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Engineers developing new cements to heal spinal fractures
Date:10/28/2007

to simulate how they will perform in patients.

Statistically, burst fractures are seen more in younger people, and not enough is currently known about the long term consequences of using existing cements for the treatment of this type of injury. There is evidence to show that some patients with osteoporosis, who tend to be older, can develop fractures in the vertebrae adjacent to those treated with vertebroplasty.

We think this may be because current cements are stiffer than the bone itself causing an imbalance in the way the spine bears weight. This may increase loading on the neighbouring vertebrae, which can lead to further damage says Dr Wilcox.

Clearly we need to develop biomaterials that more closely match the properties of real bone. This project offers the perfect opportunity to use the range of complimentary skills of this grouping to predict the effects of newly developed cements and even incorporate biological agents to assist the bodys own healing process, added Dr Buchanan.

To be able to use bone cements for burst fractures would be a major leap forward. It would be simpler, quicker and much less invasive for the patient, reducing both recovery times and NHS costs.


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Contact: Jo Kelly
jokelly@campuspr.co.uk
44-011-325-89880
University of Leeds  
Source:Eurekalert

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