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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital
Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex
21.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Hirnforschung
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
21.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.09.2017 | Life Sciences
21.09.2017 | Health and Medicine