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  #1  
Old 03-09-2011, 05:19 PM
Davo's Avatar
Davo Davo is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 4
Default Double ADR Surgery

Hello all!

I'm really happy to have found this amazing community! What a wealth of knowledge and information.

I've been suffering from back pain for about 14 years. 10 years ago I had an MRI and was diagnosed with DDD. I was told that I would probably need surgery when I was older (I was 23 then). Stretching, PT, and drugs were prescribed to help with the pain. My back would still "flare up" a couple times a year and cause me severe pain for a week or so. These became more and more frequent. A couple weeks ago, I had another one while bowling, but this one was different because of the pain, numbness, weakness and tingling going down my right leg. (Side note: I don't have insurance.) I was scared enough to go to a doctor and get an MRI (I posted some pictures on my profile). Turns out that I my L4/L5 was severely ruptured and pushing on my spinal cord. My L5/S1 was very degenerated as well. The doctor said that I needed surgery very soon. My only options were a discectomy or spinal fusion. I asked him about ADR and he told me that I had 2 bad discs and that only doing 1 ADR wouldn't help me. So why not do 2? He said it was impossible. I was not happy with these options. If I was going to go under the knife, I wanted it done right the first time.

I did some research and determined that a double ADR is what I truly wanted, despite what the doctor told me. During my research, I found Dr. Bertagnoli and was very impressed by the testimonials on youtube and his website. I sent him my files and Tim Vicknair called me the next day and said that they wanted to see me immediately for double ADR and that they would expedite the process by bumping less critical patients. I was risking permanent nerve damage with the herniation pushing on my spinal cord. I was a bit scared, but relieved that my I was a candidate for ADR.

I can't get insurance coverage now because of my preexisting condition, so if I was to pay for a discectomy or fusion it would cost well over $100K. Not to mention that I didn't want a quick fix type of surgery, I wanted a long term solution. So I decided to bite the bullet of the high price tag of $50K, and I'm headed to Germany on Monday (3.14.11) and will have the double ADR procedure on Friday (3.18.11.) $50K is a lot, but considerably less than what I would pay in the US for a surgery I didn't want or believe in.

I'm excited and anxious about this 2 week adventure. I will update next week after my surgery. I don't really know what to expect when I get there or what will happen after I am discharged. Until then, if anyone has any advice from their German experience I would greatly appreciate it!

Cheers!
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  #2  
Old 03-09-2011, 11:08 PM
srajan0929 srajan0929 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 175
Default hi

wow. i am in the same boat as you. i am 27 however. 3 years ago i had two level disectonomy done and my back has flared up again. i am considering this procedure. please update after the surgery. i dont know how i am going to cough up 50 k. but i will try
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  #3  
Old 03-09-2011, 11:14 PM
2 Young 2 Hurt Like This 2 Young 2 Hurt Like This is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 91
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Hi there

I haven't been on here for awhile and I just saw your post. I had a 2 level adr at levels L3-4-5 on april 20 2010 at olympia medical center by dr carl lauryssen. If i can be any help to you please let me know. I was scared to have the surgery but found comfort in knowing I had a great surgeon. At the end of the day my bill was over 200,000 mostly from the 4 days in the hospital. My thoughts and best wishes go out to you and your family. You are gonna need them more than you know. I posted everything I went through right after the surgery.

http://www.adrsupport.org/forums/f47...rt-like-10569/

~Liz
__________________
Liz
23 Yr Old
Car Accident 3/06
L3-4 Lrg herniation R leg pain, L leg numbness sometimes they switch it up. weakness both, tingling
L4-5 DDD w/sml herniation,loss height.
Injections
Discogram Pos L4-5
IDET L4-5 / PT
1st EMG pos.
Current MRI, X-Ray not much changed
2nd EMG Pos
12/08 possible 2 level ProDisc ADR
08-current Lost 75lbs
More PT/ Acupuncture.Currently PT @ home 3-4xs a wk. Light cardio using elliptical
2 level ADR on 4/20 been a bumpy road.
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  #4  
Old 03-10-2011, 09:18 AM
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Jstuckey Jstuckey is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 305
Default Get well soon!

Best wishes Davo! I'll be sending you happy thoughts and positive mojo on Friday the 18th.
__________________
Joey Sue - 50 years old
9/28/2011: Hybrid STALIF TT interbody fusion at L5-S1 and M6-L ADR L4-5 with Nick Boeree, UK - forever grateful to you Nick! Still doing great.
Prior to the fix: Severe DDD L4-5 and L5-S1 with moderate facet degen at L5-S1, but only mild facet degeneration at L4-5.
http://healthyback2011.blogspot.com/
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  #5  
Old 03-12-2011, 01:19 AM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 6,860
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Welcome, Davo. Wow, you are ready to go already! There's lot to know about the German experience, so keep reading the forums....7 years of posts! Do you have specific questions!

Liz, $200,000?! Really? What were your out of pocket costs? Gosh.
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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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  #6  
Old 03-12-2011, 12:42 PM
2 Young 2 Hurt Like This 2 Young 2 Hurt Like This is offline
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Posts: 91
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Harrison,

I was on a lein for the surgery through my lawyer. Once my case settled all my medical was paid before I got my part of the money. The total for ONLY the disc replacement was approximately $202,000. The hospital stay alone was approximately $186,000 which was for 4 days. The rest was for the actual surgery and use of the OR. As of now I pay outta pocket for any further care and do not have health insurance.

~Liz
__________________
Liz
23 Yr Old
Car Accident 3/06
L3-4 Lrg herniation R leg pain, L leg numbness sometimes they switch it up. weakness both, tingling
L4-5 DDD w/sml herniation,loss height.
Injections
Discogram Pos L4-5
IDET L4-5 / PT
1st EMG pos.
Current MRI, X-Ray not much changed
2nd EMG Pos
12/08 possible 2 level ProDisc ADR
08-current Lost 75lbs
More PT/ Acupuncture.Currently PT @ home 3-4xs a wk. Light cardio using elliptical
2 level ADR on 4/20 been a bumpy road.
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  #7  
Old 03-21-2011, 09:41 AM
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jss jss is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,411
Default

Davo,

The suspense is killing us! How'd the surgery go?

Good luck, Jeff
__________________
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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  #8  
Old 04-11-2011, 02:10 AM
ThomasL ThomasL is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 40
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 Young 2 Hurt Like This View Post
Harrison,

I was on a lein for the surgery through my lawyer. Once my case settled all my medical was paid before I got my part of the money. The total for ONLY the disc replacement was approximately $202,000. The hospital stay alone was approximately $186,000 which was for 4 days. The rest was for the actual surgery and use of the OR. As of now I pay outta pocket for any further care and do not have health insurance.

~Liz
That price is unreal! I had a 2 level in the US for about $40k. That hospital should be ashamed for ripping you off!!!
__________________
2 Level Prodisc-C on 8/13 by Dr Delamarter at Cedar Sinai
  • C5-C6 60%+ compression of cord and severe foraminal stenosis.
  • C6-7 central stenosis with mild, subtile ventral spinal cord flattening. Severe Bilateral neuroforaminal stenosis secondary to foraminal disc bulging and endplate osseous spurs. Bilateral radiculopathy.
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  #9  
Old 05-07-2011, 01:15 AM
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Davo Davo is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 4
Default

Sorry for the delayed response to my original post... I'm 6 week post-op and I'm loving life! I'm riding my motor cycle and looking to play golf very soon! My surgery was so awesome, I'm not sure I can even put it into words. Dr. Bertagnoli and his staff were the epitome or professionalism. The German nurses were very caring. It was a true bargain for the $48K I spent to get my life back.

Here's a quick re-cap of my trip... I arrived at the Munich airport with my dad and the driver (Mr.Hoch) was right there to meet us as expected. He drove us down the Autobahn at 100+mph to Bogen. He was very friendly and spoke English very well. He took us to our B&B outside of town. The next day he picked us up and took us to the hospital. Laxative day! Not fun. No food. The laxatives were quite gentle though. Gotta clear out the intestines so they can have easy access to the spine. Tim Vicknair was there to meet us and guide me through the check-in process. Very professional. Early the next morning, I changed into my compression socks and hospital gown. Off to surgery. 2 hours later, I was back in my room. I was a bit woosey and slept most of the day. I didn't like the catheter part. So the next day when the nurse came in, she asked if I wanted to get up and use the bathroom, I was very willing. She took out my catheter and I walked to use the facilities. I was still a bit discombobulated, but I was able to walk up and down the hall. A miracle! I was walking with no limp and no more pain in my right leg! I think I stayed in the hospital for 2 more days. They make you take laxatives several times a day to make sure your bowels are moving again after the traumatic surgery. The gas pains were probably the worst with the compression back brace that you wear after surgery. The food wasn't very good and I lost a lot of weight. I was discharged shortly thereafter and we went to stay in Straubing for a couple of days before a final meeting with the surgeon. Everything was top-notch, so we headed to Munich for some sight seeing, beer and brats. The flight back to the US was WAY better than the flight to Germany. I was in a lot less pain.

So, here I am back in the US 6 weeks later. No pain, weakness, numbness or complications. It was the best medical experience of my life! I'm going to be riding my Harley up to Sturgis this summer. Something I couldn't have done before my surgery. I thank Dr. Bertagnoli for that. He's also a Harley rider!

Please let me know if I can answer any questions for you. I wish I got a commission for sending people to ProSpine. I've already told so many people about my successful adventure. I'm just glad I can help others see the alternative light to US options.

Cheers!

-David
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