An artificial disc to keep your bad back flexible


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
An artificial disc to keep your bad back flexible

Scientists have developed a tiny, artificial disc which mimics the flexibility of the spine, a feat they say could revolutionize the treatment of back pain. Developed by a team at Brigham Young University in the US, the "roller" when inserted in the spine replaces damaged discs and provides the same range of movement as the real one.

The replacement disc has a rolling action to allow the spine to move in different directions. It's intended as an alternative to fusion, where bones either side of the damaged disc area are welded together to reduce pain, the Daily Mail reported.

Spinal discs, which contain a gel-like substance, help cushion the vertebrae during movement. While they are critical for movement, the discs can become the source of back pain when they degenerate. Treatment ranges from painkillers & physiotherapy, to different types of surgery.

One of the common forms is spinal fusion, in which the vertebrae on either side of the damaged disc are welded together to make one solid bone. However, the operation can limit the flexibility of the spine and restrict movement. To overcome this problem, the Brigham team designed and developed the artificial roller that can move forwards and backwards, as well as side to side.
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