Mark Mikhael, MD, is studying the use of proteins from donor stem cells in spinal fusion surgery, Chicago Health reports.
Here are four things to know:
1. Dr. Mikhael co-authored a study in Asian Spine Journal exploring how the use of allogenic mesenchymal cellular bone matrix can improve subjective outcomes for high-risk cervical spine fusion patients.
According to Dr. Mikhael, a standard spinal fusion of two vertebrae has about a 90 percent success rate and fusing three vertebrae has an 85 percent success rate. In the Asian Spine Journal study, all 21 patients who received stem cell therapy in addition to spinal fusion showed evidence of fusion six months postoperatively, regardless of age or comorbidity status. All patients returned to work or their normal leisure activity within three months postoperatively.
2. Dr. Mikhael's initial study was the first of its kind not funded by a stem cell company.
3. Dr. Mikhael used CBM to perform cervical spine fusion on a diving coach with degenerative spine disease and herniated discs. The patient resumed coaching three weeks later and told Chicago Health she does not experience any functional limitations almost 18 months postoperatively.
4. Dr. Mikhael is a board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon at Chicago-based Illinois Bone & Joint Institute. He is also affiliated with Evanston, Ill.-based NorthShore University HealthSystem.