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New Member Introductions If you just joined, please introduce yourself here. Please add a signature describing your spinal history (use the "User CP) and ask us how we can help you get started.


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  #1  
Old 10-17-2013, 12:15 AM
1Day 1Day is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 27
Red face Wish I wasn't here...but glad I am

Hi,
Newbie here, 47YO female...after 30 years of back and neck pain I finally decided on surgery only for the insurance denials to start. 25 years of PT and Chiropractic, 5 years of injections. Several times a year I can barely move for a week at a time. And I really don't understand pain meds and muscle relaxers, when I'm in that much pain, absolutely nothing helps except for not moving a muscle. Epidurals used to work, not anymore. I think I have forgotten how to bend at the waist. After the last 8 weeks of PT, the PT doc said, you started out with two ropes for back muscles and you still have two ropes for back muscles, they are no better now then day one.

L5-S1 and L4-L5 are the culprits that need replacing. Been waiting on Aetna since June. When my discogram was done, the doc came out and asked how I was doing, I said, all good. He held my hand and said "Young lady, you are one tough cookie, that bottom disc is SHREDDED and the other one is pretty bad too". Surgeon says I'm a perfect candidate for double lumbar ADR.

The funny part is that according to my surgeon and pain doc, my neck is radiographically much more jacked up then my back and they cannot believe that I'm not in daily agony from my neck. Spinal cord compression, herniations and a few other things. The surgeon wants to replace 3 discs in my neck. But, since I currently do not have any issues with pain down my arms, I'm waiting for my back to get done first. When the neck seizes up, there is no moving it for weeks, but I am so used to it. I asked the doc what that golfball was on the side of my neck and he explained it was the entire muscle balled up into one spot.

I never look forward to the neck headaches, and when they happen I'm back to wanting surgery on the neck.

Anyway, thanks for this forum, it helps to know I'm not alone in this. I look forward to getting approvals.

Thanks,
Chris
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2013, 07:44 AM
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jss jss is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,411
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Chris,

Welcome. And, what a miserable story!

Some on this site have had luck getting Aetna to cover a single level ADR, but I don't recall success on a multi-level success. Where are you in the appeals process with Aetna? Here is a link to a thread on this site which contains an article about a judge ordering Cigna to begin covering two level ADRs. It may contain information beneficial for you in the appeal.

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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  #3  
Old 10-17-2013, 08:00 PM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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Hi Chris, thanks for the polite introduction. I hope we can support you in the days ahead. In the meantime, here's your homework:

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

Just shout if you need help!
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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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  #4  
Old 10-17-2013, 09:18 PM
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Lewis01 Lewis01 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 72
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Welcome Chris. Glad you are hear. Most people on this site empathize with what you are going through. It's a great resource for learning and inspiration.

My advice is that while you are waiting to get surgery seek out alternative ways to help your condition to be as painless as possible. I have used naturopathic remedies, supplementation, essential oils, special diet etc. to help the quality of my life and greatly reduce pain pre-surgery. Before, I was at the point of not being able to walk some days and in the worst possible pain most of the time. Now I am mostly functional and having much less pain. I will probably still have surgery but I can wait as long as I need to. If you want any info on any of this let me know.
__________________
Pre 1999: Damage caused from Car & Motorcycle wrecks, Football, US Army, bad diet, etc.
1999: Collapse at work lifting heavy desk; Weekly chiropractor visits until present; Steroid Inj. Pain Mgmt.
2002: Began mostly Raw diet. Got off pain meds Showed much improvement. Weekly Chiro visits
2010: Discogram & MRI - S1 - L2 Lumbar DDD
2011: MRI same. Quality of life issue. Wake up middle of night with leg pain often.
2013: MRI. Had enough. Ready for surgery.
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  #5  
Old 10-17-2013, 11:38 PM
MikeC MikeC is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
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Chris, I have not found one US based doctor who recommended an ADR; they usually shriek in horror when I bring up that possibility. Drs Clavel and Bierstedt have both recommended a 2 level ADR. Are you in the USA? I have not found any Doritos here receptive to an ADR except for Anders Cohen in Brooklyn. Good luck with you decision on treatment. I will most likely end up in Germany or Spain. Mike
__________________
Feb 2011; X-ray + diagnosis; Spinal Stenosis
Physical Therapy + Oral Steroids
March 2011: MRI
April 2011: 2 level laminotomy; L4/L4 & L5/S1
More PT, pain meds and injections.
...and 2014, still researching ADR.
February 2014: endoscopic foraminotomy, Dr Bitan
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  #6  
Old 10-20-2013, 10:37 PM
1Day 1Day is offline
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Thanks for responding. My doctor in Los Angeles recommended the double ADR for the lumbar and triple ADR for the neck. He has done hundreds of them. My friend is the one who sued Cigna and won. We have the same doctor and are going to get the same surgery.
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  #7  
Old 10-21-2013, 06:40 AM
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TPatti TPatti is offline
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1 day, would you mind sharing who that doctor is? I just had 2 level lumbar with Dr. Bierstedt and like you have some significant cervical issues as well. My cervical issues look worse on film that what symptoms show, I also have no radicular pain bit do get headaches. Dr. Bierstedt thought that there is a chance that my body may adapt after lumbar surgery to but me time before cervical intervention is needed. I will most likely need cervical surgery someday but wanted to buy time if I could to recover from lumbar surgery and technology is always improving. I feel that my headache and tight neck muscle issues are improving as I continue to heal from lumbar surgery. My cervical issues happen more when near the end of the day when fatigue sets in but the time between is consistently getting longer. I too, like Lewis, use many modalities to help both my lumbar healing and cervical issues. I think massage, acupuncture, micro-current, and anti-inflammatory diet and supplement have helped.
__________________
*9/10: Unstable pelvis & SI joint, sore IT band. Chiro care, I would shift out hours to days after adjust
*12/10: PT & chiro
*4/11 to 11/11: 5 sessions prolo and 3 prolo w/ PRP
*12/28/11 ESI L L4/L5 - 1/13/12 ESI R L4/L5 - 1/24/12 L SI joint capsule - 3/8/12 TPI - 3/23/12 L L5/S1 - 4/11/12 ESI caudal - 5/23/12 TPI - 7/10/12 Facet inj L3/L4, L4/L5, L5/S1
*9/12/12: 30 - DRX9000
*12/21/12 schedule. for L4/L5 fusion-CANCELLED 1/7/13
*7/16/2013: 3 level M6(S1-L3) w/ Dr. Bierstedt
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  #8  
Old 10-21-2013, 08:31 AM
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jss jss is offline
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Posts: 1,411
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1Day,

Wow... Congratulations to your friend. Please thank him/her for the rest of us for taking the step that almost none of the rest of us do; to sue an insurance carrier over the practice of denying ADR coverage.

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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  #9  
Old 10-21-2013, 10:23 AM
CDW321 CDW321 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 69
Default Welcome

Hi 1 Day -
It sounds like we have much in common. We are both female, in similar age range, bad LB disc issues, worse looking Cervical MRI with symptoms just emerging. I think we share a similar first name too.
Welcome to the board. Everyone here is very intelligent and well informed. Please do pass on your LA surgeon's name.

-Christy
__________________
Healthy and athletic for 51+ years until:
Dog yanked on leash & low back went, can't sit, stand, walk W/O pain.
10 mos. PT, Shots, meds, alternative stuff; nothing
Microdiscectomy at L5S1 at HSS - failed
Lost successful business, went on disability; more "conservative" treatments
At 3 years fed up and deciding upon ADR or Fusion
Scared and uncertain
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  #10  
Old 10-26-2013, 11:46 AM
1Day 1Day is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 27
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Dr. Brian Rudin, thespinesurgeon dot com.
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Chris
Back and Neck Pain 30+ years, Chiropractic care
Several Epidurals and Blocks over past 5 years
Awaiting Insurance for 2 ADR Lumbar L5-S1 L4-L5
Discogram showed Shredded L5-S1
5 YO MRI of neck shows straightening of cervical spine, issues at C4-5 & C5-6 and C6-7 (central disk protrusions, bilateral uncovertebral joint arthropathy, moderate neural forminal stenosis, severe central stenosis with cord compression)
Aetna approved C6-7 replacement, scheduled for 11/17
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