U Neurosurgery Department Seeks Participants for Trials of Innovative Approaches to Treating Back Problems

U Neurosurgery Department Seeks Participants for Trials of Innovative Approaches to Treating Back Problems

Jan 4, 2008 10:00 AM

SALT LAKE CITY -- People with lumbar spine (lower back) problems involving herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease are invited to participate in three clinical trials of innovative approaches to treating the conditions.

The Department of Neurosurgery in the University of Utah School of Medicine is conducting the trials under the direction of principal investigator Kenneth S. Yonemura, M.D., assistant professor of neurosurgery.

In the first study, Yonemura and several U of U co-investigators are testing a novel approach to repairing the annulus, or outer covering, of a spinal disc and facilitating healing after disc surgery in the lumbar area. The researchers are seeking approximately 30patients with herniated discs corresponding to pain, numbness, tingling, and/or weakness in the legs to take part in the trial.

People with lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) who are experiencing leg pain and require surgical decompression and stabilization can join a second trial with a device that compares dynamic non-fusion stabilization of the lumbar spine with standard instrumented fusion. Thirty-two patients are sought for the trial.

A third trial will compare a device that stabilizes the spine without fusing the vertebra with total disc replacement in the lumbar spine area. The device relieves lower back pain caused by disc damage or degeneration. Fourteen people are needed for this aspect of the trial.

Co-investigators in the studies are Andrew T. Dailey. M.D., associate professor of neurosurgery; Darrel S. Brodke, M.D., associate professor of orthopedics; Michael D. Daubs, M.D., associate professor of orthopedics; and Alpesh A. Patel, M.D., assistant professor of orthopedics.

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Media Contacts


Department of Nuerosurgery
Phone: (801) 585-7916
Phil Sahm
Public Relations Specialist , Public Affairs
Phone: (801) 581-7387
Email: phil.sahm@hsc.utah.edu

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