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bokes 01-05-2020 11:18 PM

my intro & is ADR worth the risk if not in bad pain?
Hi, I'm Rick & have had back problems for 20 years. Fortunately I don't have much pain as long as I'm not going thru a flare-up (my heart goes out to those of you who do have pain). However, my back is very sensitive & will easily go into spasm, so i have to baby it. Here's a few examples:

- I can't play sports, except I can hike & bike a little. Im 50 now & interested in gardening, but leaning forward with my knees on the ground is asking for it.
- To pick something off the floor, I have go down on 1 knee & keep my back perfectly straight.
- Before lifting a grocery bag, I have to make sure my glutes & abs are engaged first.

I was considering ADR back in 2001, but at the time my doc said he didn't like any of the designs. But now they look great, I'm considering a 2 level L3-5 ESP in Europe. I've lived in Germany for years & speak the language well, so going there is not an issue.

I'm curious if any of yous have untergone an ADR operation to improve your quality of life, even if you didn't have significant pain? thanks

Harrison 01-11-2020 10:45 PM

Hello Bokes, sorry for the late reply. Thousands of patients have had ADR and posted here since 2004. Most people are in deep, complicated pain before they have surgery. Some, less so.

Where are you at in your decision process? And in what state do you reside?

bokes 01-14-2020 12:49 AM

Hi Harrison, I'm in the SF Bay area & I'm in research mode. I appreciate this site as there's lots to read & learn. So far in my reading it seems like most of the complications have been from subsidence or misaligned ADRs. I started a thread in the Arthroplasty Forum about the Mazor Robot, which I suspect might help avoid the misalignment risk, but afaik it's not in use yet for ADRs. Since my pain is low, I could wait if there was a killer technology around the corner.
The other option i'm considering is a Transforaminal Discectomy. But since I've already had an IDET on my bad discs, I don't know if they can handle more trauma. I think my doc will order another discogram later this week. yippee

star7 01-14-2020 06:43 PM

If youre not in pain Id wait as long as possible. I have pain every single hour of every day. I had lumbar fusion L4-5(2006), lumbar surgery to remove bone spurs(2007), and ADR cervical C5-6(2009). Been dealing with countless syptoms from numbness tingling pain in groin, thigh, hip pelvic, abdomen, ribs, diaphragm the list goes on. I now know that Ive developed adult scoliosis, kyphosis and spodylolthesis since the surgeries. See my pics and youll see screw is coming out of the hardware thats in my neck(i have trouble swallowing and breathing at times). Im now desperate to find a Dr who is trained in removing ADR. If i could go back I would not have done either surgery, just my opinion

bokes 01-15-2020 05:44 PM

star7 I'm deeply sorry about your pain, I really hope you can find someone who can get you some relief.

timsdeece 01-18-2020 07:18 AM

You are definitely not a candidate for surgery. Only the vulture clinics will offer you surgery. It may be difficult for you to see, because maybe your friends are more active, but you are already living a life many would dream of post-op. Once you replace your biological discs there's no going back. Anything happens your ADRs it's more surgery as your body doesn't know what to do with them.

annapurna 01-18-2020 04:04 PM


Originally Posted by timsdeece (Post 118560)
You are definitely not a candidate for surgery.

I feel that this is overly simplistic bad advice. Surgery has risks and can make a problem worse or leave you in pain with no recourse. Obviously, because we're talking about getting surgery to fix things, it can also fix problems and leave you in less pain.

There have been posters here who sought surgery due to a quality of life question when their pain wasn't serious. They didn't all regret it. Personally, I'd suggest investigating surgery now, while your pain is manageable, and learning what you need to know to balance how you see risks and how you'd make your decision.

Don't rush off to get surgery once you've learned enough to make that decision but make use of the time while you're not clouded with pain or pain medication to learn enough so you'll be confident of making the right decision. Waiting until you're driven by pain means you'll feel rushed and pressured, which might leave you making a decision before you've learned all you should know.

Cheryl0331 01-20-2020 09:58 PM

Glad you found this site. Most people here that had ADR or any surgery for that matter, were in a lot of pain, but moreover, a level if disability. I for one on both counts. Only you and your trusted surgeon can make that decision.
Keep something in mind, we are here to share each others spine history, surgery, and successes as well as struggles.
Unless someone here is actually a doctor of neuroscience or orthopedics and has seen you as a patient, they cannot tell you that you are or are not a candidate for surgery.

ummin032 02-25-2020 03:54 PM

I'm in a similiar boat to you. My pain is manageable, but my overall wellness is suffering because of my limitations. I am a 26 year old, former athlete, and have a completely collapsed L5-S1.

Advice that one should wait until the pain is unbearable seems like a major philisophical difference in ones view of life. Being active is major part of my identity, and being physically limited reduces the joy of life for me. Additionally, If you take really good care of yourself right now, that is likely contributing to why your symptoms aren't as bad as others in similiar situations.

With only one life to live, i'm strongly considering the surgery. I'm living the best case scenario without surgery right now, and I personally want more from life. If there are things you're unable to do that you and your surgeon think could be restored with the operation, I would say go for it.

My biggest hesitency at the moment is my age (an artificial disc will have to last me a long time if i live as long as i plan to). Still, I'm exploring all the options and think you should too!

bokes 03-03-2020 08:00 PM

Here's my MRI, if you have any feedback, please feel free to share, thanks

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