Back surgery sometimes results in an infarction of a nerve. If the nerve does not grow back, the result can be a drop foot condition. Over time, the leg muscle atrophies. If you walk around Florida, you can see more than a few cases of gentlemen in shorts with one leg noticeably smaller than the other. Other complications can arise from the imbalance of the muscle on the front of the leg versus the calf in the rear. The only solution is to stretch the calf so it does not over power the weakened front muscle and cause problems. A new solution is on the horizon, regenerative medicine.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine conducted a study of 13 patients who were surgically implanted with bioscaffolds derived from pig tissue. The patients showed significant improvement in strength and range of motion. In effect the surgeons were able to implant tissue, which had been infused in a small scaffold, into the leg of the patient. The tissue then grew and merged into the leg. The process is called regenerative medicine.
In the future, it will be possible to use 3-D printing to create organ tissue with stem cells from the patient, which can then be implanted in a failing organ. The scaffold holding the tissue would dissolve into the body and the cells would regenerate the organ with new organ tissue which was created by the stem cells. With tens of thousands of people on the waiting list for new organs, regenerative medicine will save many lives in the future. Read more about regenerative medicine at Regenerative medicine improves strength and function in severe muscle injuries – Medical News Today, and read more about 3-D printing of organs in Health Attitude.