at the end of this year or beginning of next. I contacted them and told them I want to be in a trial. I am here in the states (San Antonio Tx) so because the are an Australian company I will have to wait until the trials come over here. Shoot. I may just fly over there.

    Edited by Moderator - Jeauxbert. Spine-Health reserves the right to edit any messages posted or submitted or e-mailed to the Company and use them for content on the website or in other company materials. No advertising of other companies, products, services, or web sites is permitted in the Spine-Health.com forums.

    ** If anyone is interested in more information about this company, please send Firewater1981 a private message.
  • Thanks I will do some reading and checking the more we educate our selves the better, Tony
  • That is a very interesting and perhaps controversial product/technique. I too, had to think/research about which treatment route to take. It's good that you are researching all of your options and that you are able to manage your pain until then:) I was at the point however, that a little more than a month ago...I had to get my back fused due to uncontrollable pain. I couldn't even drive or walk more than a few blocks...However, I do understand your quest for finding a "cure" for chronic and debilitating back pain. I too, found out at my last MRI that I had busted up the above L5/L4 levels, albiet, not a whole lot, but I do have moderate DDD and facet problems, etc... This worries me so much...as I have a feeling, being only thirty, I will have to get the above levels worked on,eventually. Something I do not want to have to do.

    Thanks for the informative and interesting post! Hopefully, we will get more empirical data concerning these new procedures and we will be able to lead more pain-free (or with less pain) lives!

    Take care,

  • Hi Misty. Thanks for your reply. I see that you are a youngling just like me. It is unfortunate that you or I or anyone has to deal with such a painful debilitating disease. I am very sorry to hear about how your life was severely affected by your injury and pain. How did the surgery work out? I hope good!
    The product/technique (whatever it is) isnt really controversial. But if you mean it hasnt come to fruitarian yet and become mainstream you are right. As with all research this may or may not ultimately end up an answer. My hopes is that it will be. Given the fact that the research has come so far along and that they are in clinical trials is encouraging to me. Most products dont make it out of pre clinical trials. This option/treatment (again whatever it is) is not a guaranteed thing until they prove it with actual results from there continued clinical trials. Like I said earlier I will not hold my breath, but I will hold my glass to more companies like mesoblast and cyturi giving us more options then just hey, pop these pills, do these stretches, do your core strengthening exercises, set up your discectomy, injection or fusion appointment before you leave and call me in the morning. I dont like those options and they are archaic. Its barbaric to even call that pain relief when the results of spinal fusion are rarely successful and majority of people have to return for follow up surgerys 10+ years down the road due to increased stress on the remaining joints. Surgery is supposed to correct and heal. Not cause further pain and injury either now or 10+ years down the road. I am not saying that regeneration of cartilage is end all be all. Im just hoping that the current methods that the world employs to treat us spineys is definatly not the end all be all. Here is to further advancement and better our condition.
  • The sad thing is that a lot of people find that it is imperative that they have some form of surgery to relieve their pain, such as my case:( On a lighter note, My surgery was a little more than a month ago...and I guess I was expecting the worst. I immediately found that my instability was no longer affecting me when I got up and out of my hospital bed later on in the day (after my surgery). Granted, I had some major pain rolling over, etc... but I no longer felt like my lower body was being wrenched from my upper body! I feel so much better, I am not exaggerating, either:) Plus, I am taking only 2 Xtra strength Tylenol right before bed to help me sleep. Before my surgery, I would wake up every hour in pain, regardless of what narcotic I was taking. I would turn my head to speak with someone and get a stabbing pain in my hiney clear down to my feet! So, I am going to say, for the moment, I do not regret my decision. But, as my NS said, I may have to have revision surgery eventually. ugggs.

    I come from a family with very bad backs...more than half of my mothers siblings had to have major back surgery before 35! Plus, my grandmother, had a spinal fusion very early in her life. It scares me too, because I have thirteen siblings, 11 of which are biological, many of whom are having back issues at a relatively early age, as well. Like you were saying, it would be wonderful for some of these procedures and techniques to be proven as safe and effective for the future of us and other spineys...and approved by the insurance companies.

    Have a great afternoon,

  • I too, thought your post was interesting. I enjoy learning about new research taking place to help the spineys of the future. I'm sorry I missed the boat and had to have major surgery but am happy that research is going on into all types of spinal problems. I know that my type of surgery is super-advanced on the surgery done just in the 90s and am grateful for that. It's great that our grandchildren will be the recipients of even better techniques and skills.
  • a bit about the new disc materials and options that are being developed in that area. Oh how I wish I could have waited the pain out. I'm old (55) and the pain was just too severe, so I had no option but to go for the fusion. If however, I start blowing discs at the levels above my fusion in a few years, I hope these disc materials may be of some use!

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Thanks Chris. Very interesting interview with the CEO. Looks like they're going hard after the disc repair market. I sure hope they are successful!

    I was impressed by the results Mesoblast got on sheep, but there was not way to assess whether the improved disc quality actually reduced any associated pain. It sounds like they'll finally have some data in that regard by the end of 2010.

    I, for one, can't wait to see what they find. My doctor tells me fusion will eventually be needed at L5/S1. I pray I can hold out long enough to take advantage of something like this instead.
  • and willing to help and be there! Keep up being the hope of a dying spirit today! You are the light in someone day Chris!! Keep it up!

  • I thank you for starting this thread and think it will be an interesting one to keep in my "to read" file :)

    I am 47 and about 6 yrs into my injury and PRAYING I can hold out until there is something more solid/better....
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • Chris,

    I think you might have posted something about Cytori's EDITED in disc repair using adipose derived stem cells in another thread? (ETA: Oops, that was this thread!)

    I just came across the detailed results of this study, which were published last month. A brief presentation is available as a PDF file EDITED ** It includes color pictures of the control and repaired discs. Pretty interesting stuff.

    The authors also published an article in the journal Spine describing their results, which also appeared last month. I haven't finished reading it yet.


    Edited by Moderator - Jeauxbert... Spine-Health reserves the right to edit any messages posted or submitted or e-mailed to the Company and use them for content on the website or in other company materials. No e-mail solicitation or advertising of other companies, products, services, or web sites is permitted in the Spine-Health.com forums.

    ** If anyone is interested in the links mentioned in this post, please contact RJ8 via Private Message.
  • I just came across this clinical trial of rhGDF-5 for disc repair:

    rhGDF-5 was found to restore disc height in rabbits, now they're recruiting for Phase-I/II clinical trials.

    Standards agreement and posting rules
    Please note that Spine-Health reserves the right to edit any messages posted or submitted or e-mailed to the Company and use them for content on the website or in other company materials. No e-mail solicitation or advertising of other companies, products, services, or web sites is permitted in the Spine-Health.com forums.
    ** If anyone is interested in the link, please contact RJ8 via Private Message.

  • ;) Great Work RJ8!!!! Cheers!!!!!
    Lets continue to do the research and give hope to the people. We are living in a very interesting time!!!!!
    =D> =D> =D> 8> :> :P :H ;)

  • Post removed by moderator paulgla. Inappropriate.
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