Top Award Won in Spine Health Field

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Top Award Won in Spine Health Field by The Bone & Joint Center's Doctor and Research Team

Albany, N.Y., April 6, 2015 – Breakthrough research in the field of spine health awards James Lawrence, M.D., orthopaedic spine surgeon at The Bone & Joint Center and associate professor of surgery at Albany Medical College, and the collaborative efforts of the medical research team the highest international award for spine research.

The study indicates that some pressure on the spine through weight or exertion may be beneficial to an injured disc. Through therapy, this type of pressure could have potential arrest or even reverse degeneration of a painful intervertebral disc, refuting long-accepted evidence that physical impact is detrimental to disc health. This revolutionary research is essential, as 80% of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lives.

The International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine (ISSLS) awarded this prestigious prize in lumbar spine research for 2015 to the collaborative effort of the medical team conducted by James Lawrence, M.D., from The Bone & Joint Center and Eric Ledet, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and adjunct professor of orthopaedic surgery at Albany Medical College.

“The ISSLS prize is the most prestigious honor worldwide in the field of basic spine research, which speaks to the high quality of this work, as well as to the valued, longstanding relationship Albany Medical College has with RPI,” said Richard Uhl, M.D., head of the division of orthopaedic surgery at Albany Medical College and orthopaedic surgeon at The Bone & Joint Center. The ISSLS prize is awarded annually to the highest impact research related to the spine by a selection committee from the journal Spine and the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine.

Dr. Lawrence said the next steps for this groundbreaking research is to conduct a therapeutic study with his team that would examine treatment possibilities for high-risk patients with back pain and what can be done to protect them.

Research for this study was funded by a grant from the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation. It was led by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute alumna Sarah Gullbrand, Ph.D. Research assistants included Mostafa Abousayed, M.D., and Timothy Roberts, M.D., residents in orthopaedic surgery at Albany Medical College, RPI alumni Rosemarie Mastropolo and Arun Fricker, graduate student Joshua Peterson, and undergraduate Jenna Ahlborn.

The Bone & Joint Center and their board-certified doctors specialize in all orthopaedic services, including joint reconstruction, spine, neck, hand, foot and ankle, shoulder, and sports medicine. The doctors at The Bone & Joint Center are among the most experienced and highly trained surgeons in the region. For more information, visit or call (518) 489-2666.