Tag: spine/back

They need some milk! The Link between Cycling and Osteoporosis

Athletes often are pestered about the importance of cross training by coaches and trainers alike. Football players work on flexibility through ballet. Runners, who primarily train in forward movements, practice calisthenics to build up their lateral strength. Similarly, cyclists are encouraged to participate in some contact-related activity. These are all good reasons for why athletes should cross-train, but will something actually happen if they refuse to cross-train? It’s crossed every athlete’s mind, from professionals to enthusiasts: “What’s the worst that could happen?”.

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Strengthening the Spine with Pedicle Screws

How are pedicle screws being used to strengthen the vertebrae in spinal fusion surgeries?

Xray of human spine with misaligned vertabrae. Then shows same spine that is aligned using pedicle screws.
Image from Seattle Neuro. Pedicle screws are inserted in the right image to align the unstable vertebrae originally shown left.

In the US alone, over 300,000 spinal fusion surgeries are performed every year to correct for fractures, deformations, or spinal instabilities. These surgeries are often performed by inserting a pedicle screw into the damaged vertebrae to increase the strength of the fusion. These screws are most often used in cases where the bone in the surrounding area is already weak, which decreases the likelihood of success in the surgery. Essentially, pedicle screws are used in damaged bones to increase their strength, in turn increasing the likelihood of success in a high-risk patient.

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