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29 October 2011

Spinal implant causes cancer, medical company tries to cover it up

Medtronics is a medical tech behemoth worth $15 billion. Among other cutting edge medical tech and R&D SciFi prototypes, the company is responsible for manufacturing a wide range of pacemakers, anti-seizure gadgets along with a number of surgery machinery. One of their most successful products in the last decade is a spinal implant that alleviates people suffering of serious back pain, at a hefty cost it seems – cancer.

The tiny device is implanted via surgery between vertebrates to correct irregularities in the spine including scoliosis, kyphosis, disc herniation or vertebral fracture. The implant held much promise, since before it came into practice a similar procedure required an extra surgery to get replacement bone from the patient’s hip or rely on a donor bone for it to be effective. Instead, the products Infuse (in production since 2002) and Amplify (unapproved), get the same results or better by use of a bone growth stimulating biological agent known as bone morphogenetic protein-2, or BMP-2.

In 2009, Medtronics paid millions of dollars for an investigation by surgeons whose purpose was to assess whether the product was safe or not. No safety hazards were found as a result of this extensive medical trial. An independent research however, sparked by various frightening stories in journals, showed that after two or three years from the implant with the genetically engineered protein, the number of patients diagnosed with cancer dramatically increased. The original 2009 paper authors, which were funded with millions by Medtronics, defended themselves by stating that at the time they published the report there were no signs that would allow them to correlate the implants with cancer.

28 October 2011

New study finds high prevalence of osteopenia in infants

October 26, 2011 -- Dr John Cannell

When we talk about T scores, osteopenia and osteoporosis, we assume we are talking about older people, especially post-menopausal women. However, a group of obstetricians and pediatricians from the University of Sienna, led by Dr. Franco Bagnoli, reported that 42% of infants have osteopenia.

Bagnoli F, Casucci M, Rossetti A, Nappini S, Cecchi S, Toti S, Franci MB. Vitamin D as a drug. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2011 Oct;24 Suppl 1:7-11

What I like was that the authors said, “To be safe, vitamin D administration should be increased to 2,000 IU/day for neonates, 5,000 IU/day for children and 10,000 IU/day for all adults.” Obstetricians are generally regarded as the one group of physicians that seldom change their mind. My hat is off to these seven obstetricians.

So many infants have craniotabes, or softening of the fontanels, it is considered normal although such infants show signs of vitamin D deficiency. That is, about a third of our infants show evidence of having low vitamin D during their development in the womb.

27 October 2011

Scoliosis Surgery - The Untold Truth

My goal in the upcoming posts is to express and reveal several unspoken facts of scoliosis surgery. This information is delivered to you for educational purposes, knowledge building and choosing an informed scoliosis treatment.

Many scoliosis surgical decisions are made under high pressure from the treating physician, usually because of the rapidly increasing scoliosis curves. Scoliosis surgery procedures should be thoroughly researched, all possible complications understood, with possible alternative treatments reviewed.

This decision may, and can take up to two weeks, barring any traumatic emergencies. Scoliosis curve condition will not change greatly in two weeks. (Remember the wait and see time prior to the magical curve number for scoliosis surgery). An improperly chosen path of scoliosis treatment can become very painful once a person moves beyond their 21st birthday.

Scoliosis corrective surgeries, especially in repeat surgery cases, may damage the body’s sympathetic nervous system. This could produce subsequent loss of function, such as adjusting of one’s heart rate, blood flow, and body temperature regulating during activities.

A percentage scoliosis corrective surgeries may cause intolerable pain and functional difficulties in patients as early as their mid- 20s or 30s. The most severe scoliosis cases require theses patients to be placed on Social Security Disability.

Many times the pain level escalates very quickly after the growth hormone is reduced as a scoliosis person’s moves into their young adult years. This leads into anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxants, anti-depressants, and pain killers.

Bowel and bladder failure may occur if the spinal nerves near the lower lumbar area are damaged during scoliosis correction surgery.

A little known fact that is not discussed at length prior to one’s scoliosis surgery …

Once a scoliosis patient that has undergone scoliosis corrective surgery or spinal fusion, one can never “Go Back” and reverse the process to regain a functional spine.

Think on this…

In 99% of the scoliosis surgeries the joints of the vertebral bodies are surgically removed. They are known as the “Facets”.

Boney architecture removed in scoliosis surgery from the vertebral body is called the “Spinous Process”. This small area of vertebral body is where several muscle groups attach to create body/spinal movement.

You may be wondering, "How do I move this part of my body?"

Surgical Device Company Failed to Report Its Spinal Implant Causes Cancer

Surgical device company Medtronic paid surgeons millions of dollars to investigate the safety of their spinal implant products. Turns out they cause cancer, but no one reported it.
So the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel did! They tell the disturbing story in an exhaustive investigative article. The devices in question, called Infuse and Amplify, are used in spinal fusion surgery. Surgeons wedge the devices between vertebrae to correct back irregularities including scoliosis, kyphosis, disc herniation, vertebral fracture and many others. Before the Medtronic devices, patients had to undergo an extra surgery to get replacement bone from their hip or they received donor bone. Infuse and Amplify eliminate that requirement with bone-growth-stimulating proteins. Revenue from Infuse has been about $700 million annually since coming on the market in 2002 (The FDA has declined approval of Amplify, and Medtronic is contesting the decision).
The author of the Journal-Sentinel article, John Fauber, recruited a physician researcher and sifted through 1,000 pages of FDA documents for his investigation to find that the bone-growth protein, called bone morphogenetic protein-2, is not as safe as Medtronic led folks to believe. Even though the surgeons claimed in a 2009 paper there was no significant link between the product and cancer, there totally was.