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UK Researcher Pioneers Treatment for Back Pain

Matt Brown (left), UK bioengineering graduate, and Tom Hedman manufacturing Réjuve in Malaysia.

If you’re among the millions of Americans who suffer from lower back pain, you’ll be happy to learn that a new treatment developed at the University of Kentucky has garnered promising results in a recent clinical study.

Pioneered by University of Kentucky researcher Tom Hedman, Réjuve is an injectable orthopaedic device that mechanically strengthens the spinal disc and stabilizes the spinal joint.  A key to Réjuve’s effectiveness is the device’s ability to promote crosslinking of fibrous proteins including collagen, which rejuvenates the spinal disk area.

“This treatment addresses the core deficiencies that contribute to low back pain, rather than just temporarily masking the pain like existing approaches,” said Hedman, who is an adjunct associate professor in the F. Joseph Halcomb III M.D. Department of Biomedical Engineering and chief scientific officer at Intralink-Spine Inc. “Secondly, the benefit is almost immediate. Within days these patients are returning to work and strenuous activities with a dramatic reduction in pain.”

One patient reported that he played 18 holes of golf three days after the Réjuve procedure and another climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge a few days post procedure.

Hedman also said both the cost of Réjuve and the 15-20-minute image-guided delivery procedure are considerably less than current and emerging treatments. 

“This is obviously extremely important as we see healthcare costs exploding in this country and abroad,” he said.

The company is hopeful that patients will experience permanent low back pain relief with just one or two Réjuve injections. Currently, many low back pain sufferers receive numerous epidural steroid injections each year.