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    Old 06-29-2004, 09:56 PM   #1
    norahs's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2004
    Location: New Jersey
    Posts: 3
    norahs HB User
    Has anyone had disc replacement?

    Hi my name is Sharon, I had a spinal fusion done six months ago! 12/03, this was done in my lumbar region L3 L4-L5-S1. Before surgery I was diagnosed with DDD, herniated disc and torn disc with dehydration, my only option was fusion with six pedical screws, three cages, cadavor bone and 4 prosthetic disc! since my surgery I have been going through alot of problems! I can honestly say that for the first six to seven weeks I had some hope that things were starting to look up for me until I started to experience the onset of pain! I went in for an X-ray and it showed that the prosthetic disc that were put in were starting to come out, at my L4-5 level, this was done in February, so my ortho sent me for a cat scan to verify that the X-ray was accurate, needless to say it was! it also showed that my sacrum is fractured! after that my ortho told me that if it got worse that he would have to go back in and shave off the disc, the second X-ray was done in march and it showed that the disc was coming out more, another X-ray was done in May and June, now the disc is out a half inch and my pain is unbareable. My ortho told me to trust in myself and the pain will go away, he seems to be brushing me off when I tell him how bad I am feeling and can't explain why I'm having all the pain that I am having. I decided to look up the disc my self on the internet, and to my supprise I found out that the disc are not approved by the FDA and are considered experimental and in order to use them the doctor has to go through extensive training and the patient has to give consent and go through a series of test to even be considered for this procedure, needless to say I was never asked permission for this nor did I give consent! now I'm in a position were I can't find a doctor to even talk to me or offer advice! I was recently in the ER and was told that this needs to be fixed or I may go paralized. My ortho told me that I will have to see another doctor for a second oppinion ( knowing that no one will touch me) I am at a loss I do not know what to do! every day I feel more and more down on myself! My family is starting to feel the effect of this, I have two children 8 and 4 who dont understand why mommy cant go out and play and I try not to show how bad Im hurting inside! (mentally and physically) My husband is so understanding of my problem that he is getting very upset and he feels like he is up against a wall along with me. It is so hard to find someone to talk to that understands exactly what im going through! Im hoping that someone out there can help me with some advise on what to do. I'm not sure on how much more of this I can take before I just say I give up and tell my doctor to remove everything... (that would mean I went through this all for nothing) any advise would be greatly appreciated!!!!!!!

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    Old 07-09-2004, 05:28 PM   #2
    Join Date: May 2003
    Location: Mill Valley, CA US
    Posts: 116
    tennisnut HB User
    Re: Has anyone had disc replacement?

    Hi Norah,

    I have some questions for you as some items on your post are confusing. At first you said you had a fusion, but my guess is that you were given the choice between fusion and disc replacement, and opted for disc replacement. It also sounds like you had 3 levels done. The most confusing things to me is what type of disc replacement you had done. There are esentially two kinds: 1) total disc replacement (your disc is replaced by a prosthetic disc made up of metal and polyurethane) and 2) partal disc replacment (the doctor replaces the nucleus of the disc with a "spongy" replacement nucleus and sews the annulus up). Whereas total disc replacement is new in the US and therefore still in the experiimental stage, it has a long (15-18 year) history of use in Europe. There has never been a case where one of the artificial discs becomes dislodged or starts to come out as you've described. This makes me think that you had the partial disc replacement which has not been proven to be successful anywhere, to my knowledge, and is highly experimental. I don't understand, though, how this procedure could have fractured your sacrum. What worries me the most about your post is that you seem to be so completely in the dark about what surgery was done and how well studied it is. I'll try to help if I can, but need you to clarify some of these questions that I have.

    I had a 1-level Prodisc (total disc replacement) 2 weeks ago.


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