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Old 01-22-2006, 05:30 AM   #1
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Lightbulb The FDA approved artificial discs 10/2004 for lumbar spine, Cervical to follow

There is no more reason to have fusion except in rare cases in the US. The FDA has approved an artificial disc for use in the lower back in October of 2004. If your doctor is unaware find one that is aware and can perform the procedure if fusion of lower back is being recommended.

Also there are FDA trials going on right now for artificial discs in the cervical spine all over the US. These are a copule of years from approval but there are a total of 5 types available for the cervical spine (neck) and 2 or 3 available for the lumbar spine (lower back). Which are available in the US I don't know but ask the right questions of your doctors. Don't accept the "Standard of care is Fusion" line. After 4 failed fusions in my neck and lower back I can attest to the fact that this is not a good way to go. Why fuse something that is supposed to move.

Once you fuse you cannot reverse it later with an artificial disc. I have spent 2 years trying to convince any European doctor to do this.

Once upon a time they fused knees but no longer they have artificial knees. The same is true for hips. The technology now being used in the spine was derrived from the years of research and post surgical research of these artificial hips and knees.

Be an informed patient. Learn all you can and ask questions until you irritate the doctor. It's your neck not theirs. I have run into way too many cavilier surgeons lately about my problems.

I got on the phone one day and called over 20 surgeons in my area and asked about artificial discs over 80% of them were unaware and 10-15% were aware but weren't trained yet which leaves 5% of them were ca[able of doing the procedure.

In California I know that Cedars Sainai is doing it and also possibly UCLA and USC though I haven't called them specifically but heard through another doctor that they were doing some kind of program.

Don't go into a blind clinicl trial where you might still get fusion. You don't want that risk. Wait if possible for FDA approval.

Just thought I would inform this board since I didn't see anything pop out at me when I first started looking at this discussion board.

Snicklefritz

Last edited by snicklefritz; 01-22-2006 at 05:31 AM.

 
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Old 01-22-2006, 08:38 PM   #2
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Question Re: The FDA approved artificial discs 10/2004 for lumbar spine, Cervical to follow

Snicklefritz ~

1st, your posting name is what my parents used to call my sister & me when we were kids!! I haven't heard that name in YEARS!!! Boy did that ever bring back the memories when I saw your post!!

2nd, I've been told (in fact I read in our local paper) that ADR has been approved by the FDA for ONLY those people who are under 60 w/ only 1 bad disc. Since I'm 62 & have several degenerated discs along w/ OA of the spine, I've just assumed that I'm not eligible for the procedure. To the best of your knowledge, is that true or have I been misinformed?? If there's any chance that I could have an ADR done, this inquiring mind wants to know!!!

TIA for your help!

{{Hugs}} & prayers ~

Midge <><

 
Old 01-22-2006, 09:04 PM   #3
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Smile Re: The FDA approved artificial discs 10/2004 for lumbar spine, Cervical to follow

the artificial discs are wonderful and i had hoped that i was a candidate for it, but in the usa you can only have one bad disc, the fda has not approved the disc replacement on multiple levels, therefor i have to have the fusion. in europe they do multiple levels of disc replacement. if i new that this would become availible in the near futurs i would put off my surgery, but from what i hear the fda will not approve the multiple level disc replacement for yet at least a few years. i agree that this is great compared to fusion, but unfortunetly people with more than one level are out of luck.....

 
Old 01-23-2006, 05:17 AM   #4
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Re: The FDA approved artificial discs 10/2004 for lumbar spine, Cervical to follow

rlsmas,
1st, snicklefritz I believe was a term of endearment given by parents and grandparents of German decent it meant mischievous boy or child, or even an outright rascal. I was given the name by a boss who got tired of me asking "Why?" all the time when he was teaching me the art of Orthotics.

2nd, I have sever ostioarthritus in my entire cervical spine and yet they were willing to give me an ADR at an adjacent level to my fusions in Germany to protect the other levels against further degeneration. The 60 age thing by the FDA is because of concern over osteoporosis mainly, I'll bet. I had a DTX bone density using the hip and spine, done and for my age 46 I am 110% of normal which is extremely good. Exercise and some stress on the bones and plenty of calcuim after menopause is what my mother says can help prevent Osteoporosis. I am not even starting menopause yet. My first orthopedic surgeon said that bone does not develop without some stress on the bone that is how the body knows that it needs to build bone and once excess stress is removed from the location where osteoarthritis is developing it will eventually go away as well.

Osteoarthritis on the other hand, one cause is just by lack of movement. I have severe osteoarthritis at the levels that they have fused in my neck because those levels cannot move. It is my personal belief that with regular exercise and strengthing and stretching the osteoarthritis can be reduced or eliminated. This is what I have been told anyway. Meanwhile I have a lot of pain from it but I started taking MSM and it is helping greatly with that pain. Not the rest of the pain from the failed fusion at C6-7.

I have spent two years researching all this stuff to make myself more knowledgeable. Sometimes it irritates doctors when I know more about my problems than they do. I usually ask them for a referral to someone else more knowledgeable.

I do know that fusion will make your osteoarthritis worse and cause even more pain. I had one doctor say that he didn't want to do an ADR at the level where there was severe osteoarthritis because it might cause me more pain after the surgery because of the increased movement. All osteoarthritis is is the build up of calcifications on the bones from lack of movement. Or the wrong kind of stress. I had osteoarthritis at my C5-6 level before fusion and the osteoarthritis that was on the front and back of the vertebrae is now gone but of course because the facet joints (those things that stick out to the side of your vertebrae creating the foraminal channel that your nerves leave the spinal canal in.) can't move I have developed osteoarthritis there. Which in some cases can cause the facet joints to fuse eventually as well.

Most doctors look for a "good" immediate outcome from surgery. They don't look years down the road after you have done extensive physical therapy and exercise to get rid of the osteoarthritis.

That was the main criteria that the Dr in Australia was wondering about was are the facet joints already fused because of the osteoarthritis. They are not in my case. A good surgeon using micro surgery can grind away the osteoarthritis to allow movement again. My husband had this done for his shoulder socket because he couldn't move his arm from the extreme build up of calcification over the entire bony structure of his shoulder socket. It is now like new. Of course he has pain from time to time from the scar tissue that continues to grow.

Scar tissue is one thing that doctors don't talk about. It starts growing after surgery and continues to grow in all directions from the incision point like a giant web. Unless you pull it loose with massage and stretching it can bind things up and make more pain. There is a product available in Germany called FastAct that is a hemostatic agent that extremely reduces the development of scar tissue and immediately stops bleeding and allows the bodies natural healing process to speed up 1000 fold. It literally stops bleeding on contact eliminating the need for a carterizing scaple. It is FDA approved for animals in the US and I have seen what it does for dogs. Like when they spike the dobbermens ears. Using FastAct there is very little scaring it almost looks natural. My Beagle got a cut on his eye from a claw from a Mastiff and it had FastAct applied and stitched, and you could not tell where the scar was after it healed. FastAct also helps to extremely reduce keloiding (exteme thickining of the scar) which happens someitmes to some people as they get older.

I am sitting on pins and needles for the FDA approval here in the US so that I can have all my huge keloided scars revised using FastAct. If I were rich I would fly to Germany and have it done now but I am not.

Don't give up just because of your age. You don't have to have every level fused or even ADR. You might be a candidate for micro surgery to remove the "junk" in the foramen causing the nerve pain then a good program of Pilates, Aikido or some other kind of all over body stretching and strengthing program will do the rest. It will take a lot of work but it can be done. Hopefully without fusion. I found that I didn't need just 2 or three opinions I needed far more than that because the field is changing so fast right now.

I am still waiting on any procedure because the screwes they put in my lower back one went in crooked and is now encroching on my L5 formainal space causing nerve irritation I wouldn't normally get. Plus the screw at C7 is also in crooked and in time will probably pop the disc at C7-T1. I just want all the hardware out. Natural fusions or ADR's and start on a program of rebuilding my body.

I am not a doctor and all this information is just my what I consider learned opinion.

Good luck.

Snicklefritz

 
Old 01-23-2006, 06:01 AM   #5
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Re: The FDA approved artificial discs 10/2004 for lumbar spine, Cervical to follow

[QUOTE=360fusion]the artificial discs are wonderful and i had hoped that i was a candidate for it, but in the usa you can only have one bad disc, the fda has not approved the disc replacement on multiple levels, therefor i have to have the fusion. in europe they do multiple levels of disc replacement. if i new that this would become availible in the near futurs i would put off my surgery, but from what i hear the fda will not approve the multiple level disc replacement for yet at least a few years. i agree that this is great compared to fusion, but unfortunetly people with more than one level are out of luck.....[/QUOTE]


360,

Error as far as having only one bad disc. I held out this last time, because in 2004 FDA approved having one ADR with fusion. Before, it had been only if there were no fusion. At least they let some of us in that had been previously eliminated, but my hold out still didn't do me any good. The rest of my support system of tendons, etc was shot, so I still couldn't qualify.

The FDA is slow, and sometimes I think way too slow to allow what is reasonable, but then again we do get upset with them when they let meds on the market or pacemakers, etc which showed problems that they allowed. It's hard sometimes to figure out why they make it so hard for something that would save us from severe pain, yet allow something in that can take our lives.

Still, even with all they allow, isn't it frustrating that so many ortho and neurosurgeons take another 4 years or more before they will update themselves to using what has been approved? That really bothers me.

 
Old 01-23-2006, 08:47 AM   #6
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Red face Re: The FDA approved artificial discs 10/2004 for lumbar spine, Cervical to follow

Thanks for your prompt reply, Snicklefritz!

You've certainly gleaned a LOT of info! My frustration is w/ the way the FDA drags its feet over approving procedures for use in the U.S. that have been used successfully in Europe for years. I get tired of the drug lobbies making me continue to live in pain just so they can continue to charge exorbitant prices for drugs! We're being held hostage by them & I RESENT it!!


Sorry to vent on you...can you tell that's a Hot button for me We'd have innumerable meds & procedures available to us if it weren't for the FDA blocking everything & then tying it up w/ all kinds of rules & regs once they do approve it.

Even if they raise the age & broaden the requuirements as far as # of discs involved, I'm getting older all the time. My chances of ever qualifying under their regs are slim to none, and there's no way we'd ever be able to afford to go to Europe to have the procedure done. It's really frustrating!!

Sorry to take my frustration out on you. I really feel like a victim! (More at the hands of our own govt. than anything else.) They're supposed to be helping us...that's the LAST thing they're doing. They're actually tying our hands so that we can't get the procedure done that we need to have done. URK!!! My bone density is GREAT; my 84 yo mother's bone density is GREAT. It should be up to our docs to determine if we are candidates for ADR, not a bureaucrat who's never laid eyes on us. I've been to the FDA website & checked this out. It's nothing but "big brotherism", and I don't know why it should be ruling my life. I'm ready to scream I'm so frustrated w/ the FDA!!

I wan't rave to you any more. None of this is your fault! I do hope that you're able to find a solution for your problem that will leave you pain free!

{{Huga}} & prayers

Midge

 
Old 01-23-2006, 07:12 PM   #7
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Re: The FDA approved artificial discs 10/2004 for lumbar spine, Cervical to follow

[QUOTE=Quietcook]360,

Error as far as having only one bad disc. I held out this last time, because in 2004 FDA approved having one ADR with fusion. Before, it had been only if there were no fusion. At least they let some of us in that had been previously eliminated, but my hold out still didn't do me any good. The rest of my support system of tendons, etc was shot, so I still couldn't qualify.

The FDA is slow, and sometimes I think way too slow to allow what is reasonable, but then again we do get upset with them when they let meds on the market or pacemakers, etc which showed problems that they allowed. It's hard sometimes to figure out why they make it so hard for something that would save us from severe pain, yet allow something in that can take our lives.

Still, even with all they allow, isn't it frustrating that so many ortho and neurosurgeons take another 4 years or more before they will update themselves to using what has been approved? That really bothers me.[/QUOTE]

The support system of tendons and ligaments don't necessarily have to be shot if you wait. There are specific exercises that can be done to strengthen the small ligiments and tendons along the entire spine that may even help with pain in the meantime while waiting for surgery.

I put of surgery the first time off for 15 months by doing these exercises. Of course by the time I had surgery I could barely walk and I had about 7 pounds per square inch of strength in my hands as opposed to 70 pounds per square inch of pull strength in my hands before the initial accident that caused my problem. I am currently at about 32 pounds per square inch of pull strength in my hands which every single doctor I see says is normal even when I tell them it is not normal for me. They don't seem to care. All they care about is that I test like the average population.

The exercises I did were so successful that when they opened up the compressed disc space again the ligaments in my neck hurt from the stretching for about 3 months. As a matter of fact the doctor had a hard time opening up the disc space because the ligaments and cartiladge were holding it into place so securely.

Sitting around and taking it easy surely doesn't help. I am constantly doing things I am "not supposed to do" and I sure pay for it the next day with exhaustion and pain but I think it is worth it to keep in shape. I have been putting off surgery for 2 years now. The main problem I am having is the osteoarthritis and I really should do more stretching and moving than I do. With the pain though it is hard. Not to mention the drugs putting me to sleep every single afternoon.

I have a work out program given to me by the Kerlan Jobe Orthopedic Clinic that I did before the first surgery. I think it can help anyone but should be followed the first few times under the close guidance of a good physical therapist who knows how to do the exercises and understands which muscle groups need to be exercised. The point is to exercise the small muscles and tendons along the spine. Not the large groups in the back and hips, and legs.

I know of a stunt woman (my husband works in the movie ind) who put off surgery on her lower back for 10 years. She kept in as good a shape as she could despite the pain and could not work as a stunt woman because of the ruptured disc in her lower back. As soon as FDA approval came through she got the disc and is working as a stunt woman again and says that it changed her life.

My mother has a ruptured disc in her lower back at L4-5 and is 66 years old. She is refusing surgery. She has specific exercises that she does that help her ligiments and small muscles to protect the area and keep it open. She has epidural injections to also help with the swelling. She for some reason doesn't mind being disabled so she isn't pursuing anything further but she has far less pain when she spends the 2 hours a day doing the exercises for her back.

Two totally different approaches to the problem given here. Mine is to continue with exercise and find the best solution for my problem. Part of which will probably be removing the hardware when my lower back is fused so well it can't possibly break. My neck, I still haven't decided what to do. In my opinion no screws or plates is best. But is is hard to find a doctor that will do the operation just with bone and put you in a Halo brace until the fusion takes. Which was one thought I seriously considered because I used to make Halo braces when I worked in Orthotics years ago.

Snicklefritz

 
Old 01-23-2006, 07:38 PM   #8
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Re: The FDA approved artificial discs 10/2004 for lumbar spine, Cervical to follow

snicklefritz,

Oh, I wish I could say that I had sat around and that was the reason my back was in such miserable shape. However, 28 plus years of heavy work with the military along with several other major medical conditions did this old woman in.

Although I could not qualify for the ADR, my time for waiting ran out, as the slippage was not going forward/backward, but sideways off the others and far enough that severing my spinal cord was an imminent danger. Heck, as I had already experienced temporary paralyzation and loss of bladder and bowel control, I sure didn't want to go through more.

I maintain my exercises and still do major hard work maintaining my acre yard and my home. Still, sometimes our bodies age worse than others, some of us have birth defects which also factor into the equation, so no matter how much we strive to avoid the cutting, sometimes it just isn't avoidable.

What I've learned the hard way over the years, is to try to research as much as possible for a novice on whatever the condition, listen to the doctor and get additional opinions on significant options, then make the best and most informed decision I can based on what is known at that time. You know, health care, while still restrained by the FDA in many ways, changes almost as rapidly as does computer technology. What is restricted and available to us today when our bodies reach their limits of pain or failing can change tomorrow if our bodies had been able to hold out just a few more months. I try not to regret that I could not hold out longer for the newer technology, as I figure that I am blessed to have found such a wonderful miracle worker in my spine specialist and that I am blessed that he was able to help me recover from the condition I got in before having a true spine specialist. I can still rejoice that many others will be able to benefit from the newer technological advances that get approved and implemented. It would be even more joyful though, if we could just get the general ortho/neuro surgeons to train and begin utilizing the newer techniques sooner than the masses appear to do now. It still bewilders me that many of them take 4-5 years or even more, even waiting until a technique is being replaced before they venture into the newer age.

Best wishes and may you have total success in your back matters.

 
Old 05-23-2007, 09:59 PM   #9
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Re: The FDA approved artificial discs 10/2004 for lumbar spine, Cervical to follow

[QUOTE=rlsmas;2158640]Thanks for your prompt reply, Snicklefritz!

Sorry to vent on you...can you tell that's a Hot button for me We'd have innumerable meds & procedures available to us if it weren't for the FDA blocking everything & then tying it up w/ all kinds of rules & regs once they do approve it.

Even if they raise the age & broaden the requuirements as far as # of discs involved, I'm getting older all the time. My chances of ever qualifying under their regs are slim to none, and there's no way we'd ever be able to afford to go to Europe to have the procedure done. It's really frustrating!!

{{Huga}} & prayers

Midge [/QUOTE]

I spoke with a doctor in Germany who said that they actually did an ADR on a 76 year old person. They evaluate the bone density and other factors of each patient and don't go strictly on age. OA can be reduced I believe by exercises of what type I don't know but it would be painful because when the bony spurs rubbed together there will be muscle and other fallout. I am going to find out and start doing them because I have OA in my entire cervical spine.

As far as the FDA is concerned is anyone aware that there are "spies" from the big drug companies working there and if something conflicts with a big drug company is doing they do everything to stop it. I personally have a friend who has been trying to get FDA approval for his product for at least 6 years but they keep saying the submission papers are not correct, then not enough clinical studies, then some of the studies were not valid and the list goes on and on. These same companies that are having to pull their drugs off the market because of inadequate clinical trials are pushing their stuff and getting these types of things ignored. They started giving him trouble with the FDA application when he released his product in Greece and in one month over 1/2 of all the hospitals in Greece were using his product. That's when the FDA really started to drag their feet.

Talk about making a person mad, this product can be used to save the lives of people in Iraq one of whom is my cousin. I hope the Armed forces gets mad enough to force the FDA to approve the product.

My father once told me that he could find round trip tickets to Munich where the Alpha-Klinik is for around $500 specials. My mother found a round trip ticket to Norway one winter for $400. I talked to the Alpha-Klinik myself and they say they have negotiated with insurance companies here to do the procedures. I read one thing about a one level ADR in the lower back being 22,000 euros, my last fusion repair surgery in my lower back cost over $150,000 US. You bet insurance companies are negotiating.

You need to have a doctor look closely at your films in Europe and tell you if they can fix you or not. I sent mine to London Bridge hospital and they looked at the films and sent them back on their dime. The procedure I wanted they wouldn't do because of the type of disc they use and I have a broken fusion with which it would not work. No fusion reversal there or here yet. Every doctor has different types of tests they use. Some MRI's others only CT scans on newer machines that can do 64 slice 3D reimaging.

There is hope for me because the one doctor in the world that I know of that has actually done a fusion reversal on a 38 year old man has left Australia and come to Reno, NV. I actually could get a consultation from him in which he writes that I would benefit best from the type of surgery he did and he could recommend someone in Australia for me to have it done. If this happens then I can hopefully get the workers compensation judge to force the insurance company to pay expenses and for the procedure in Australia.

There is hope on the horizon for me. And speaking of large drug companies pushing through stuff. One disc that was approved for the lower back has been slipping. The reason being that there is not a rough surface for it to have for the bone to graft to. They just had enough money to get it pushed through and happened to own the rights to that particular ADR.

So some big drug companies are pushing their ADR's through the FDA but they don't have the rights to the good ones. I think there are a total of 10 now for neck and lower back. ADR's have been installed in the lower back since 1989 in Germany that's 18 years. You can bet that the doctor that owns the rights to that ADR will not sell his rights to an american drug company for any reason. He's making bank doing what he is doing in Europe. Every doctor in the world that uses his disc has to go to him for personal training on it's installation.

That's about all I have to say new on the subject. I had forgotten about this posting until I was checking out all my "back" bookmarks in my browser and found this again.

Good luck to everyone. Reply if you need specific information that I may have, I have learned more things over the last year.

 
Old 07-27-2010, 06:29 PM   #10
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Re: The FDA approved artificial discs 10/2004 for lumbar spine, Cervical to follow

I'm sorry about your pain, but I completely disagree with experimental cervical discs.. I had one and it destroyed my cervical spine. I hope no one else ever suffers what I've been through due to CERVICORE experimental disc.. A one level fusion is 95% effective while if you use your own hip bone there is a 98% rate of recovery..

I hope no one else plays "lab rat" for these pathetic "heroic" surgeons..

 
Old 07-28-2010, 09:17 PM   #11
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Re: The FDA approved artificial discs 10/2004 for lumbar spine, Cervical to follow

[QUOTE=melinda318;4295725]I'm sorry about your pain, but I completely disagree with experimental cervical discs.. I had one and it destroyed my cervical spine. I hope no one else ever suffers what I've been through due to CERVICORE experimental disc.. A one level fusion is 95% effective while if you use your own hip bone there is a 98% rate of recovery..

I hope no one else plays "lab rat" for these pathetic "heroic" surgeons..[/QUOTE]

If you still have hard cortical bone at C6-7 then I would strongly suggest looking at the Pro-Disc-C which has been used in Germany for many years and has good statistics to back it up. I do not believe it is on the FDA list because Dr. Bertagnoli (designer) does not want to bother with the US. He is happy doing what he does in Germany. Read previous threads about the Alpha Klinik and American insurance companies. If you are a candidate then I would definately suggest talking to Germany about having your failed ADR replaced with the ProDisc-C. Look at the designs. I bet your ADR from Cervicore doesn't look anything like the ProDisc-C and if you look at it logically even as a lay person you can tell the difference.

Well my cervical spine is completely destroyed by fusion at C6-C7. They have tried to fix it twice with fusion and the % for a thrid try is less than 25% last I heard. If I could have a fusion reversal as I spoke about earlier in this thread I could possibly have more hope. But I now have a rather large problem. In 2007 I was diagnosed with a formerly fatal form of Leukemia. Then in 2009 I got breast cancer. The treatment for the breast cancer seems to be causing havoc with the treatment for the Leukemia and I am on the knife's edge, so to speak, trying to balance everything. I have been told that the CHEMO for my breast cancer has "insulted" my bone marrow. Any further fusions are going to be difficult without my bone marrow working correctly.

I have never endorsed experimental disc replacement. Only those that have been done in Europe but the FDA hasn't approved yet. I cannot find much on Cervicore. I don't think it has even been used much or approved in Europe. I know that the Bryan disc for the neck has been used a lot in Australia. I don't know where you got the advice or pressure to enter whatever trial you entered for this Cervicore. I don't think experimental disc replacement is endorsed anywhere in this thread and certainly not by me. I am sorry that you are having so much trouble. I can say that a 2 level fusion is too much for the muscles in my neck also my lower back.

I currently have a very stable fusion at C5-6 and an unstable one that failed repair at C6-7. I have also had the hardware removed because the screws for the fusion at L4-5 were killing me sitting on my nerves due to incorrect placement. L4-5 is completely fused and didn't need the hardware anymore. However when the doctor went in to do that he decided to fuse L5-S1 which is now causing me all kinds of balance and movement problems and pain.

Currently I am technically fused at C5-7 and L4-S1 (two levels in neck and lower back). My spine does not like being fused. I have the muscle spasams to prove it. Life is not fun just because of these. Add to that the pain of recovery from Chemo and Radiation treatment and Keloiding scars. Things are not very good. I am praying that something will get better.

 
Old 07-30-2010, 10:07 PM   #12
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Re: The FDA approved artificial discs 10/2004 for lumbar spine, Cervical to follow

I had a patient with a artificial disc replacement 2 years ago. He was a young guy who had injured the disc at L4-5 really bad from his line of work. I rehabbed him for 5 months and now he is back to surfing, riding his bike and going to the gym with no complaints of pain. Oh by the way he did change jobs to avoid any further damage to other discs.

 
Old 09-09-2010, 06:22 PM   #13
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Re: The FDA approved artificial discs 10/2004 for lumbar spine, Cervical to follow

I just broke my neck a couple months ago and am thinking about fusion. Its broken at c7 t1 with compression fractures on c7 c6 c5 would i be a good candidate for the "fake" discs? I am very curious in this...

 
Old 09-15-2010, 01:01 AM   #14
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Re: The FDA approved artificial discs 10/2004 for lumbar spine, Cervical to follow

[QUOTE=cdvextreme;4324273]I just broke my neck a couple months ago and am thinking about fusion. Its broken at c7 t1 with compression fractures on c7 c6 c5 would i be a good candidate for the "fake" discs? I am very curious in this...[/QUOTE]

If the bone is actually fractured I am not certain that the FDA or the doctor would be able to use an ADR (fake disc) Most of them require that you have hard cortical bone. When my discs at C5-7 initially ruptured I was able to prevent surgery for 17 months with the correct Physical Therapy (PT) which was a program that Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic clinic used. If the fractures in your vertabrae are not displaced just the bone cracked then I would think with PT you could allow them to heal and in time be eligable for the ADR. I know a site you could go to and contact regarding more options for artificial discs than are allowable in the US. Plus he knows where all the latest stuff is in the US. If you want to know the address private message me if you can and I will give it to you.

Good luck. I did the fusions and with only 2 levels of fusion the success rate of complete fusion is only 85% without hardware. One of mine broke, then they tried to fuse it again and put in a plate and that failed, a third surgery may not do anything at all. If they are looking at fusing more than 2 levels your chances of success go exponentionally down. I am still in constant pain from the fusions in my neck. Plus the ajoining levels are under greater pressure because part of your neck can't move and have a tendency to fail and rupture the disc earlier in life causing even more surgery. They are now looking at C7-T1 and C3-4 which are causing me problems. Not to mention because of the neck pain I forget to keep my arms completely mobile and have had and currently have frozen shoulder in both shoulders.

 
Old 01-23-2012, 09:37 AM   #15
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: La Crosse, WI USA
Posts: 54
kabatron HB User
Re: The FDA approved artificial discs 10/2004 for lumbar spine, Cervical to follow

Actually there are cervical discs that have been approved. I had one done two weeks ago. My doctor, neurosurgeon, only uses artificial discs. He told me they don't use donor bone or bone grafts anymore. I had my surgery at mayo. One problem with the cervical disc is that some insurance cos won't allow total replacement at more than one level. I need c5-c7 done but only had c6-c7 done bc of my insurance.

One thing that worries me about these is that there are no studies done that discuss long term results. And some surgeons are hesitant bc the artificial polyethylene is close to the spinal cord and therefore brain. If the device beaks down, what will the effect be? They have been using art cervical discs in Europe for a long time, but the U.S. Uses different research methods. We don't use their research results here. They seemed proof enough for me and my ns is one of the best in the Midwest so I trust his experienced opinion.

 
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