Category Archives: lower back pain

Lower back pain? Artificial Spinal Discs not far off

timthumbAre you afflicted with lower back pain?  If you are, you’re not alone.  Millions of Americans report having the condition every year.  The good news is there may be a viable solution available in the not so distant future.

The BYU newspaper reported today that mechanical engineering professors have developed an artificial spinal disc that they believe could cure chronic lower back pain for many people.  They describe the disc as using flexible pieces of titanium to move naturally with the spin, thus mimicking a normal disc.

One of the most common reasons for a doctor visit these days is low back pain.  In fact, up to 80 percent of people will experience back pain sometime during their lifetime.

Currently, the silver bullet for the chronic condition is spinal fusion surgery.  This treatment involves removing the degenerative disc then fusing the gap together with bone fragments.  Although more than 300,000 operations like this are performed each year, about half of these patients are unsatisfied with their result.

The Mormon biomedical engineering department at BYU believe they have the answer.  The artificial disc is currently being developed by Crocker Spinal Technologies based in Salt Lake City.  It will first be available overseas (due to strict FDA regulations here in the U.S.) but will be accessible to Americans—pending favorable study results—very soon.