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Old 09-22-2012, 11:05 AM   #1
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ADR more cost effective than fusion?

I found an article in Spine Review, 12-16-2011, quoted a study that found that ADR had a more positive impact than spinal fusions. They examined 209 patients with damaged cervical spine discs who underwent either ADR or fusion surgery. Four years after, the fusion patients were four times more likely to need additional surgery and half those operations were needed because of complications at adjacent level discs.

I've heard these reports many times now, and this is the main reason that I have not gone ahead with the fusion surgery. I kept thinking that ADR would be approved by my insurance company, so the surgeon would actually have a choice about the procedure. My current surgeon has only done four ADR's, I'm guessing out of pocket rich people, while I'm sure that he's done hundreds if not thousands of fusions.

I know that fusions work out great for some people, but then there are many horror stories here as well. The fail rate is from 20 to 40%, depending on who you talk to. My surgeon says 20%, my GP says 40% and shakes his head no.

My neck has nearly ruined my life and made me old before my time. Before this neck problem I was a gym rat and strong as an ox. I can't even do a pushup now without severe pain.

I guess in the end it's a roll of the dice when you opt for fusion. The surgeons have so many outs if it doesn't work...didn't fuse properly, other levels were already bad, etc., so it's always a win for the surgeon. They can always pass the buck.

 
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:52 PM   #2
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Re: ADR more cost effective than fusion?

That's the great thing about science...it's always moving forward. I am very excited about the new advancements in spine surgeries.

ADR was not approved yet for the cervical area when I had my fusions and to my knowledge it's still only approved for one level only in that area.

If you have time to wait and can get by doing non surgical things...then that is great. My surgeries were all needed immediately.

The best people can do is make sure you get 2 or 3 opinions from Board Certified Neurosurgeons or BC Orthos depending on what type of surgery and what area of the spine.

The good news is that 85% of those with spine issues will have their problems resolved or minimized with non surgical treatment.

I'm very grateful for my last fusion and the Dr. being aggressive to go in both anterior and posterior approach to really shore me up this time as the other fusions failed but that is just the luck of the draw as you mentioned.

Last edited by Administrator; 09-22-2012 at 09:41 PM.

 
Old 09-22-2012, 07:12 PM   #3
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Re: ADR more cost effective than fusion?

Very hard to assess. I've been in pain for years, ruined my stomach with pain meds, can't take any meds at all now. Tried every therapy known to man. Maybe I've waited too long and allowed the nerves to be more damaged. But yes, I have been holding out for the ADR, but with my problems in multiple levels, maybe the AD wouldn't be the ticket anyway. I just didn't like the casual way that surgeons shrug off adjacent discs blowing up post fusion, claiming that they'd go out anyway. Go to youtube and view some of the fusions, and common sense tells you that if you have a flexible system, and you introduce a rigid part in the middle of this flexible system, the levels above and below are surely going to have more pressure as a result. To claim that, "Oh well, those levels were going to go out anyway," is disingenuous at best.
I'l probably have to do the damn fusion, but I'm not happy about it.

Last edited by Administrator; 09-22-2012 at 09:42 PM.

 
Old 09-23-2012, 08:10 PM   #4
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Re: ADR more cost effective than fusion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by braveneck View Post
My neck has nearly ruined my life and made me old before my time. Before this neck problem I was a gym rat and strong as an ox. I can't even do a pushup now without severe pain.
Neck pain ruined my life also. It's severe. I don't need to do push up in order to feel pain. It's always hurting me.
so that's the only time you have neck pain? only when you do push up?

How were you injured? Please don't tell me it's cause of a whiplash. Just don't say it.
There is something new in the market and it's called orthokin. It's for back and knee pain and I guess it's for neck pain as well. They say it works really well and promising.

If you were injured in a car accident (whiplash)then there is no chance your pain will go away during surgery. You need to understand that whiplash damage tendons, ligaments and muscles -----it's called soft tissue damage and doctors cannot cure it. So the main pain is caused by the soft tissue-muscles, tendson and ligaments and then surgery won't be able to fix this.
So the pain will stay. Whiplash pain is intractable. It is unfortunate that doctors cannot fix something like soft tissue with all their technology. Then what can they fix ? They just don't know what to do about this issue called soft tissue damage and it's been like that for ages since the invention of cars. (train to be precise).

So like I said, if you had a whiplash then the surgery won't be able to fix your chronic neck pain.

Last edited by nochange; 09-23-2012 at 08:12 PM.

 
Old 09-23-2012, 08:57 PM   #5
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Re: ADR more cost effective than fusion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nochange View Post
Neck pain ruined my life also. It's severe. I don't need to do push up in order to feel pain. It's always hurting me.
so that's the only time you have neck pain? only when you do push up?

How were you injured? Please don't tell me it's cause of a whiplash. Just don't say it.
There is something new in the market and it's called orthokin. It's for back and knee pain and I guess it's for neck pain as well. They say it works really well and promising.

If you were injured in a car accident (whiplash)then there is no chance your pain will go away during surgery. You need to understand that whiplash damage tendons, ligaments and muscles -----it's called soft tissue damage and doctors cannot cure it. So the main pain is caused by the soft tissue-muscles, tendson and ligaments and then surgery won't be able to fix this.
So the pain will stay. Whiplash pain is intractable. It is unfortunate that doctors cannot fix something like soft tissue with all their technology. Then what can they fix ? They just don't know what to do about this issue called soft tissue damage and it's been like that for ages since the invention of cars. (train to be precise).

So like I said, if you had a whiplash then the surgery won't be able to fix your chronic neck pain.
I have degenerative disc disease at multiple levels. Stenosis, bone spurs, foraminal narrowing, a long list of nastiness.

I did have a car accident years ago, but I can't say that this is what caused my issues. I was also a gym rat and lifted heaving weights for years. AND, i worked construction and had large boards hit me on the back of the neck many times over the years. And I'm older, and age itself is the cause for most people's disc problems.

I do fear having the surgery and not getting relief from the pain, or the surgery making the pain even worse, as so many here complain.
And yet, many people say that the surgery was the best thing they ever did and they wonder why they waited for so long. I say it's a crapshoot.

 
Old 09-24-2012, 03:11 AM   #6
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Re: ADR more cost effective than fusion?

So what are you going to do then?

I don't know about your car accident. If it was a whiplash, then yes, your neck pain will not go away after surgery and I have already explained you why.

 
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