Navigation Links
Singapore Adopts Advanced Genetic Engineering in Orthopedic Surgery
Date:4/21/2009

Spinal fusion with Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMP) speeds up the bone healing process, thereby ensuring that patients recover and return to activities within just a few months.

Singapore (PRWEB) April 21, 2009 -- Singapore is one of the first countries in Asia to utilize innovations in genetic science and medicine in the field of orthopedics with highly successful outcomes.

Since mid-2008, the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) has been applying biologics to a highly select group of patients who require spinal fusion for spinal instability or severe spinal fractures.

Conventionally, patients with unstable spinal structures - as a result of injury, bone cancer or age-related degeneration - could only look forward to a painful surgical procedure called spinal fusion, which aims to stabilize the spine by fusing together two or more vertebrae using bone grafts and metal implants.

The implants, which include titanium rods, screws or cages, act as supports for the spine while the bones heal. But herein lays the problem: Spinal fusion is a long-drawn process that often requires bone grafting and patients can take up to a year or more to recover fully from the procedure.

"Spinal fusion is a two-pronged process. The first involves putting in the metal implants to hold the spinal column in place; the second involves taking bone grafts from the pelvis, which can be traumatic for the patient," explains Clinical Associate Professor Tan Seang Beng, Director of the Spine Service and Chief of SGH's Department of Orthopedic Surgery.

Apart from the time required for new bones to grow, pain is a big factor in such operations.

"Spinal fusion surgery often involves two surgical sites - one in the back and one at the pelvis. The second site, in particular, can cause intense pain that lasts many weeks or even months," says A/P Tan.

As a result of this, researchers have been looking for less invasive ways to help stabilize the spine. The breakthrough came with biologics - genetically engineered proteins derived from human genes.

"Scientists in the United States found that BMPs, or Bone Morphogenetic Proteins, can be used to selectively drive certain functions in the human body, including the formation of new bone.

"When applied to the bone, this group of proteins attracts stem cells from other parts of the body to the damaged area and encourages them to grow into bone cells," explains A/P Tan.

He adds, "BMP is to the bone what fertilizer is to plants. With BMP, there is no longer a need to harvest bone grafts from the pelvis, which significantly reduces the amount of pain the patient suffers."

More importantly, BMP speeds up the bone healing process, thereby ensuring that patients recover and return to activities within just a few months.

This procedure has opened up a whole new vista in orthopedics, paving the way for subsequent collaboration between biotechnology and medical science.

Going forward, doctors here believe that the scope for BMP use will be widened to benefit more patients including those with delayed healing of limb fractures.

"BMP will be particularly useful for patients going into their senior years. For these people, bone grafts alone may not work, because the quality of their bones would have degenerated with age," says A/P Tan.

As the global population ages, spinal fusion will become increasingly necessary. In fact, it is now the fastest rising operation in the United States.

Age-related degeneration aside, patients who have been diagnosed with spine fractures due to bone cancer or who have sustained injuries to the spine could also benefit from fixation of the spine and fusion with BMP.

"The lumbar spine especially carries a lot more load and is therefore subjected to higher stress compared to the cervical spine. Because of this, the healing rate is generally poorer in the lumbar spine." says A/P Tan.

The operation, however, does not come cheap, compared to conventional treatments.

"A spinal fusion with BMP will come to about S$40,000 (US$26,000)," says A/P Tan. This compares favorably to the US, where a similar operation could cost considerably more.

The success rate, though, could more than make up for it. Ultimately, the choice still belongs to the patient.

"It's a trade off, between a long-drawn healing process, versus a potentially faster recovery at extra cost. But now, at least, there is an option," says A/P Tan.

About the Singapore General Hospital
The Singapore General Hospital (SGH) is the public sector's flagship hospital. Established in 1821, SGH is Singapore's largest and most established acute tertiary hospital and national referral centre. A multi-disciplinary approach to medical care offers patients ready access to a wide range of specialties and support services. SGH achieved Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation in 2005 - the largest teaching hospital in Asia to be accorded such recognition.

About SingaporeMedicine
Launched in 2003, SingaporeMedicine is a multi-agency government-industry partnership committed to strengthening Singapore's position as Asia's leading medical hub and international health care destination. Led by the Ministry of Health of Singapore, SingaporeMedicine is supported by three government agencies: the Economic Development Board, which develops industry capabilities, the International Enterprise Singapore, which fosters regionalism by Singapore-based health care players, and the Singapore Tourism Board, which markets Singapore as a healthcare destination to inbound international patients and develops associated people-oriented services.

###

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/singapore-medicine/asia-leading-medical-hub/prweb2334704.htm.


'/>"/>
Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2009 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Singapore First in Southeast Asia to Use Novel Treatment for Sports and Musculoskeletal Injuries
2. SingaporeMedicine Highlights Singapore's Advanced Pain Management Techniques
3. Singapore Gives New Sight to the Blind
4. Singapore Premier Women's Hospital Offers Contactless Surgery for Uterine Fibroids
5. Singapore Offers Grants to Research Scientists to Start Labs Here
6. Abbott Opens New Pediatric Nutrition Manufacturing Facility in Singapore
7. Hospital Build Asia Exhibition and Congress 2009: Regions Most Comprehensive Healthcare Infrastructure Planning and Development Event to Debut in Singapore
8. Nanyang Technological University launches first-ever sports degree in Singapore
9. Abbott Opens New Pharmaceutical Research Laboratory in Singapore
10. Abbott Nutrition Announces Voluntary Recall of ZonePerfect(R) Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars, ZonePerfect(R) Peanut Toffee Bars and NutriPals(TM) Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars in U.S., Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore
11. STEMCELL Technologies Launches Direct Distribution to Singapore
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Singapore Adopts Advanced Genetic Engineering in Orthopedic Surgery
(Date:6/27/2017)... , ... June 27, 2017 , ... Today, June 27th ... from PTSD. Yet less than 20% will receive adequate care due to lack of ... won't receive any care at all. And left untreated, veterans are at an increased ...
(Date:6/26/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Antoine Dental Center is now offering various types of dental implants ... as a support for prosthetic teeth, such as crowns, bridges, or dentures. An implant is ... sturdy, lasting new root for the tooth. , Several types of dental implants are ...
(Date:6/26/2017)... , ... June 26, 2017 , ... LARKR™ , ... health professionals in every state across the country to join its online treatment platform. ... way for therapists to reach a substantially greater number of people in need nationwide, ...
(Date:6/25/2017)... ... June 24, 2017 , ... Create a feel-good lyric music video in Final Cut Pro X ... the timeline and write in the lyrics to any song. ProLyric flies in the text ... of the text can be added modularly for optimal control. ProLyric makes editing any music ...
(Date:6/25/2017)... ... ... Health Month and the focus is on prostate cancer. Second only to skin cancer, ... most common cause of cancer related death today; lung cancer remains in the number one ... cancer during his lifetime. Those at highest risk are men who have a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/8/2017)... 8, 2017  StatLab Medical Products ("StatLab" ... manufacturer of diagnostic supplies for the anatomic ... & Company LP ("Cressey & Company"), a ... growth-focused investment in the Company. Cressey & ... from selling shareholder, Prairie Capital, L.P., with ...
(Date:6/5/2017)... June 5, 2017 Kohll,s Pharmacy & Homecare is the ... the United States . The Raizer is a simple ... person up to an almost-standing position within a ... by one assistant and does not require any ... that a child can operate it, and lightweight ...
(Date:5/30/2017)... CHICAGO , May 30, 2017 Hill-Rom Holdings, ... th Annual Global Healthcare Conference on Tuesday, June 13, ... John Greisch , Hill-Rom,s president and chief executive officer, ... The live audio webcast can be accessed at ... after conclusion of the live event through September 13, 2017. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: