Notochordal cells (NCs) reside in the core of the healthy disc and produce soluble factors that can stimulate nucleus pulposus cells (NPCs). These NC-derived factors may be applied in intervertebral disc regeneration for treatment of low-back pain. However, identification of the active soluble factors is challenging. Therefore a novel approach to directly use porcine NC-rich NP matrix (NCM) is introduced.

Pain due to spontaneous intervertebral disc (IVD) disease is common in dogs. In chondrodystrophic (CD) dogs, IVD disease typically develops in the cervical or thoracolumbar spine at about 3-7 years of age, whereas in non-chondrodystrophic (NCD) dogs, it usually develops in the caudal cervical or lumbosacral spine at about 6-8 years of age. IVD degeneration is characterized by changes in the biochemical composition and mechanical integrity of the IVD. In the degenerated IVD, the content of glycosaminoglycan (GAG, a proteoglycan side chain) decreases and that of denatured collagen increases.

Category: Osteoarthritis - Spine

Low back pain (LBP) is the leading cause of disability worldwide, with an estimated 80% of the American population suffering from a painful back condition at some point during their lives. The most common cause of LBP is intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration (IVDD), a condition that can be difficult to treat, either surgically or medically, with current available therapies. Thus, understanding the pathological mechanisms of IVDD and developing novel treatments are critical for improving outcome and quality of life in people living with LBP.

Category: Osteoarthritis - Spine

The socioeconomic burden of chronic back pain related to intervertebral disc (IVD) disease is high and current treatments are only symptomatic. Minimally invasive strategies that promote biological IVD repair should address this unmet need. Notochordal cells (NCs) are replaced by chondrocyte-like cells (CLCs) during IVD maturation and degeneration.

Category: Biologics - Spine

BACKGROUND/CONTEXT: Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is associated with longitudinal remodeling of paravertebral tissues. While chronic vertebral changes in advanced stages of DDD are well-studied, very little data exists on acute vertebral bone remodeling at the onset and progression of DDD.

PURPOSE: To longitudinally characterize bony remodeling in a rodent model of disc injury-induced DDD.

STUDY DESIGN/SETTING: In vivo animal study involving a rat annulus fibrosus injury model of DDD.

Category: Spine

BACKGROUND: Titanium (Ti)-6Al-4V alloy, which is widely used in spinal instrumentation with a pedicle screw (PS) system. However, significant clinical problems, including loosening and back-out of PSs, persist. During the last decade, a novel technology that produces bioactive Ti from chemical and heat treatments has been reported that induces the spontaneous formation of a hydroxyapatite (HA) layer on the surface of Ti materials.

Category: Spine

Artificial disc replacement alone is unable to completely cure cervical degenerative diseases; thus, a stabilization device markedly improves patient recovery.

In order to meet this requirement, an anterior spinal instrumentation combining a prosthetic disc nucleus with a flexible stabilization device (ASI combining PDN/FD) was developed. An artificial disc was designed and manufactured using polyvinyl alcohol hydrogel (PVA-H) with a repeated freeze-melting technique, and subsequently the dehydration and swelling properties of the PVA-H were investigated.

Category: Spine

Cervical spondylomyelopathy (CSM), also known as wobbler syndrome, affects mainly large and giant-breed dogs, causing compression of the cervical spinal cord and/or nerve roots.

Structural and dynamic components seem to play a role in the development of CSM; however, pathogenesis is not yet fully understood. Finite element models have been used for years in human medicine to study the dynamic behavior of structures, but it has been mostly overlooked in veterinary studies.

We compared clinical outcomes after ventral fixation in dogs with atlantoaxial instability (AAI) on the basis of the presence or absence of atlantooccipital overlapping (AOO).

Of 41 dogs diagnosed with AAI and treated ventral fixation, 12 exhibited AOO (AOO group), whereas 29 did not (non-AOO group).

The AOO group had significantly higher neurological scores before (P=0.024) and 1 month after (P=0.033) surgery compared with the non-AOO group; however, no significant differences were observed between the groups 2 months after surgery.

OBJECTIVE: To develop a patient-specific 3-dimensional (3D) printed drill guide for placement of cervical transpedicular screws and to assess its accuracy.

STUDY DESIGN: Prospective case-series.

SAMPLE POPULATION: Thirty-two cervical pedicle screws (CPS) placed in 3 large breed dogs.

Category: Spine