Herniated discs cause severe physical suffering to patients. In addition to this, their treatment is not always effective. A new technique developed by a team of scientists from the United States and Italy led by Cornell University professor Lawrence Bonassar will help solve this problem.
Between each of our vertebrae are shock-absorbing spinal discs, which are cartilaginous rings filled with a jelly-like mass - the nucleus. A herniated disc occurs when a rupture forms in the ring, through which the nucleus falls out and begins to press on the spinal nerve endings, causing severe pain.
Surgical treatment in this case consists in removing the protruding nucleus and suturing the gap in the disc. However, the disc remains in a "deflated" state. Another method involves replenishing the disc with a substitute, which can also seep through the unprotected opening over time.
Hernia Treatment Gel
The new method combines replenishment followed by patching. It is performed after discectomy, which is the standard procedure for removing leaked nuclear material.
First, a hyaluronic acid gel is injected into the disc and refills it. Then collagen - riboflavin gel is applied to the gap. He is exposed to a high intensity light source that activates photosensitive riboflavin.
As a result, the collagen fibers join together to form a hard patch. Over time, cells from the surrounding ring migrate to this area, gradually replacing it with natural biological tissue. The technique has already been successfully tested on sheep.