Biologics in spine surgery holds great promise — Dr. Choll Kim shares insight into new field

Mackenzie Garrity -   Print  | Email

While the use of biologics in spine surgery is still emerging, more spine surgeons are gaining exposure to the field as new clinical trials and noninvasive treatments are born.

Choll Kim, MD, PhD, is a spine surgeon at Spine Institute of San Diego. He is the founder and past-president of the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and founder of the Minimally Invasive Spine Centers of Excellence.

With expertise in minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Kim shared his thoughts on the use of biologics in spine surgery.

To share your thoughts or insights on the future of biologics in spine surgery, please email Mackenzie Garrity at

Question: What is the biggest trend you see in the use of biologics and regenerative medicine in spine surgery?

Dr. Choll Kim: The use of biologics and regenerative medicine in spine surgery remains elusive yet holds great promise. We already know from our experience with products, such as bone morphogenetic protein, that biologic modulation can be powerful. As we gain clearer insights into other important processes, such as wound healing, epidural scar formation, bone regeneration and eventually disc regeneration, we will be able to focus treatments earlier in the stage of disease rather than waiting for an end-stage event necessitating salvage procedure, such as fusions. Although much work is needed to get there, it is an exciting and worthwhile destination.

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