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    Old 01-22-2010, 04:12 PM   #1
    soCalman
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    Cool Artificial Disc Replacement

    Okay, its 2010, so I'm hoping there is new data out there on the sucess rate of Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR), especially related to the ProDisc or ProDisc II. I've had MicroDiscectomy S1-L5 on 10-20-09, and reherniated that disc about three weeks after surgery. For the first two weeks I was in excruciating pain. Doc says I can either have fusion or ARD. I have constant pain, which is tolerable now (barely), but I can cause a Sciatic attack with only a little bit of lifting or moving (jumping, runing, too much bending, or carying things that are a little too heavy 10 to 20 lbs).

    I read the horror stories about the Chiratic (or however you spell it) ARD, and have read a lot of good about the ProDisc II (sometimes called ProDisc-L for Lumbar I presume). My insurance doesn't cover the ARD procedure, and I am appealing, but the Doc says he has never seen this company approve the procedure. I'm looking into applying for the PPO plan (from the same company I have the HMO plan with), but I first am investigating whether they will cover it. It's wierd that this same company appears to cover this procedure in many states, but not in mine.

    Has anyone heard of recent news about ARD? Some of the posts I've read were from 2003 and 2005. I would be interested in hearing how peoples experiences have been, and especially if you have had one of these for many years now.

    I would like to return to a more physical lifestyle (especially hiking and biking), so I am wondering if its worth arranging my situation so that I can have that surgery.

    Thanks in advance.

     
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    Old 02-20-2010, 05:53 AM   #2
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    Re: Artificial Disc Replacement

    Hi, I am not sure if what insurance you have, but I am going through the appeal process now. I need and want 4 Prodisc-C. I have had 3 Prodisc-L since 2004, and I am pain free from my waist down. Can't say enough about them.

    Best of luck

     
    Old 02-21-2010, 04:20 PM   #3
    soCalman
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    Re: Artificial Disc Replacement

    [QUOTE=Newbackguy;4189103]Hi, I am not sure if what insurance you have, but I am going through the appeal process now. I need and want 4 Prodisc-C. I have had 3 Prodisc-L since 2004, and I am pain free from my waist down. Can't say enough about them.

    Best of luck[/QUOTE]

    Hi,

    It's great to hear from someone who actually had success with the ADR, and especially from someone who has had multiple level replacements. My pain is getting worse in that now I don't have to do anything outside of walking and standing to provoke it, and after two days of basically staying in comfortable positions, it still hurts to stand and walk.

    I live in California, so that is part of the name of my insurance company. The other part is the one that was recently in the news saying they are going to increase the rates by a huge amount. They bowed to political pressure and are delaying the increase by two months. I got the Blues in more ways than one, if you know what I mean 8>).
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    ARD (Prodisc L) S1-L5 11-8-2011
    Micro-discektomy S1-L5 10-20-2008

     
    Old 03-23-2010, 03:10 AM   #4
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    Re: Artificial Disc Replacement

    So, Cal..I am sorry to hear about your pain, and struggles with the same group I am struggling with. I wish I had Aetna. They pay for everything, but now I'm sure the President will make sure we get what we need. (kidding)

    Actually, this new health care bill is killing my chances to get my surgery approved, and with the facet wear I can't wait much longer to have the ADR surgery. BC/BS is going to get killed finacially, and they will be tightening their belt.

    I wonder if ADRs will be covered in 2014 under this new bill ?

    If you read my other replys I think you will find out more info about not just my research but others in the same threads.

    I wish you luck my friend, and comfort.

     
    Old 03-23-2010, 10:26 PM   #5
    soCalman
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    Re: Artificial Disc Replacement

    My appeal was denied a few weeks ago. I continued with a lot of pain until this past week. My pain has diminished. I hope it continues to do so, as no surgery would be my best hope. Meanwhile, for the long-term I am hoping that I can have stem-cell therapy to regenerate a new disc. I just saw how a veterinarian harvested stem cells from a dog's hind quarter fat cells, then injected them into the leg joints where after 40 months all the cartilage had been regenerated from the injected Stem cells.

    Please keep posting information about your cases.

    Thanks
    socalman
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    ARD (Prodisc L) S1-L5 11-8-2011
    Micro-discektomy S1-L5 10-20-2008

     
    Old 03-30-2010, 04:42 PM   #6
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    Re: Artificial Disc Replacement

    Hi SoCalman,

    I'm somewhat in the same boat, investigating my options about ARD, and actually, I'm losing my insurance coverage this summer. COBRA is running out, and I've been denied 3x as a private payer for insurance. My husband's self-employed, and I'm a part-time teacher (no benefits) and SAHM, so we don't have the luxury of a group plan.
    Anyways, I had a consult with Dr. Kroph at Cedars-Sinai last week, and he mentioned I might be a candidate for ADR experimental trial, which would be at no cost to me.

    I mean, that's as much as I know right now. I have to sort out my own head, and what to do. But I thought I'd pass along this info, in case it was helpful to you.

     
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    Old 03-31-2010, 02:17 PM   #7
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    Re: Artificial Disc Replacement

    I am 1 month post-op prodisc-C C5/6 AND LOVING IT! C6/7 is next I hope. I am Army and have been in touch with a guy that got L3-S1 done PD-L and says he is nearly pain free after 40 days. I guess the back takes a lil longer to heal due to wt bearing. I looked him up through a friend as I am soon to ask for the PD-L for T11-S1 as many as they will do. I have yet to consult Ortho, and I know my Neuro guy only likes to do one level at a time, so I will find out what the surgeon is willing to do. I have little to no disc hight T11-L3 and L5-S1 BUT also a HX of broken vert at those levels so that may throw a wammy my way. Before my PD-C I was taking 900mg of Gabapentin TID, 100mg Tramadol QID, Percocet PRN some days 4 a day some none, and 75mg Nortriptyline at night for sleep. I am now at 100 mg Tramadol BID mostly for the LBP. Can't help you first hand about the PD-L BUT as for PD-C It has been a Sanity saver FERSHER!!.

    Last edited by aquaD; 04-01-2010 at 07:18 AM.

     
    Old 04-01-2010, 08:39 AM   #8
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    Re: Artificial Disc Replacement

    Hi Fraujoolie,

    I feel for you and your pain and frustration for trying to get yourself some relief. My pain is a little better as I am 5.5 months out now from my partial micro disecktomy, but things are not as I would like them to be. Thank you for that suggestion, and by the way, what is SAHM? I think I am going to wait a few more months and see how I progress before considering any more surgury. My Nerosurgon's nurse said it won't get better.

    I had another doctor tell me (not a surgon, but just a friend who is a psychaiatrist) that if I waited a few years that I could probably have a new disc grown from stem cells. A few weeks a go, I saw a report where this veteranarian injected stem cells into this dogs joint/cartlidge area from cells processed from the same dog. 40 months later, the dog had full freedom of motion, and regenerated cartiledge.

    Keep me apprised of your journey.

    Thanks
    SoCalMan
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    ARD (Prodisc L) S1-L5 11-8-2011
    Micro-discektomy S1-L5 10-20-2008

    Last edited by moderator2; 04-01-2010 at 09:43 AM.

     
    Old 04-01-2010, 10:58 PM   #9
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    Re: Artificial Disc Replacement

    Hey SoCalman,

    SAHM = Stay at Home Mom

    Thanks for your reply. If you have the time, I'd love to get your input on my other post I've given, as you are much ahead of me on this road, and have seen a lot of it.

    I also heard of stem cell research, and that's really promising to me. From what I've read, it's not even a big-time surgery to have something like this done.

    I've been mulling this over, and I've decided to not have the discogram. At least not yet. I'm just not ready. I've been through a lot (haven't we all?), and i'm afraid it would be so painful, that it would be traumatizing to me. I just can't do it. I canceled it today, and am meeting with a new chiropractor tomorrow afternoon. He's in El Segundo, and specializes in something he calls 'Muscle Balancing.' He claims that a misalignment can not be fixed and stabilized, if the muscles are tight and holding/pulling the disc/joint/etc out of place. It sort of makes sense to me, in the sense that I had this different PT once (MedEx/Mackenzie Therapy) that did the same thing. The machines they had me on isolated just those muscles around the vertebrae and hips, and the therapy worked. It fixed my sciatica -- and I only get it now, if I've been sitting in a car, or on a plane, for more than an hour or two. Otherwise, I go about my days w/o sciatica anymore. They wanted me to do weekly "maintenance," after my PT was done, but we moved across the country, and that was that. Anyways, this chiro wants to work out the tight muscles. I'm going to give him a try, and I'll let you know how it goes.

    Keep in touch,
    Fraujoolie

     
    Old 04-03-2010, 11:31 AM   #10
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    Re: Artificial Disc Replacement

    [QUOTE=soCalman;4169035]Okay, its 2010, so I'm hoping there is new data out there on the sucess rate of Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR), especially related to the ProDisc or ProDisc II. I've had MicroDiscectomy S1-L5 on 10-20-09, and reherniated that disc about three weeks after surgery. For the first two weeks I was in excruciating pain. Doc says I can either have fusion or ARD. I have constant pain, which is tolerable now (barely), but I can cause a Sciatic attack with only a little bit of lifting or moving (jumping, runing, too much bending, or carying things that are a little too heavy 10 to 20 lbs).

    I read the horror stories about the Chiratic (or however you spell it) ARD, and have read a lot of good about the ProDisc II (sometimes called ProDisc-L for Lumbar I presume). My insurance doesn't cover the ARD procedure, and I am appealing, but the Doc says he has never seen this company approve the procedure. I'm looking into applying for the PPO plan (from the same company I have the HMO plan with), but I first am investigating whether they will cover it. It's wierd that this same company appears to cover this procedure in many states, but not in mine.

    Has anyone heard of recent news about ARD? Some of the posts I've read were from 2003 and 2005. I would be interested in hearing how peoples experiences have been, and especially if you have had one of these for many years now.

    I would like to return to a more physical lifestyle (especially hiking and biking), so I am wondering if its worth arranging my situation so that I can have that surgery.

    Thanks in advance.[/QUOTE]



    I'm very much in your situation. I've been actively dealing with herniated discs at L4-L5 and L5-S1 and a pinched nerve for around 2 years and finally I get to the point where more than one surgeon says that I'd be a perfect candidate for artificial disc replacement and my insurance company has at least so far, denied me.

    I intend to appeal this decision with everything I have but in the meantime I was considering trying the DRX 9000 machine which I know some say is a fraud but for others it has worked so I think it's just something that works for some and not at all for others. Of course there is also spinal fusion surgery but being young and very physically active, it does not seem like a smart choice unless there is absolutely nothing left to do.

    I would probably pay for artificial disc replacement out of my own pocket before getting spinal fusion surgery if I can reasonably pay for it because you know, your back is your life, particularly if you're someone who puts the highest emphasis on sports and physical activity like I do. I'm open to anyone's suggestion but it seems like a lot of people are in the same situation with their insurance company, who will try to claim that ADR is "experimental" and "risky" when in fact all they care about is that they don't want to pay for it regardless of anything, but I guess I'm stating the obvious.

    Last edited by tcathletics; 04-03-2010 at 11:49 AM.

     
    Old 04-23-2010, 04:15 PM   #11
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    Re: Artificial Disc Replacement

    SoCalMan,
    I just wanted to let you know that I have started seeing a non-force chiropractor -- Dr. Mark Cornett in El Segundo ("Precision Muscle Balancing"). I have been going for a month, and for the first time in ten years, I am not in constant pain. My pain level is WAY down, and I have even had moments pain-free. It's nothing short of a miracle. I thought about you, and wanted to let you know, in case you are interested in seeing him. I am not kidding you -- this is changing my life. I was at the end of my rope, and this guy is changing my pain. It's amazing.

    best,
    fraujoolie

    Last edited by moderator2; 04-23-2010 at 04:32 PM. Reason: please do not post websites except as described in the Posting Policy

     
    Old 04-23-2010, 10:46 PM   #12
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    Re: Artificial Disc Replacement

    I'm still in the appeals process with my insurance company for my ProDisc ARD. I don't know how I'm going to do it but I intend to prevail. I believe gradually over time the ARD will (and probably is) becoming more and more accepted as the correct alternative to spinal fusion but this process is too slow to my liking. I'm really stuck because ARD is somewhat unaffordable for me but at the same time I can't fathom getting a spinal fusion surgery when my surgeon (and some other surgeons) passionately believe that a ProDisc ARD is a superior option. Accepting an inferior spinal surgery could be the kind of mistake that could be the biggest mistake of your life.

     
    Old 04-24-2010, 08:15 PM   #13
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    Re: Artificial Disc Replacement

    [QUOTE=fraujoolie;4232022]SoCalMan,
    I just wanted to let you know that I have started seeing a non-force chiropractor -- Dr. Mark Cornett in El Segundo ("Precision Muscle Balancing"). I have been going for a month, and for the first time in ten years, I am not in constant pain. My pain level is WAY down, and I have even had moments pain-free. It's nothing short of a miracle. I thought about you, and wanted to let you know, in case you are interested in seeing him. I am not kidding you -- this is changing my life. I was at the end of my rope, and this guy is changing my pain. It's amazing.

    best,
    fraujoolie[/QUOTE]

    Fraujoolie,

    That was extremely considerate of you to think of me and thank you for giving me that tip and advice. I have been doing a lot better, and I have even had a couple of weeks with no leg pain. My lower back is only a little sore, and it usually goes away about 10 minutes after I've gotten out of bed. Some mornings there is no pain at all, not even for the first 10 minutes. What's even better is that I am doing more activity.

    I just decided to set it in my mind that since I was having pain, that I was going to start doing some more, low impact activity (no running, jumping, or heaving lifting). Some the activity I do is more walking, climbing up and down the ladder doing home improvement projects, bending a little. I also had set it in my mind that some day, somehow, I would get better, whether that was through some sort of advanced surgery, or ADR, or whatever.

    My next goal is to see where I am at in another 6 months. I'm 6 months post micro-discektomy now, and am doing much better. The last couple of days I've had some slight pain in my hamstring area, but it goes away if I sit down and rest for a while. I forget where you are at (pre-op, or post-op) and the type of surgery, but I'll go back and read your earlier post. I do recommend not getting ANY surgery unless it is the final option. I am thinking that if I do get anything done, I am hopefully able to do it far enough into the future such that stem-cells can be used to grow a new disc, or repair the partial disc I have left at S1-L5. At this point, I am glad the insurance denied me, because I think any surgery, especially ADR is risky, as in the prognosis for a pain-free, or reduced pain is not certain.

    Thanks again for your post and your concern. Please everyone, keep contributing your experiences. This site is an awsome source of information.
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    ARD (Prodisc L) S1-L5 11-8-2011
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    Old 10-12-2010, 01:06 PM   #14
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    Re: Artificial Disc Replacement

    Update

    I am 4 weeks post op from the Bonati Spinal Institute. I had 4 surgeries over a 3 week period. Other than some tenderness and nerve activity at the incisions sites, I feel great.

    When I was researching laser surgery, I used the same theory as I did when I needed 3 lumbar disc replaced. I knew I wasn't going to have a fusion, and after extensive research I settled on the Prodisc ADR. Next I was determined to find the pioneer of the Prodisc, and end up in Austria with Dr Bertagnoli. Success, my lumbar and leg pain has been gone since 2004.

    When my fusion at C5-6 (lost the FDA lottery for a Prodisc-C), destroyed my neighboring discs, BCBS didn't want to pay for the Prodisc-C. Hence the laser surgery idea. I went to the pioneer, Dr Bonati. I walked in in August with neck, shoulder, arm, and hand pain in both arms, and now have no pain. Bonati's also corrected a host of thoracic issues. My cost was $500 for out of net work Blue Cross. It is the best $500 I have spent.

    There were many skeptics when I wanted the Prodisc, and even more then I was looking at laser surgery. Think outside the box, more open surgery isn't always the issue.

    P.S.- While I was at Bonati's, which by the way was a wonderful experience, I met a woman who was there from Canada having LSI surgery problems corrected.

     
    Old 10-28-2010, 07:52 PM   #15
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    Re: Artificial Disc Replacement

    Wow! You went to Austria? And I thought traveling 2+ hrs to get to my hospital was a hassle. I havent had laser surgery brought up as an option. You wanted Prodisc. Some of what I read has said it moves, comes apart in time and can create dangerous situations. It was termed "catastrophic failure". Migrating endplates creating life threatening situations in every case. And that it a product more tied up with trying to recoup the investors money and gain them a profit than it is to assist those of us in pain and need with our disability.

    If anyone can give me better information i would be extremely grateful. Thank you. 2Pages.

    Last edited by moderator2; 10-28-2010 at 07:56 PM. Reason: please do not post websites except as described in the Posting Policy

     
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