I've been researching ADR for months as my local doctors want to do a 2-level fusion. I thought I had a lot of time, but my symptoms are growing worse and I feel that I get serious about surgery. I have grade 1 spondy-something or other at L4-5 and ddd at L5-S1.
The problem I'm having is that all of the data I can find is suspect. I read studies that seem to be a conclusion waiting for a way to prove it. I find happy patients and disasters on the internet. Conflicting reports from all the doctors. I've got to do something, but my head is spinning! I'm going to the international spine patient symposium next weekend in ny. It looks like that will may be helpful, but I don't know what to expect. Anyone been to one of these seminars?
Well, if I had a choice, I would go with the ADR. It leaves you with more flexibility for one thing and that is important to most people. I, too, have read both glowing reports and disaster stories, but I think that is true of most anything. I have been fused twice at L5-S1 so I will never be eligible for ADR, but if I were, I would try it. Just my personal opinion and certainly not urging you in one direction or the other...ADR is relatively new here in the States, and we don't know what the long-term outlook is. Pros and cons...and then I guess you go with your gut.
I have been researching ADR for several years and they have been doing them in Germany for yrs and yrs and many levels, as of right now the FDA has only approved one level fusions here but they are doing 2 levels in trial.
Since this is so new here the surgeons are being very paticular about the conditons in which they are done and how severe your problems are, which really limits who qualifys for ADR in time the rules will become more lax but in the meantime only the best of canidates are getting it, I'm not trying to discourage you only alert you, if I had a choice ADR would be mine but I don't qualify for surgery or ADR.
If you are going to the seminar I believe you will be in some of the best company in the world and will learn everything you need. I would love to have been able to go to this seminar but it's out of the question for me right now.
Thanks everyone for the replies, and thanks in advance for future info too. I think that some of the American docs at the seminar are doing the advanced cases. This week, I called Dr. Regan's and Dr. Bitan's offices and they both said that triple level procedures are now being done. I need a 2-level and I think that the big show stopper is insurance coverage, not the ability of the american doctors to do it. But, I do question their experience with the advanced cases compared to the German surgeons.