Financial and domestic problems for workers -- particularly those who are African-American, have lower incomes, or are younger than 35 -- get progressively worse in the years after they have settled claims for painful, on-the-job back injuries, a new Saint Louis University study finds. "There are many casualties in the current system. Those casualties can leave people worse than we previously believed, and at a cost to society that appears pretty high. Our research shows those who are African-American, at lower income levels, young or all of the above have the greatest problems, and these problems escalate over time, " said Raymond Tait, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and lead author of the research that appeared in the August issue of Spine.
Vertebroplasty And Balloon Kyphoplasty To Treat Vertebral Fractures; Review Calls For More Research And Systematic Approach To Osteoporosis Management
A working group of the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) has issued a literature review of prospective controlled studies comparing the efficacy and safety of two minimally invasive techniques for vertebral augmentation after spine fracture: vertebroplasty (VP) and balloon kyphoplasty (BKP). The review also lists important recommendations to facilitate the comparison of future studies and highlights research questions still unresolved. Vertebral fractures, most often due to osteoporosis, are associated with acute or chronic back pain, disability and kyphosis (stooped back). One in five women with a vertebral fracture will sustain another within a year, which may lead to a 'cascade' of fractures. Vertebral fractures impact severely on quality of life and may have serious health consequences such as spinal deformity, immobility, decreased pulmonary function, early satiety and impaired gait.
Every year, millions of people contend with lower back and neck discomfort. With intent to ease their pain, Cornell University engineers in Ithaca and doctors at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City have created a biologically based spinal implant that could someday spell relief for these countless sufferers. Lawrence Bonassar, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering, and Roger HÃ rtl, M.D., associate professor of neurosurgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and chief of spinal surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, have created bioengineered spinal discs that have been successfully implanted and tested in animals. The other scientists on the paper are Robby Bowles, Cornell Ph.D. '11, and Harry Gebhard, M.
By some estimates, up to 85 percent of Americans have experienced low back pain and research reported in The Journal of Pain showed that pain intensity ratings, pain location and sensory and affective variables differ among individuals with acute and chronic low back pain. In some cases, these factors might be predictive of which acute pain patients may develop chronic pain. Researchers from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine recruited 40 acute back pain patients and 37 with chronic back pain for the study. The subjects were trained to rate their pain and completed several different questionnaires designed to assess pain intensity, medication use and evidence of affective disorders, such as depression. The researchers investigated differences in pain characteristics between sub-acute back pain and chronic back pain and their relationship to pain intensity.
Research from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) uses a new imaging technique, arterial spin labeling, to show the areas of the brain that are activated when patients with low back pain have a worsening of their usual, chronic pain. This research is published in the August issue of the journal Anesthesiology. "This study is a first step towards providing tools to objectively describe someone's chronic pain which is a subjective experience. We've found that when a patient has worsening of their usual pain, there are changes in the activity of the brain, " said Ajay Wasan, MD, MSc, lead author of the paper and a researcher in the Pain Management Center at BWH. "These changes occur in the network of areas in the brain that process pain and mood." Researchers compared 16 patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP) to 16 healthy subjects.