Prof. Dr. Frank Steffen

Foto Frank Steffen

Section of Neurology/Neurosurgery,
Small Animal Department,
Vetsuisse Faculty,
University of Zurich

Section of Neurology/Neurosurgery


My main interest is focused on diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the spine and spinal cord in dogs including spinal surgery. Most of the time, clinical cases presented to the Department for Small Animals are used for the studies, but cooperation with groups that study disc related features in experimental animals (sheep) also exists. In the past, we have developed and applied new surgical techniques in the canine spine using methods to decompress nervous tissue and to fuse canine intervertebral disc spaces. Recently, a pilot study in dogs with degenerative disc disease has been started using injection of autologous mesenchymal stem cells to promote regeneration of the disc. Currently, several dogs are under investigation. Based upon the results of this pilot project, we intend to shape the technique to clinical demands of both canine and human patients in order to pave the way for a more specific treatment of degenerative disc disease in both species.