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  • New Surgery Neurosurgeon talking about Dtrax?

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    Old 08-14-2015, 08:55 AM   #1
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    Join Date: Aug 2008
    Location: MICHIGAN
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    New Surgery Neurosurgeon talking about Dtrax?

    Hi, my name is Lyn I live in Michigan and I have been on here for several years and have had problems with pain in my cervical spine and have been in Chronic pain since the year 2000.
    I am not going to tell my whole story, you can see it under LyninMichigan, Anyway I had Fusion surgery in 2003 on C5/6 and C6/7 and never got out of pain, the C6/7 area never fused and it took me until the year 2005 to convince my neurosurgeon that I never fused!!!
    I am going to make this short...He is one of those surgeons that is too high up and I questioned him too much and he told me that day in his office that he wouldn't help me and to go to another surgeon for help and no other doctor once they heard his name would go over this surgeon's head and help me.
    Anyway, it is now 2015, I have done everything humanly possible to get out of pain (wasted a lot of years of my life) I was still young when this all started but now am 64 years old and am very sad about how much of my life has been wasted trying to find help.
    I have 2 very good chiropractors that are trying to help me weekly and they know what is going on and they don't want me to have surgery but I need to try something.
    The problem is I never fused and was just proved 100% by the exact person that did my surgery (he took me back finally in 2012 with a letter I sent him begging him to take me back!!!) He looked again at my x-rays and sees a pseudoarthrosis but doesn't think that is where my pain is coming from but says 50% chance, will operate...I went then to his partner in 2014 and he said definitely will go in posterially and try to fuse this time with my own bone or as he says (we will just scoop some marrow from your hip, just so easy to do) acted like it was so easy to do) some other things happened...he sent me for an MRI to see if there were things going on in adjacent levels and when I came back said, nothing was going on that I was free to leave,he didn't even remember who I was and said that I was fused that I could leave. I told him that last appt. he told me that definitely he saw a non union at C6/7 from an old Cat Scan another ortho surgeon did from 2010, so he looked at that again and said "oh yes you are not fused" and gave me the paper work do do the surgery, but also gave me the paperwork to get another up to date Cat Scan done for 2015 to make sure I didn't fuse between 2010 and 2015 but my fusion surgery was in 2003???

    I wasn't really feeling confident and he is a "brilliant well know orthosurgeon in Michigan" I asked my chiropractors for another surgeon that they knew of:

    The sent me to a well know Board Certified surgeon and he sent me for a Cat Scan immediately and it came back with absolutely no information on it and he looked at the scan himself and sees bone spurs on levels above, bulging discs and definitely sees a pseudoarthrosis on C6/7. He thinks that it is definitely worth a try to do another "Posterior fusion on C6/7" which is such a major surgery to go through all of the muscles in the back of my neck and such a big recovery time.

    I have gathered from cat scans, mri's, flexion extension, plain x-rays, myelegram from 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015 small things and the neurosurgeons can't find other things that are anything major going on that can be causing problems that are giving me pain from my whole neck area and right into my shoulders and my right arm hurts down into my elbow and my wrist is weak but not terrible and my baby finger and ring finger fall asleep and are numb and tingly on both hands (the numbness and tingly only on hands).

    C6/7 some things that are found on these scans are:

    Clear cut pseudarthrosis and demonstrates with mild sclerosis and iregularities of endplates consistent with pseudoarthrosis

    backout of 1mm of the two bottom screws as seen on myelogram of 2005

    it demonstrated with possible pseudorarthrosis with lack of bone formation x-rays demonstrated evidence of bone with no lucency of the screws on myelogram of 2005

    on laterial flextion ext. views...It demonstrated minimal motion, the doctor says I have Cervical post laminicectomy syndrome, could have a posterior fusion but it may not improve my symptoms. this is from 7/13/2012

    Another doctor viewed the Cat scan of 2010 says there are halos around the C6 and possibly the C7 vertabraes which means there could be movement and pseudo.

    Another report says...There does seem to be some motion at the C6/7 pseud. level with relative widening of the pseud. gap on flexion. There does appear to be some lucency about the C7 screws with the C7 vertebral body.

    Assessment symptomatic pseudoarthrosis...but wouldn't do surgery in 2010 because I only had insurance for another 4 months and would not be rushed into doing surgery. I do have surgery now but didn't go back to this orthosurgeon as he was completely rude to me and told me I was try to blackmail him into doing this because my insurance was running out!!!

    The last surgeon I went to recently sent me for a new cat scan and showed definitely pseudoarthrosis (failed fusion) said he would take a chance of posterior fusion surgery but wanted to send me to another surgeon who does complex surgery who is the head of a University Hospital and is a professor and very well known and these two surgeons operate together.
    He wanted me to consult with him first. So I waited 3 months and had an appt. 3 weeks ago with him.
    He looked at my reports from the last Neurosurgeon, my cat scans, MRI's and I have other CD's, reports from my last several chiropractors, etc.

    One that he was very interested in is an xray from my chiropractor, that is a moving x-ray where you put your head as far back as you can and they start the machine and you put your head forward and down on to your chest. They can get a real good idea if you have any movement in any of your vertabraes especially when you have had fusion surgery or even what is going on in your cervical spine area.

    This new surgeon told me about this surgery that he wanted to try. He said he wanted to do a "minimally invasive surgery" on me, it is called a "Dtrax System", my husband comes with me to all of my appts. and we looked at each other and I said, can I write this down. So he wrote it on a piece of paper for me and he said "RESEARCH IT ON THE INTERNET"....that is about it, oh yes he said, they go in posteriorally and they put two holes in the back of your can research it on the internet!!! he said something about a cage or cages. My husband said "do you put marrow in from her hip" and he said no!!!! with my fusion surgery I had cadaver bone used and I really think maybe that is why it didn't fuse but I don't know for sure, but I don't know if I want bone from my hip used either and that it was he said, that was it!!!

    When he was finished talking about that he asked us about this moving x-ray and a few minutes before that he had said that he was surprised that I didn't have any adjacent vertabrae problems since my other surgery was in 2003 and we are talking about living in chronic pain here, I cannot tell you what I have gone through!!! So then he says, we can try this surgery and because it is not such a big surgery and if it doesn't take away the pain,He said I noticed (on that moving x-ray)that the vertabrae above (said something above C4) has a lot of movement one over the other (slippage) I didn't know if he meant retrolethesis or anterolethesis? and said if the Dtrax surgery didn't take away the pain then he said he would want to put in an "artifical disc" in above where there was slippage. I am so confused now!!! For years I have been thinking maybe it is something above not my non fusion and now I am even more confused.

    This doctor definitely seems to want to "push the envelope" and go for the new stuff which I think is amazing.
    We walked out of the office and he said "so do you want to have the surgery"? We stood there and said "I guess so" but I had no idea what the surgery was all about except minimally invasive. This guy took 3 months to get in to see so he says in the office with the girls that work for him to get the paperwork, I signed for it but didn't fill in the date, signed paperwork for bloodwork, he asked me if I had any serious conditions, blah blah blah and he left. I have been looking up this surgery for weeks now, I can understand it sort of but I have to get an MRI of my shoulder and arm area because we don't know if the pain in my shoulder is coming from "neck" one neuro says no and he thinks yes!!!! I am also going back to the other neurosurgeon to talk to him about this surgery also.
    It is a very interesting surgery, you can follow up on it online but I am confused!!!
    On the paperwork the Surgery has put" consent for surgery

    C6/7 Posterior Fusion with cages (Dtrax) & related procedures

    Thank you so much for reading this!!! Believe me, I will not go for this surgery unless my husband and I understand what is involved fully!!!

    I thought this surgery was so new that it might help some people on these boards that are going to have "fusion surgery" or are talking about it. Keep in mind, this is for 1 level only and it is for a posterior fusion only!!! But it is used for other surgeries also, radiculopathy, compression etc. stenosis?

    Thank you so much for reading this and if you can't find this online please let me know and I will help you find it!!!

    Please tell me what you think?

    Take care....Lyn (AngelinMichigan)

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    Old 08-16-2015, 08:09 AM   #2
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    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: New Surgery Neurosurgeon talking about Dtrax?

    There is a lot to address in your post. First, I do not understand why the pseudoarthrosis was not addressed. There must be a little instability at that segment which often results in pain...and the screw backing out indicates this.

    I have a friend in Michigan who had a very similar experience to yours, except hers was a lumbar surgery. She went to a number of surgeons who, when they found out who did her surgery said "you had surgery with the best! Everything must be alright. The pain is in your head." I kept encouraging her to keep looking and eventually she ended up with a surgeon whose practice is primarily revisions. It is amazing to me how the majority of spine surgeons in Michigan seem to have trained in the same hospital and look out for each other. And doctors at the U of M spine center weren't any more willing to look out of the box.

    I am just sorry that you spent so many years looking for answers to your pain.
    I can imagine that you are in a huge quandary now and are eager at the possibility that one of these procedures will at least make your current pain profile better. I would want to find out more about the new procedure suggested to you and whether it is appropriate for a revision surgery. My fear is that you might be a guinea pig for this surgeon. Also this system has no track record, even for people who are having surgery for the first time.

    The symptoms in your arm and two outside fingers indicate an issue with C8. Rather than focusing on the C3-4 segment, I would want to learn more about C7-8 and I would want a current MRI done with contrast.

    Last edited by teteri66; 08-16-2015 at 08:22 AM.

    Old 08-17-2015, 08:20 AM   #3
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    Join Date: Aug 2008
    Location: MICHIGAN
    Posts: 237
    Re: New Surgery Neurosurgeon talking about Dtrax?

    Teteri...Thank you so much for taking the time (again) to read my long post and for answering me. Yes I am in a major quandry even as I am writing you back. I am afraid of the same thing, being a guinea pig for this surgeon as he didn't even explain he surgery to us. I had a call from his assistant Friday afternoon asking me if I had the clearance forms fill out yet from my GP and from my Cardioligist yet? I told her that we didn't understand the surgery yet and I thought I would have time to talk to the surgeon still before having the surgery!!! (I wouldn't have it otherwise). I told her I have the appt. to get the MRI on my arm/shoulder done this week and am seeing him next week and have several questions written down as there is nothing I can find in the internet anywhere that answers my questions, (not very many anyway) and the other surgeon that is doing the surgery with him and they consult together, he doesn't know much either according to his secretary so I want to see him again also!!! I was feeling very hopeful but am not too sure!!! It is minimally invasive but I will still have my plates and screws in the front and one doctors says he see halos which means movement, another says there is no movement!!! I am concerned and this is why I keep on giving up. It has been totally unfair that I have had to live my life in so much pain especially know that since 2003 that I have never fused right from the beginning.

    Thanks again Teteri...I will keep you posted.
    Take care....Lyn in Michigan

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