VIA Disc Allograft
If you suffer from low back pain caused by degenerative disc disease (DDD) or discogenic pain, VIA Disc could be an option – not only for relieving the pain but reversing the damage and repairing the discs from the inside. This cutting-edge therapy is a non-surgical treatment option for patients suffering from chronic lower back pain resulting from DDD.
What is VIA Disc?
VIA Disc is a non-surgical, injectable allograft that utilizes allogeneic tissue and micronzed disc material to repair degenerative discs. It is a proven therapy that has been shown in clinical trials to repair damage to degenerative discs and provide significant pain relief and improved function.
As of January 1, 2021, VIA Disc is COVERED UNDER MEDICARE. It is the first “off-the-shelf” allogeneic graft that is ready to use and does not require invasive harvesting of one’s own tissue.
One of the most common causes of chronic low back pain is degeneration of the lumbar intervertebral discs, better known as degenerative disc disease or DDD. Believe it or not, but there is no way to reverse degenerative discs. Once the damage sets in, it is permanent…or at least it was! Age-related wear & tear of the discs can cause loss of water from within the disc (dehydration) and degeneration. Not all degenerated discs are immediately painful, however once a disc starts to degenerate, it can develop cracks and tears which will make it susceptible to injury later on.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Is There Any Evidence?
There are literally DOZENS of different types of biologic treatments that go by the labels “regenerative” and/or “stem cell therapy.” Due to the fact that these treatments exist within a grey zone inside the United States, they are not formally regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) so each can make whatever claim or assertion that they wish, regardless of whether or not there is any evidence to actually support those claims. In the end, patients get tricked into believing things that are not true and spend thousands of dollars on “snake oil” therapies being sold by salesman wearing white coats.
The truth is, regenerative medicine is not “pixie dust” that will magically fix everything. Some have solid evidence to support their use so make sure you are getting the right one for your condition.
Below is a video from the American Society of Pain & Neurosciencen in 2020 where our very own Dr Hunter, along side 4 of the world’s foremost authorities in regenerative medicine, discuss the evidence and what distinguishes the different treatments for degenerative disc disease.
Contrary to popular belief, the use of stem cell therapy for spine and pain is largely unproven and yields haphazard results. Traditionally, a doctor will obtain a large sample of tissue from the patient (i.e. bone marrow or adipose tissue), put it through a centrifuge to isolate stem cells, and then inject them back into the patient with the belief that these cells will miraculously know exactly where to go, what type of cell to become and what to do. However, these cells can differentiate into anything ranging from cartilage and bone to muscle or just plain scar tissue. Without the proper genetic pre-programming, these stem cells can turn into any number of different cell types with zero guarantee that they will even know that there is damage to repair, let alone know where it it or how to actually repair it.
An allograft, on the other hand, consists of tissue that has been obtained from healthy donors, thoroughly screened for any abnormalities, and then programmed to mature into a particular type of cell line that will repair a specific type of damage. Each allograft is specialized for a specific task.
VIA Disc is injectable therapy that delivers allogeneic disc material inside the damaged disc that tricks the disc into healing and repairing itself. Using a proprietary cell line and preparation system, the graft is injected through a 22g needle into the damaged disc. Over the course of several weeks after the injection, the graft will begin to supplement the disc, causing it to regenerate and repair.
In the VAST Trial, patients treated with VIA Disc only required ONE TREATMENT. So far, these patients have been followed out to 24-months with excellent results. Their progress will continue to be monitored as time goes on and their progress will continue to be reported.
It may take several weeks before the effects are noticeable.
Intradiscal injections are generally well tolerated. Typically, these types of treatments can be perform using local anesthetic. Depending on the individual and the degree of degeneration present, the injection itself may cause mild discomfort as a result of an increase in pressure from within the disc as the graft is injected. This discomfort may be momentary in some, while others it may last a few days – your doctor may prescribe a temporary course of pain medication combined with muscle relaxers for comfort during this period. Other possible complications include infection and bleeding, however the these risks are relatively small and can easily be mitigated with proper precautions.
Is VIA Disc Right for me?
If you suffer from chronic low back pain resulting from degenerative disc disease that has failed to resolve with conservative therapies, this treatment may be an option for you. Contact the Ainsworth Institute to set up an initial evaluation to find out if you are a candidate for this truly amazing therapy!
The Ainsworth Institute is Here to Help
If you are suffering from chronic low back pain secondary to degenerative disc disease and want to avoid surgery, you may be a candidate for a VIA Disc Allograft. Contact the Ainsworth Institute of Pain Management today to schedule a consultation and find out if can benefit from this truly groundbreaking procedure.
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