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  #1  
Old 07-29-2015, 07:02 PM
sean123! sean123! is offline
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Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 12
Default hello from san diego

hello everyone, this forum has been very helpful

I was told I have stenosis in c5/6 and herniation in c6/7

Went to 3 different Dr. and was given 3 different suggestion

1st - 2 level fusion
2nd - 2 level disc (mobi-c)
3rd - hybrid disk and fusion.

I've had one epidural shot which I can say after a month has lessened the pain. 2nd shot next week

almost got in to a M6 trial however it's 1 level

thought about the regenexx disk regeneration, but really haven't found anything that would want to make roll the dice on something that might just be a waist of money.

might just have to drag my feet until I see no other alternative.

If someone has any dr. recommendation for socal please let me know. All I've seen is reviews of dr's on vitals. The Dr that recommend the mobi-c was friendly enough however how do you know.

Anyway...thanks again

oh and I'm 40 so not sure how much that makes of a difference
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  #2  
Old 07-30-2015, 01:20 PM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
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Hi Sean,

Please see:

http://www.adrsupport.org/forums/f58...-health-11053/

Thanks!
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"Harrison" - info (at) adrsupport.org
Fell on my ***winter 2003, Canceled fusion April 6 2004
Reborn June 25th, 2004, L5-S1 ADR Charite in Boston
Founder & moderator of ADRSupport - 2004
Founder Arthroplasty Patient Foundation a 501(c)(3) - 2006
Creator & producer, Why Am I Still Sick? - 2012
Donate www.arthropatient.org/about/donate
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  #3  
Old 07-30-2015, 01:46 PM
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jss jss is offline
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Posts: 1,411
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Sean,

Condolences and welcome.

The common dilemma; diverging medical opinions. It's hard enough to know what to do even when everyone agrees. Is the surgeon that's suggesting the double fusion an ADR surgeon? And sees contraindications for ADR for you?

I hope today finds you pain free. Good luck!
__________________
C4/5 - ACDF in 2000
C5/6 - ACDF in 2002
C3/4 & C6/7 - M6 ADR, Nov 2009, Barcelona
Conceded defeat to a manifestly disingenuous BCBS-TX in my quest for reimbursement, Jan 2011
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  #4  
Old 07-30-2015, 03:03 PM
Sukhre Sukhre is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 33
Default in the same boat

I am from San diego as well. Would like to know which doctors you have been talking to and how you found your doctor.
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46 yr old male/ USA
May 2015 MRI: Cervical Stenosis at C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7
Surgeon asked to do Fusion C4-C6
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  #5  
Old 09-25-2015, 06:28 PM
sean123! sean123! is offline
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Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 12
Default sorry didnt' see this

dr. glenn - up in Encinitas 2-level mobi-c

dr. mundis - ucsd - suggest hybrid (however he doesn't do 2 level.

the other dr. which I can't remember wanted to do 2-level fusion, however he doesn't' do any artificial disk replacements
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  #6  
Old 09-28-2015, 09:58 PM
asdals asdals is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 11
Red face San Diego - Dr's and personal pain diary

Hi - I was just glancing thru this thread and have some information that may or may not help. I'm going to just share what I've been thru and you can let me know later if it made a difference.

I've been thru a 10 year struggle with my neck and have Degenerative Disc Disease in C3-C7. I've seroiusly contemplated surgery for the past 3 years. I also have occipital headaches - basically one continuous headache which is a large part of my pain.

Anyhow, my Neurologist broke his C1 in a surfing accident about 4 years ago. During a botox session (headaches, not beauty), I asked him who did his surgery. His surgeon was Dr. Frank Coufal of LA Jolla Neurosurgical Associates. I met with Dr. Coufal shortly after and found out that he had participated in the clinical trials for 2-level ADR. When I first met him -April 2013- he said a 1-level ADR/Fusion would help, but a 2-level ADR would be even better. He said they submitted for approval from the FDA in 2007, but had no idea if/when they would approve it. I decided to wait it out and see how my symptoms progressed.

In January of this year, my symptoms became debilitating. I'm used to the headaches and they are painful, but the shooting pain and numbness from my upper right scapula thru my shoulder, arm and hand was unbearable. It was coming from my C5 and I decided then that I was ready for surgery. In the meantime, my pain specialist was able to give me a series of 3 epidurals going in underneath C7 and shooting up into C5-6. After the 3rd round, my symptoms were under control. At this point, I was ready to get the surgery done, but only if it was a 2-level ADR.

Dr Coufal's office submitted the insurance request for surgery in late January to our Aetna PPO insurance. They immediately denied it as well as a peer-to-peer review saying it was "not medically necessary". We submitted a written appeal along with records from 3 other doctors all recommending surgery on Feb 26th. What still angers me is that my exact symptoms and diagnosis were almost word-for-word what Aetna defined as "medically necceassary".

Back to my long story, Aetna literally sat on this appeal saying the department who makes the decisions was "very backlogged". This lasted thru the end of August. I called over 20 times as did my Dr's office. The people in customer service were very friendly and sympathetic, but weren't even allowed to communicate directly with the appeals group - they are untouchable and unaccountable! I had a manager of the customer service group calling me every Thursday since mid-July to follow-up. Each time, he was more frustrated and even mentioned that people were annoyed with him for pushing. The director of the appeals group was aware of the urgency of my case and how long I had been waiting, but never did get a decision made:-(

Then, a miracle happened. My husband's employer decided to switch insurance carriers. Aetna was raising their prices by 30%, so they switched to United Healthcare. Our new insurance (UHC PPO) became effective on September 1st. I gave Dr Coufal's office the new info in September 7th and made an appointment to start the process all over again. 10 days later, I got a call from Dr Coufal's office letting me know that UHC had approved my surgery!!

My surgery is scheduled for October 9th and now that I know it's coming, I'm getting nervous. I've dealt with this pain for so long and am so ready to be done with it. I've had so many injections - epidurals, nerve nlocks, facet blocks, radio frequency and botox (70 pricks every 3 months alone!). Those have been no big deal, but thinking of the surgery....well, I'm trying just to think of the hopefully very happy outcome and not the process!!

Well, now I have a huge headache from looking down at my cell phone and typing this. I stopped working in 2008 bc my headaches were so bad. I vowed then to spend as little time as possible on my computer, but my cell phone probably makes my head hurt more! I apologize if there are any typos. We'll blame it on the cell phone!

Take care and please feel free to share your experiences in more detail. Misery loves company!!

Amy
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  #7  
Old 09-29-2015, 10:43 AM
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Cynlite Cynlite is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 666
Default

Congratulations on finally getting your surgery approved Amy. It is truly sad that some insurance companies are still turning down this surgery with all the evidence that the surgery works as well and often better than fusion. I wish you the very best possible outcome from your surgery and I hope the headaches go away. They have left me in bed for months at a time so, I can very much relate. Keep us posted.
__________________
2006: epidural shots did nothing; 2 surgeons recommended 2 level fusion, I declined.
2007 - 2010 4 foraminotomy and cord decompression cervical surgeries and 2 endoscopic discectomy T7-T8 surgeries; total 6 with Dr. Jho (Pittsburgh,PA) My C6/C7 autofused around 2009.
2013 - 2015: epidurals 3 times (again did nothing) and 4 Radiofrequency ablation (or RFA) procedures.
2016 more RFAs, hit the 10 year mark of this insanity and pain, 3 level M6-C ADR with Dr. Clavel May 19, 2016
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  #8  
Old 10-05-2015, 05:59 PM
sean123! sean123! is offline
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Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 12
Default congrats on approval

Good luck. I'm looking to get a 2nd MRI to see a comparison as pain gets manageable sometimes. I'm hoping I can see some type of improvement

Are you getting a 2-level mobi-c? DR. Coufal never came up on my list

Good luck on surgery, I'd love to know how it turns out
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  #9  
Old 10-05-2015, 10:09 PM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
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Posts: 6,918
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Hi Sean,

Please see:

http://www.adrsupport.org/forums/showthread.php?t=11053

Thanks.
__________________
"Harrison" - info (at) adrsupport.org
Fell on my ***winter 2003, Canceled fusion April 6 2004
Reborn June 25th, 2004, L5-S1 ADR Charite in Boston
Founder & moderator of ADRSupport - 2004
Founder Arthroplasty Patient Foundation a 501(c)(3) - 2006
Creator & producer, Why Am I Still Sick? - 2012
Donate www.arthropatient.org/about/donate
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  #10  
Old 10-15-2015, 06:34 PM
sean123! sean123! is offline
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Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 12
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Quote:
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says document not found
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