9V6RJ3rpFgRWRKz9atzwHWSEAzE Useful Articles Hard To Ignore: Will Tiny "Pillows" Provide Relief From Spinal Arthritis Pain?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Will Tiny "Pillows" Provide Relief From Spinal Arthritis Pain?

By Michael Soltoff

A revolutionary treatment currently being used in England may help spinal arthritis sufferers. The technique involves the surgical implant of a small cushion into the spine, relieving pressure and pain.

One of the many causes of back pain is spinal arthritis. Spinal arthritis is caused when the protective cartilage that cushions the joints in the spine degenerates, creating pressure on the vertebral joints. Sometimes, this pressure impacts the nerves extending through the spinal column, causing numbness, weakness, and pain.

Spinal arthritis most commonly affects people over 55 years of age. The condition can be made worse by repetitive stress on the vertebral joints and by obesity. Over eight million British residents suffer from various stages of spinal arthritis. While many can continue normal life activities, others are severely impacted by the pain.

Since spinal arthritis is largely incurable, treatment has historically been limited to painkillers (including NSAIDs), corticosteroid injections, physical therapy, and behavioral changes to limit back stress.
In England, a new treatment is being tried. Surgeons implant a small, gel filled cushion to relieve symptoms.

Recently, the British NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) approved the "DIAM" implant (short for "Device for Intervertebral Assisted Motion"). The United States FDA has not yet approved the device. The DIAM device is a small, H-shaped cushion filed with silicone gel, surrounded by a polyester mesh with polyester ties. The DIAM implant acts as a pillow - cushioning and stabilizing the patient's vertebral joint. The DIAM implant is placed between the patient's spinous processes. These are the bony parts of the vertebrae that protrude from your back (you can feel them by running your finger down your spine).

The DIAM implant was developed by Medtronic, a United States medical product manufacturer. A study of patients show that the implant both cushions the area and restores mobility in the joint, relieving arthritis pain. Medtronic studied 68 recipients of the implant, who ranged in ages between 23 and 75 years old. Patients' movement improved by an average of 64%, and their pain decreased by an average of 71%. All of the studied patients showed improvement. The age of the patient did not seem to have an effect on the results.

Surgery is usually accomplished on an outpatient basis in a procedure taking approximately 45 minutes. The surgery is conducted with the implant recipient lying on his or her stomach. The doctor makes a small incision in the affected area. He then uses a retractor to gain access to the spine. The area is cleaned by the surgeon removing any required material, including any bony overgrowths caused by the arthritis. The implant is inserted onto the spine between two of the bony protrusions from the spine known as spinous processes. The device is then stabilized by tying it adjacent vertebrae. The incision is closed with a few stitches.

Implant recipients can usually go home as soon as they recover from the anesthesia and are able to walk. While sometimes, physical therapy is used to improve the patient's core strength and stability, most of the time no rehabilitation is required.

There is no reason to suffer through arthritis pain. In addition to the novel DIAM implant, there are many additional types of arthritis treatment and osteoarthritis treatment, including traditional medicines, surgical methods, exercise, and alternative treatments.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_Soltoff

No comments:

Post a Comment