Incidence and risk factors for lumbar degenerative disc disease in the United States military 1999-2008.
ABSTRACT The epidemiology of lumbar degenerative disc disease (DDD) is poorly understood, and the incidence of this disorder has not previously been characterized for a young, physically active population. This study sought to evaluate the incidence of lumbar DDD, and identify risk factors for its development, among individuals serving in the U.S. military over a 10-year period. The Defense Medical Epidemiology Database was queried for the years 1999-2008 using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification code for lumbar disc degeneration (722.52). Overall incidence was determined and multivariate Poisson regression analysis was performed to identify risk factors among demographic characteristics such as age, sex, race, military rank, and branch of service. White race, female sex, Army, Air Force, or Marine service, enlisted positions within the ranks, and age were found to be significant risk factors for the development of lumbar disc degeneration. Increased age appeared to be one of the most important risk factors, with adjusted incidence rates successively increasing for each age group under study. The incidence of lumbar DDD in this young, racially diverse, and physically active population is higher than most other degenerative conditions.
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ABSTRACT: Intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) is a common orthopedic disease associated with mechanical changes that may result in significant pain. Current treatments for IDD mainly depend on conservative therapies and spinal surgeries that are only able to relieve the symptoms but do not address the cause of the degeneration and even accelerate the degeneration of adjacent segments. This has prompted research to improve our understanding of the biology of intervertebral disc healing and into methods to enhance the regenerative process. Recently, biological therapies, including active substances, gene therapy and tissue engineering based on certain cells, have been attracting more attention in the field of intervertebral disc repair and regeneration. Early selection of suitable biological treatment is an ideal way to prevent or even reverse the progressive trend of IDD. Growth factors have been enjoying more popularity in the field of regeneration of IDD and many have been proved to be effective in reversing the degenerative trend of the intervertebral disc. Identification of these growth factors has led to strategies to deliver platelet-derived factors to the intervertebral disc for regeneration. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is the latest technique to be evaluated for promoting intervertebral disc healing. Activation of the PRP leads to the release of growth factors from the α-granules in the platelet cytoplasm. These growth factors have been associated with the initiation of a healing cascade that leads to cellular chemotaxis, angiogenesis, synthesis of collagen matrix, and cell proliferation. This review describes the current understanding of IDD and related biological therapeutic strategies, especially the promising prospects of PRP treatment. Future limitations and perspectives of PRP therapy for IDD are also discussed.Arthritis research & therapy 10/2013; 15(5):220. · 4.27 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Since its advent, telemedicine has facilitated access to subspecialty medical care for the treatment of patients in remote and austere settings. The United States military introduced a formal orthopaedic teleconsultation system in 2007, but few reports have explored its scope of practice and efficacy, particularly in a deployed environment during a time of conflict. All teleconsultations placed to the orthopaedic service between April 2009 and December 2012 were obtained and retrospectively reviewed. Case files were abstracted and anatomical location of injury, type of injury, origin of consult (country or Navy Afloat), branch of service, and treatment recommendations, were recorded for descriptive analysis. The final result of the consult was also determined, with service members transported from the combat theatre or deployment location defined as medically evacuated. Instances where teleconsultations averted a medical evacuation were also documented as a separate outcome. Over a 32-month period, 597 orthopaedic teleconsultations were placed, with the majority derived from Army (46%) and Navy (32%) personnel deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq, or with Navy Afloat. Approximately 51% of consults involved the upper extremity, including 197 hand injuries, followed by lower extremity (37%) and spine (7.8%) complaints. Fractures comprised over half of all injuries, with the hand and foot most commonly affected. The average response time for teleconsultations was 7.54h. A total of 56 service members required immediate evacuation for further orthopaedic management, while at least 26 medical evacuations were prevented due to the teleconsultation system. The teleconsultation system promotes early access to orthopaedic subspecialty care in a resource-limited, deployed military setting. The telemedicine network also appears to mitigate unnecessary aeromedical evacuations, reducing healthcare costs, lost duty time, and treatment delays. These findings have important meaning for the future of telemedicine in both the military and civilian setting. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: IV.Injury 03/2014; · 2.46 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) is a chronic, complex process associated with low back pain; mechanisms of its occurrence have not yet been fully elucidated. Its process is not only accompanied by morphological changes, but also by systematic changes in its histological and biochemical properties. Many cellular and molecular mechanisms have been reported to be related with IDD and to reverse degenerative trends, abnormal conditions of the living cells and altered cell phenotypes would need to be restored. Promising biological therapeutic strategies still rely on injection of active substances, gene therapy and cell transplantation. With advanced study of tissue engineering protocols based on cell therapy, combined use of seeding cells, bio-active substances and bio-compatible materials, are promising for IDD regeneration. Recently reported progenitor cells within discs themselves also hold prospects for future IDD studies. This article describes the background of IDD, current understanding and implications of potential therapeutic strategies.Cell Proliferation 08/2014; · 2.27 Impact Factor