HealthBoards

HealthBoards (https://www.healthboards.com/boards/)
-   Back Problems (https://www.healthboards.com/boards/back-problems/)
-   -   For those who have had Artificial Disc Replacement for the Lumbar Spine (https://www.healthboards.com/boards/back-problems/544090-those-who-have-had-artificial-disc-replacement-lumbar-spine.html)

DamonAmato 10-17-2007 11:17 AM

For those who have had Artificial Disc Replacement for the Lumbar Spine
 
How did you pay for it?

Has anyone had it done at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston?

Has anyone had this done because of an annular tear in the L4/5 or L5/S1 level?

I've had back pain for nine years because of an annular tear at L4/5. Have tried every Tx possible besides surgery and after having a positive discogram a month ago, the first surgeon I saw (who only does interbody fusions) basically just told me to live with it, which I find to be very unhelpful since I really can't. I am going to NEB next week to get a second opinion from a doctor who does do ADR, but obviously insurance doesn't cover it. Has anyone ever gotten a health insurance to cover any of it? I seem to fit the exact criteria for ADR and it doesn't appear I have any other options if I ever want my pain to get better.

camperboy 10-17-2007 01:24 PM

Re: For those who have had Artificial Disc Replacement for the Lumbar Spine
 
Well, I can't add much, other than to say that I'm getting a TLIF at the L5/S1 level - and I asked my surgeon if I was a candidate for artificial disc rather than a fusion. He said that the hospital my HMO uses only uses artificial discs in cases of bad cervical discs - not lumbar discs. Also, in my spondy case, I really need the support more than the flexibilty.

Good luck and maybe somebody can give you a little more info.

-David

jayboy 10-17-2007 02:30 PM

Re: For those who have had Artificial Disc Replacement for the Lumbar Spine
 
my insurance paid for it. I wish they wouldn't have. There is much needed research and that needs to be done on all of the adr's. My disc space was jacked open 100% to much causing traction and when they did this it knocked my facets out of line causing abnormal loading.

many people are surfacing from failed disc replacements. my pain is twice is bad as before. I should have had a fusion. This is not an isolated incident either. Charite manufacturer Depuy actually lied and left out many details in there clinical trials. those that were left out were those surgery's that failed. Do your own research. There are red flags all over the internet. Good luck. JASON

OH YEAH, MY INSURANCE COMPANY STOPPED COVERING THE CHARITE DISC REPLACEMENT AND MY DISC WAS TORN AS WELL (POSITIVE DISCO)

DamonAmato 10-17-2007 06:27 PM

Re: For those who have had Artificial Disc Replacement for the Lumbar Spine
 
jayboy,

What insurance covered the surgery?

jayboy 10-17-2007 07:46 PM

Re: For those who have had Artificial Disc Replacement for the Lumbar Spine
 
blue cross blue shield. i dont know if it matters which state or which one. Just please pray on it. I did very little research. This surgery is a crap shoot. it does not preserve range motion like promised. please just do some research. I regret it. my life has changed terribly. I had a doctor in another state review my ct scan and he was shocked at the amount of problems i had. the disc had a bent piece, there were craters and dents, and not to mention the revision surgery to have it removed is considered life threatening because of the severe scar tissue and nerves involved from the anterior approach (front). Jason

Justoneofus 10-17-2007 08:15 PM

Re: For those who have had Artificial Disc Replacement for the Lumbar Spine
 
As Jboy mentioned, do your research. ADR has a very high success rate for cervical replacement, but not lumbar. Is it your opinion that ADR is your only option to get better? I thought so too and found a doctor that did them and was scheduled for it and then it got rejected by my insurance. I ended up with a fusion instead. I am glad I had the fusion instead. I am 85% improved than before the surgery. So get more opinions and do lots of research. :)

DamonAmato 10-17-2007 08:42 PM

Re: For those who have had Artificial Disc Replacement for the Lumbar Spine
 
my problem with the fusion is that I'm 26 years old and the research I've found says that I have a very high risk of degenerating the discs above since more pressure will be put on them. I work with orthopedists often (I'm an athletic trainer) and not a single one has been able to come up with any other answer except, "you could get it fused, but eventually you'll need the above ones fused too" or "learn to live with it" or "you might be a candidate for ADR." I can't think of any other options at this point.

jayboy 10-17-2007 08:47 PM

Re: For those who have had Artificial Disc Replacement for the Lumbar Spine
 
my doctor promised me that I would have more mobility and less pain. No of this happened. Now, I am stuck with this disc that when or if it dislocated from my spine, I am looking at at significate risk of paralysis or even death to have it removed. It really is in there for good. I know many, many who have had successful fusions at young ages that live very normal lives. I went for the new technology that has not been proven and i am bed ridden for days at a time. its a total crap shoot. I can't imagine the problems that are going to come out in 5 to 10 years when these discs wear out completely and the patients are stuck with life threatening surgeries. Sorry so long but everyone needs to know.

P.S. what's up justoneofus.

Newbackguy 11-15-2007 08:47 PM

Re: For those who have had Artificial Disc Replacement for the Lumbar Spine
 
If any of you have read my posts you will see that Lumbar Prodisc II are flawless. I am 3 yrs post-op and pain free.

I feel bad because I think the FDA raced to judgement with Chariet and ignored the Euro failures. This has tainted ADR's when it shouldnt have.

I wish everyone comfort and resolve.

Best wishes/

Justoneofus 11-15-2007 09:49 PM

Re: For those who have had Artificial Disc Replacement for the Lumbar Spine
 
I am glad that yours was successful. Sorry but I dont buy it for a minute that the prodisc is FLAWLESS. And for those who are looking in to ADR, just like anything, it is not guarantee ticket to being painfree anymore than other more conventional surgeries that have been done more eons and have more proven statistics. Lumbar ADR of any type in the US specifically, hasn't been successful to date on the whole. There is great success with ADR for cervical replacement, but more and more issues continue to arise with those that have had lumbar ADR. Moreso with certain models, etc, but this gives great rise to huge caution at this point in time.

As to BCBS, "where" does matter. They are networked as a group but independently run and operated. So they all beat to a different drum, but if you have BCBS they will cover you in whatever place you are seen under the designs of whatever plan you are under. I hope that helped.

I was a candidate for the Charite' ADR and was less than two weeks from my surgery date, when my insurance refused to pay or budge either. I had a fusion and I have NO regrets.

Wishing us all wellness.:)

Zinnias 11-16-2007 05:40 AM

Re: For those who have had Artificial Disc Replacement for the Lumbar Spine
 
[QUOTE=DamonAmato;3263290]my problem with the fusion is that I'm 26 years old and the research I've found says that I have a very high risk of degenerating the discs above since more pressure will be put on them. I work with orthopedists often (I'm an athletic trainer) and not a single one has been able to come up with any other answer except, "you could get it fused, but eventually you'll need the above ones fused too" or "learn to live with it" or "you might be a candidate for ADR." I can't think of any other options at this point.[/QUOTE]

Damonamato,

Why are you only looking at ADR or the typical, hard fusion? I understand your fears of a hard fusion wearing out the discs above. It's true - it will happen. So...have you not looked at Flexible Fusion? I had it done a week ago. It's called Flexible Fusion, Soft Fusion, or Dynamic Fixation w/ Flexible Fusion or Dynesys. It will not wear the adjacent discs out any more than would the ADR. And, it unloads the facets, rather than loading them. I had to choose between Flexible Fusion & ADR for my 2 lumbar discs; I was approved for both. Flexible, bending rods were used. I could not have a usual fusion, either, b/c of my young age.. Good luck!

Suzy-Q 11-16-2007 04:02 PM

Re: For those who have had Artificial Disc Replacement for the Lumbar Spine
 
HI,
I wanted to tell you that I am a patient at NE Baptist. I see Dr. Chima Ohaegbulam (Boston Spine Group) and he did my revision lumbar fusion surgery in June of '06. I can't say anything about ADRs. I was never a candidate for that. But as Zinnias says, I wonder if you have researched flexible fusion technology. Dr. O and I were just talking about it as a way to deal with the stress on adjacent levels. I think NE Baptist is a leading hospital and perhaps you can learn more about why your insurance isn't willing to cover an ADR. That is a fact I wouldn't overlook as to its possible significance. And I agree completely that a second opinion and a thrid and so on may tell you whether you are truly a surgical candidate in the first place. I mean, I wouldn't rely on a single opinion.
Finally, have you looked into Plasma Disc Decompression? I'm only just learning about it and maybe it isn't proven enough but it seems to be offered exactly for people with buldges and annular tears. Believe me, I'm not recommending it at all. Just wondering if you've looked into it. Best of luck - Suzy-Q

sandim 11-17-2007 01:05 AM

Re: For those who have had Artificial Disc Replacement for the Lumbar Spine
 
[QUOTE=DamonAmato;3262495]How did you pay for it?

Has anyone had it done at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston?

Has anyone had this done because of an annular tear in the L4/5 or L5/S1 level?

I've had back pain for nine years because of an annular tear at L4/5. Have tried every Tx possible besides surgery and after having a positive discogram a month ago, the first surgeon I saw (who only does interbody fusions) basically just told me to live with it, which I find to be very unhelpful since I really can't. I am going to NEB next week to get a second opinion from a doctor who does do ADR, but obviously insurance doesn't cover it. Has anyone ever gotten a health insurance to cover any of it? I seem to fit the exact criteria for ADR and it doesn't appear I have any other options if I ever want my pain to get better.[/QUOTE]


There are only a couple I believe of ADR's approved in the USA at the moment. There are certain criteria that must be met before you can be considered for ADR. One of the most important ones is the state of the facet joints. ADR is absolutely contraindicated in cases where there is facet arthrosis/degeneration/arthritis. In fact, I am aware of several people who have had disastrous outcomes from having it done because the surgeon went ahead despite there being facet problems with the joints.
Whatever you do, it is not the new fix it cure of the century in back surgery and you should make sure to research not only the doctor, but all of the good and bad information about the various models of ADR available, the surgeons's success and failure rates with that given model, and your insurance.
Many insurances will not pay for it at this point because it is considered experimental at the moment and as such is not proving to be more successful than fusion surgery. There are also issues with upper level and lower level deterioration as well, so make sure you research this idea well.......
Best of luck to you,
Sandi

sandim 11-17-2007 01:12 AM

Re: For those who have had Artificial Disc Replacement for the Lumbar Spine
 
[QUOTE=jayboy;3263217]blue cross blue shield. i dont know if it matters which state or which one. Just please pray on it. I did very little research. This surgery is a crap shoot. it does not preserve range motion like promised. please just do some research. I regret it. my life has changed terribly. I had a doctor in another state review my ct scan and he was shocked at the amount of problems i had. the disc had a bent piece, there were craters and dents, and not to mention the revision surgery to have it removed is considered life threatening because of the severe scar tissue and nerves involved from the anterior approach (front). Jason[/QUOTE]

Jason,
A friend of mine from another board had hers taken out and revised. She also was put on that category of potentially loosing her life. She was very fortunate that she didn't . She is slowly recovering now, but she has been through a journey that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy in the last two years.
And because her surgeon was top of the international field, he stonewalled her and her husband at every turn. The ADR that was put into her was two and one half times too big for her disc space and she had end stage facet arthrosis, which is an absolute contraindication for ADR. Her story is a long , painful one, but I hope that she is on the road now to being able to walk, sit and stand again.
I'm sorry that you are also experiencing similar problems. Have you spoken to Dr. Regan in California? I understand he is more experience with revision/fusion/removal of ADR than just about anyone?
Best wishes to you,
Sandi

sandim 11-17-2007 01:21 AM

Re: For those who have had Artificial Disc Replacement for the Lumbar Spine
 
[QUOTE=Justoneofus;3309217]I am glad that yours was successful. Sorry but I dont buy it for a minute that the prodisc is FLAWLESS. And for those who are looking in to ADR, just like anything, it is not guarantee ticket to being painfree anymore than other more conventional surgeries that have been done more eons and have more proven statistics. Lumbar ADR of any type in the US specifically, hasn't been successful to date on the whole. There is great success with ADR for cervical replacement, but more and more issues continue to arise with those that have had lumbar ADR. Moreso with certain models, etc, but this gives great rise to huge caution at this point in time.

As to BCBS, "where" does matter. They are networked as a group but independently run and operated. So they all beat to a different drum, but if you have BCBS they will cover you in whatever place you are seen under the designs of whatever plan you are under. I hope that helped.

I was a candidate for the Charite' ADR and was less than two weeks from my surgery date, when my insurance refused to pay or budge either. I had a fusion and I have NO regrets.

Wishing us all wellness.:)[/QUOTE]

No Prodisc is now producing just as many problems as the Charite I, II have. In fact, I can point you to two cases who had their surgery by a top notched international ADR surgeon, who chose not to follow his own established protocals. One recently had the revision/removal and fusion and the second lady is waiting to find out who can and will do it and if she is going to loose her life because of it.
One of the many reasons for ADR failure have to do with poor patient selection. Facet degeneration is an absolute contraindication as I have already stated, yet in both of their cases, the questions pertaining to facet arthrosis were dismissed by the surgeon. Both ladies are in intractable pain ,and severely disabled.
ADR has not proven itself in Europe or here in the states. There isn't an established number of years that the device will function as it is supposed to. It is assumed that it will last about 20 years in some cases, but then what?
I have to agree with Just, make sure that you do a lot of research, and not just the success stories, because there are just as many horror stories out there and those can cost you your life.
Learn about the indications and contraindications. Learn about the anatomy of the spine, and the disc space and design of the various models of ADR.
Seek out second, third, fourth opinions, both with doctors pro and con ADR. You will get a surprising education.
Sandi


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:27 PM.