Date of Award

Winter 12-2009

Degree Type

Internship Practicum Report

Degree Name

Master of Science

Field of Study

Clinical Research Management


Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Rustin Reeves


Purpose: To evaluate bone graft substitutes used in spine fusion surgery and determine the feasibility of studying the use of adult stem cells.

Hypothesis: Using a well designed, randomized clinical trial to compare bone graft substitutes used in spine fusion surgery will help determine the best alternative to autologous bone graft.

Design: Retrospective data on two bone graft substitutes will be evaluated. A protocol for studying stem cells in spine fusion will be drafted and the feasibility of implementing the trial will be analyzed.

Results: It is difficult to design a randomized clinical trial to investigate a new surgical technique. The lack of standardization among spine surgeons makes it difficult to control for confounding variables.