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Old 02-25-2007, 06:00 PM   #1
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picnica HB User
Cool minimally invasive surgery

Just interested if anyone else has tried the new surgeries? What have you experienced? I have noticed on the board that many of you have had a fusion or multiple fusions. Did you have a chance to try artificial discs? I am just hope to draw from your experiences.

 
Old 02-25-2007, 09:01 PM   #2
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Re: minimally invasive surgery

Hi there. My fusion was minimally invasive. I have 6 small incisions in my back where they dilated the muscle rather than cut through and did my surgery with scopes, etc. There are a few on here that have had ADRs. I was originally scheduled to have one, but my insurance refused to pay for it.. and many are still refusing to pay for it. When I initially called my insurance 800# to see if it was a covered surgery, they told me yes, when it fact.. no. They have it LISTED as a procedure, but they won't pay for it. So I had the fusion instead.

And I am responding to your phrasing of has anyone "tried ADR". It's not like a disectomy and if it fails, then possible follow up by doing a fusion. ADR especially in the lumbar region.. is not easily removed. There's all kinds of info about various types, such as the maverick, charite, etc., and you can see how they are made. Hope this helps.
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"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt

L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!

 
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Old 02-26-2007, 04:44 AM   #3
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Jack24 HB User
Re: minimally invasive surgery

From what I heard from talking to an orthopedic surgeon is that the success of the endoscopic procedure depends a lot on the surgeon's skill. Surprisingly, the younger ones seem to be better at it than the older ones. He suspects it is a result of the video game culture. At present, he saw little advantage. The have to perform the same procedure to the bones through a small hole. This, as I said, requires skill. The chances of failed back surgery is greater.

I asked about artifical disc replacement as well. My insurance company nixed it too. I had a workup as I would pay for it if it meant I could be near normal. I'm not a candidate. The criterion, now anyway, is no more than 1 level disease, Spondi of 1 or less.

Disc replacement is still a brutal surgery with about the same recovery period as fusion. Traditional fusion is still the gold standard.

 
Old 02-26-2007, 08:33 PM   #4
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Justoneofus HB User
Re: minimally invasive surgery

I respectfully disagree with some of jack's comments. Minimally invasive offers little to no soft tissue cutting, rather dilation of the muscles. Thus, less blood loss, faster healing of the tissue and less scar tissue formation of the soft tissue. I do agree that regardless of way of entry.. a fusion surgery is still a fusion surgery. And I also agree that not any surgeon can perform a minimally invasive surgery. It is more intricate.

As to ADR healing. Once the surgery was complete, if I had no complications, at 6 weeks I would have been given 100% green light to presume normal everyday activities,with no restrictions. (With a fusion, there are much more limitations and for a longer duration, and much healing to be continually done). With ADR, there is no bone to fuse, as the ADR is mechanical and meant to move.

There are several states and studies in the US that are doing multi-level ADRs and Texas is one of them (that quickly comes to mind). But there is a certain criteria that must be met as Jack stated that one must meet in order to even be considered as a candidate.

All the best to you in your research. Knowledge is power and key to proper treatment and one's wellbeing.
__________________
"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt

L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!

 
Old 02-27-2007, 10:49 AM   #5
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chatterboxsd HB User
Re: minimally invasive surgery

I just had a minimally invasive discectomy and fusion at t6-7 on 2/1. They did the extreme lateral approach. My surgeon said because only 1 disc was the problem and thoracic vertabrae don't need as much mobility as cervical or lumbar, a disc replacement was not needed.

The minimal invasive is a bonus for a couple reasons:
1. you won't have functional problems with your muscles (scar tissue, tightness, etc.)
2. The risk of infection is less.
3. You have a smaller scar.
4. Less healing pain.

Keep in mind though... they're still performing major surgery through those small incisions, so the bone pain and recovering your general motor functions will still be there. Overall, I was pleased with the small incision approach.

BTW: My dr. is relatively young and a leader in my area in these types of surgeries. I felt really confident in his skills and that really helped reduce anxiety about the whole concept of spine surgery.

Best of luck making your desicion!

 
Old 02-27-2007, 02:47 PM   #6
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picnica HB User
Re: minimally invasive surgery

I have had two discetomys, one micro surgery the other Minimally invasive discetomy. I have to say hands down the Minimally invasive is so much better. My doctor is young. I saw the surgery he did on my back, Wow the pictures are crystal clear. Some of my problems were the scar tissue from the first operation. My insurance will approve ADR but I need it in two spots. Pro-disc seems to be the only option. But is a couple of years away. It's great to hear everyone's experience.

 
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