Experimental Hydrogel Improved Chronic Pain from Degenerative Disc Disease

PainRelief.com:  What are the main findings?

Response: After six months, all participants in the study reported significantly less low back pain—declining from an average reported pain level of 7.1, down to 2.0, on a scale of zero to 10. They also experienced greatly improved physical function, with average Oswestry scores falling from 48 to 6 on a disability questionnaire to gauge the impact of low back pain on normal activities.

PainRelief.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: We currently have no good treatments for degenerative disc disease, aside from conservative care which is most often only marginally effective. Surgery is statistically no more effective than conservative care and can potentially make things worse. Nerve ablation is appropriate for only a few patients, and previous hydrogels could pop out of place, particularly if you are not highly skilled in placing them. Because this gel is injectable in a liquid form, it requires no incision and it augments the whole disc by adding to its tissue lost to degenerative disc disease and increases the disc height – similar to inflating a flat tire – thereby restoring its structural integrity, which nothing we have currently can do.

If confirmed in further studies, this hydrogel and the procedure to place it in affected vertebrae could potentially become an effective new option for the many people worldwide with DDD. The current formulation is very safe and effective at augmenting the core and outer layer of a degenerated intervertebral disc with moderate to severe degeneration.

PainRelief.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: A pilot study is currently underway in Canada, and we are planning a pivotal trial, which we hope will begin in the fall in the U.S.

Any disclosures? Dr. Beall is a consultant for ReGelTech.


Study: Treatment of Painful Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease: A Feasibility Study

Presented at: Society of Interventional Radiology 2022 Annual Scientific Meeting, Boston


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