• Injections of Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate as Treatment for Discogenic Pain

      Shillington, Jon Mark; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Wolff, Michael (The University of Arizona., 2016-04-20)
      Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common musculoskeletal pain complaints, affecting up to 84% of the U.S. adult population. In the United States, the highest rate of incidence is between the ages of 45 and 64 years. The causes for LBP are complex and of multiple origins, but one of the primary causes is mechanical low back pain that is discogenic in etiology. This can be secondary to either internal disc disruption (IDD) and/or degeneration of the intervertebral disc (IVD), also known as degenerative disc disease (DDD) [10,11]. Combined physical and medical therapies are successful in relieving pain in approximately 90% of cases of low back pain. However, the remaining 10% become chronic and generate a serious public health problem, known as chronic low--‐back pain (CLBP). CLBP decreases both the quality of life and the labor capacity of the patient. As specific diagnostic procedures for LBP have improved, discogenic pain has been identified as the primary cause of CLBP amongst adults. Within the classification of discogenic pain, the most common specific cause of pain – up to 42% of LBP complaints – is internal disc disruption (IDD), with other distinguishable causes including disc herniation, degenerative disc disease (DDD), and instability of the lumbar segment [10]. Effective treatment for discogenic LBP – and therefore for CLBP – would provide significant relief for individuals as well as for the overall health care system and the employers affected by the patients’ condition. One promising treatment option involves the use of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC), which may allow for regeneration of the disc itself. Treatment with MSCs via injections derived from autologous concentrated Bone Marrow Aspirate (cBMA) would capitalize on the regenerative potential of MSCs while reducing the risk of infection or rejection, both significant risks of treatment from a heterologous source. This project analyzed data collected from 33 patients with confirmed discogenic LBP, who were treated with intradiscal injections of autologous concentrated Bone Marrow Aspirate. After initial treatment, patients were monitored through follow up visits and questionnaires (VAS, Oswestry, SF--‐36) to determine the efficacy of treatment. The areas of interest for this study were intentionally narrow. This study sought to identify specifically the patients’ self--‐reported pain and functioning levels from 2 weeks post--‐treatment to 12 months post--‐treatment. Those reports were gathered using the aforementioned instruments and synthesized to show overall trends and statistically significant changes in the patients’ self--‐ assessment. The patients were also asked to give an overall impression of whether or not their back pain had improved post treatment. While admittedly limited in authority compared to a double--‐blind, randomized, controlled trial, the information was gathered from the patients with the hopes of augmenting ongoing research related to innovative treatments for discogenic LBP and of identifying new areas for further, future research.