Spinal pathologies are a major burden on society and individuals. Recent years have seen a large number of
studies dedicated to the use of stem cells in spinal surgery. This review focuses on recent advances and controversies regarding
the applications of stem cells in spinal fusion surgery, spinal cord injury and intervertebral disc degeneration.
There are significant concerns regarding the ethics and risks of stem cell use. Animal models do not always accurately depict
the human condition. While a great deal has been achieved, successful translation into clinical practice is needed.
However there is no doubt that stem cells have a major role to play in the future management of spinal conditions.
Keywords: Intervertebral disc degeneration, stem cells, spinal fusion, spinal cord injury.
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