Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ultrasound for slipped disc?

27.09.2006
A woman giving birth receives better pain relief from injections of sterile water compared with acupuncture. The sterile water also helps the woman to relax more. This is shown in a dissertation from the Sahlgrenska Academy in Göteborg, Sweden.

Slipped disc is a common ailment that causes a great deal of back pain and nerve pain in the bone­-sciatica­-that leads to many sick days home from work. Sometimes the disorder rectifies itself, but sometimes a rather complicated operation is needed. But now it seems that a gentler alternative, ultrasound, is on its way. The new method has been developed at Lund University and the University Hospital at Lund in Sweden. The technique is described in a dissertation by the physicist Johan Persson.

The principle is to direct focused ultrasound directly at the disc that has started to bulge outward and press against the nerves. When the disc cartilage warms up, its collagen fibers shrink, so the cartilage no longer bulges so much. This means that it no longer presses against the nerves that cause the pain.

Johan Persson's dissertation work involves the design of an ultrasound transmitter, temperature measurements in the laboratory, and simulation of the temperature distribution in the disc during ultrasound treatment­-some of the key steps in the development of this new technique. In traditional slipped disc operations, the damaged disc is opened up. The operation requires hospital care and a long period of sick leave, and it also involves a risk of complications. Ultrasound treatment, on the other hand, is done with a local anesthetic, takes only six minutes, and requires no hospital stay. If the method lives up to its promise, it will therefore be both more attractive to patients and cheaper for health care.

According to Björn Strömqvist, professor of orthopedics, the ultrasound method is intended for slipped discs that are not too large (so-called covered, non-perforated hernias). It is being tested now in a so-called multi-center study in Sweden, Germany, South Korea, Italy, and Turkey. The study is still in a very early phase, but preliminarily it seems that two thirds of the slipped disc patients treated have been helped by ultrasound.

Under the direction of Björn Strömqvist, the Section for Orthopedics at Lund will also study whether the method can be used for so-called disc degeneration. This is an age-related change in the cartilage discs of the vertebrae that is even more common than slipped discs.

More information from Johan Persson, phone: +46 46-222 07 39; cell phone: +46 733-12 99 11, Johan_K.Persson@med.lu.se, or his thesis director, Professor Björn Strömqvist, phone: +46 46-17 20 63 and bjorn.stromqvist@med.lu.se

A summary of the dissertation is available at http://theses.lub.lu.se/postgrad/. Its title is Effects of High Intensity Focused Ultrasound on the Intervertebral Disc.

Elin Lindström | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se
http://theses.lub.lu.se/postgrad/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University

nachricht Scientists re-create brain neurons to study obesity and personalize treatment
20.04.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tiny microenvironments in the ocean hold clues to global nitrogen cycle

23.04.2018 | Earth Sciences

Joining metals without welding

23.04.2018 | Trade Fair News

Researchers illuminate the path to a new era of microelectronics

23.04.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>