Stem cells in spinal fusion

Author(s): Vivek P Shah

There are a number of bone regeneration therapeutics available to aid spinal fusion, however, many are associated with pseudarthrosis, inflammation and other complications. The use of mesenchymal stem cells for fusion has been promoted to mitigate these risks yet achieve successful bony fusion. This paper sought to review the clinical studies available to date with use in spinal fusion. The preliminary results from these studies demonstrate that stem cells can provide high rates of fusion that are comparable to autograft without associated morbidity. Both autologous and allogeneic stem cell sources showed similar rates of fusion in this review. However, further research is required to evaluate which clinical situations is the optimum for stem cell use.