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Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR) or Fusion?

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Old 11-04-2008, 09:11 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Enfield, CT, USA
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bigblue92 HB User
Red face PLEASE REPLY - Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR) or Fusion?

I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease around 20 yrs ago. Up until Aug 2005 I experienced "flare-ups" 1-3 times per year. Beginning just over 3 yrs ago I have not had a day without pain ranging from bad to horrible. I've had all the tests, some of them multiple times and seen over 5 surgeons. It appears that now my L4/L5 and L5/S1 have anular (sp?) tears - basically they're shot! I have several other discs as high up as my T12 which also show signs of trouble. The one doc who I've stayed with has convinced me to wait on the FDA to approve the bi-level ADR or pay for the surgery out-of-pocket. I would happily have paid years ago if I could! I take narcotics and muscle-relaxants daily, and my quality of life sucks! From the info I've gathered it sounds like if I have a fusion (or 2) which the med insurance will pay for, I am almost guaranteed of needing repeat surgeries for the other discs that will go. I've heard of one other option called a hybrid where they surgeon fuses one disc and uses ADR on the other. I just don't nkow what to do! I am so very tired of living in pain and all doped up. My daughter doesn't even have any memories of me being a "normal" and "active" person, and I'm just 39! Any thoughts or suggestions from anyone would be much appreciated.

Last edited by bigblue92; 11-06-2008 at 10:05 AM. Reason: Sciatic pain almost unbearable, begging for any suggestions!

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