Chronic low back pain is a significant public health problem in industrialized society. The intact spine carries the upper body and external loads, allows motion in a physiological range and protects the spinal cord. These different demands necessitate a high degree of complexity with various sources for disorders and pain. The Julius Wolff Institute conducts research in order to counter pain causes and to further optimize the pain treatment.
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Improvement of existing spinal implants
Specific back pain is one of the most common causes of degenerative diseases of the lumbar spine, in the course of which there may be segment instability, facet joint arthrosis or spinal stenosis structures. Surgical therapies were designed to stabilize the segment to relieve overstressed structures and eliminate a possibly resulting narrowing of the spinal canal with compression of neural structures in the past. Today the most effective surgical treatment in segment instability is the anterior inter-corporeal fusion (spinal fusion). With autogenous cancellous bone augmented cages (spacers, cage) the therapeutically desired stabilization of the lumbar spine is brought about.
While stability must always be regarded as primary goal, implants were developed to additionally provide mobility. Especially mobile disc prostheses have to be named, but also interspinous implants which are placed in between the spinous processes, or so called dynamic implants which - contrary to rigid fixators - leave some mobility and ought to release the intervertebral discs and the facet joints.