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  #1  
Old 09-21-2012, 05:05 PM
wwolff64 wwolff64 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 5
Default Michigander In Search of answers...

Hello to all:

48 year old male here. Long issue of Cervical spine issues ranging from sore neck to completely useless left arm (took 8 weeks to get feeling and muscle control back on that one) over the past 20 years. Root cause of issue a combination of a car crash as a teen, an alcohol-induced stunt in my twenties and an MRI-based diagnosis of "degenerative joint disease" 12 years ago.

My quest for the best solution to the numbness/tingling/heaviness in all 4 limbs came to a new chapter when the Doc went over the MRI with me and suggested C5/6/7 discectomy/fusion. I'm obviously concerned about resulting ROM reduction and subsequent adjacent joint wear. Having said that, doing nothing is not an option based on my symptoms, and an MRI showing significant impingement of the spinal column at c5/c6.

In the process of running all over the web to learn as much as I could about my condition, his proposed treatment and alternatives, I became aware that ADR was an option (which he had not disclosed). In more subject specific searches, I found this forum.

Obviously, I am interested in gathering as much information as I can in a short period of time, and this forum appears to hold much promise to that end.

I guess my first question to the group is has someone here developed a database of doctors performing ADRS, and some info re their experience set(s)?

My first hurdle is to decide the course of treatment most appropriate for me, and then decide the WHO and HOW of that treatment plan, but I need to be expeditious as well as careful. I keep looking at the MRI and something tells me that I need to get all my facts gathered and start down a treatment path sooner rather than later (before I no longer get a say in things like when I will go to the bathroom)!

Thanks in advance for any and all thoughts/info you might have to help me climb the learning curve as fast as possible.

Best Regards,
__________________
Bill
Auto accident mid-80's
Neck Pain for 10+ years
Some bouts of dibilitating numbness/muscle control issues since '93 treated by chiropractic when acute.
August 2012, some loss of sensation and muscle control/spasticity issues noted, all 4 limbs. C-Spine MRI Conducted.
September 2012, Diagnosed herniated discs/cervical Stenosis: C5-C6, C6-C7
Initial proposed procedure, multi-level fusion at C5-C6, C6-C7.
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  #2  
Old 09-28-2012, 02:53 PM
wwolff64 wwolff64 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 5
Default

Bump.

Hello again. Quick update:

Am finding probably the same thing many of you have found. I can get information MUCH quicker from the web than I can from my Doc--the only problem being that just because its on the web, doesn't make it true (though I suppose the same can be said for some info that comes out of some doc's mouths as well).

Anyway, I'm no closer to anything that looks like a plan than I was when I first posted, and am noticing some increase in symptoms.

Can anyone provide a link/info as to what they believe are the best ADR surgeons/facilities within the states and their locations? I'm here in the Detroit area, and unless I am missing something, the pickin's are pretty thin.

Thanks in advance!!!
__________________
Bill
Auto accident mid-80's
Neck Pain for 10+ years
Some bouts of dibilitating numbness/muscle control issues since '93 treated by chiropractic when acute.
August 2012, some loss of sensation and muscle control/spasticity issues noted, all 4 limbs. C-Spine MRI Conducted.
September 2012, Diagnosed herniated discs/cervical Stenosis: C5-C6, C6-C7
Initial proposed procedure, multi-level fusion at C5-C6, C6-C7.
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  #3  
Old 10-04-2012, 05:58 PM
bogiewan bogiewan is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 12
Default Possible Help

Bill, I worked with Dr. Don Kovalsky at the Orthopedic Center of Southern Illinois, in Mount Vernon Ill. You may want to look into him. He has inserted a lot of ADRs in his time. I went to him to get a lumbar ADR, but didn't end up with one because of a spinal missalignment he could not correct on the operating table. I ended up with a double fusion L4_S1, but I don't have any pain anymore. My wife and I are very impressed with this doc and his staff.
__________________
1992 injured lumbar region dx pulled muscles, yet never healed
Met with numerous docs for 10 years, ended with dx Ankylosing Spondylitis
Treated for AS 8 years, Cleveland Clinic debunked AS
Did mri to verify DDD L4-L5 and herniations at L5-S1, C6-C7, T2-T3, & T3-T4 numerous Schmorl’s nodes in Thoracic
Fusion of C6-C7 Oct 2010
Current – Trying for hybrid of Fusion at L4-L5 with Prodisc L5-S1 BCBS Anthem Denied!
Aetna Approved!!!!!
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  #4  
Old 10-10-2012, 02:21 PM
wwolff64 wwolff64 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 5
Default

bogie:

Thanks for the response. I continue on my quest for information. As it stands right now, my surgeon seems to have taken the position that can be summarized as:

1. I do spinal fusions.
2. If you continue in my care, I will propose to treat you with a spinal fusion because that is what I do.
3. If you are interested in exploring any other treatment path beyond spinal fusion, please refer to items 1 and 2 above.

UGH!

Continuing on my quest... Have just gotten done leaving a message for a surgeon in the Indianapolis area.

Before I accept a multi-level fusion, I'm going to need to hear a surgeon who actually DOES disc replacements tell me why they can't help me.

Anyone who has more suggestions at to a center of expertise/surgeon recommendation, feel free to PM me, or throw them out here.

Thanks!!!
__________________
Bill
Auto accident mid-80's
Neck Pain for 10+ years
Some bouts of dibilitating numbness/muscle control issues since '93 treated by chiropractic when acute.
August 2012, some loss of sensation and muscle control/spasticity issues noted, all 4 limbs. C-Spine MRI Conducted.
September 2012, Diagnosed herniated discs/cervical Stenosis: C5-C6, C6-C7
Initial proposed procedure, multi-level fusion at C5-C6, C6-C7.
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  #5  
Old 10-10-2012, 07:48 PM
Harrison's Avatar
Harrison Harrison is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 7,011
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Hi Bill, this may help if you've not already seen it:

http://www.adrsupport.org/forums/f50...doctors-11140/
__________________
"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 10-26-2012, 11:43 PM
wwolff64 wwolff64 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 5
Default

Harrison,

Thanks so much for the link to that thread.

Be advised that I've been down to see Dr Sasso in Indy. I am tentatively scheduled for a Bryan ADR in the not-to-distant future, and it appears that my insurance actually covers it (AMAZING)!!!

Will keep you and everyone else posted as things move along.

Thanks again

Bill
__________________
Bill
Auto accident mid-80's
Neck Pain for 10+ years
Some bouts of dibilitating numbness/muscle control issues since '93 treated by chiropractic when acute.
August 2012, some loss of sensation and muscle control/spasticity issues noted, all 4 limbs. C-Spine MRI Conducted.
September 2012, Diagnosed herniated discs/cervical Stenosis: C5-C6, C6-C7
Initial proposed procedure, multi-level fusion at C5-C6, C6-C7.
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  #7  
Old 10-27-2012, 03:17 PM
dustman9725 dustman9725 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 157
Default Just my advice

If you are at all active, which I imagine from reading your post that you are!... Do not get the Prodisc at C5/C6. I was told by hopkins a year after my failed prodisc at c5/c6 that the a fusion works 98% of the time at that level if you only have that 1 diseased disc. The initial surgeon decided to get cute and make a few extra bucks and put the prodisc in @ c5/c6. Ever since the intial surgery my life has been hell. Once it failed, I was a mess and it wasn't long before the surgeon stopped returning my phone calls and wouldn't take any from me. A revision (by hopkins) was tried to correct it a year later with no success.

Unless you can get an M6, I would recommend just doing the fusion and taking it easy. NO PRODisc my friend.
__________________
Ruptured C5/C6 June 2010. Rushed into Prodisc surgery July 1, 2010. Month after installation, symptoms came back and new more intense pain. Fought all year for help. July 6, 2011 received fusion-revision on top of Prodisc - John's Hopkins. Numbness went away in hands, but pain still remains. Doctor's all say "Life of Pain Management" forever. Trying to endure life through the fog of pain and meds and procedures. New hope is now Neurotransmitter "TENS" unit implanted into neck at C5/C6.
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  #8  
Old 10-29-2012, 10:39 PM
wwolff64 wwolff64 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 5
Default Not a PRODISC

Dustman,

Thanks for the thoughts/warnings are the prodisc. Per my previous post, the implant is a Bryan Artificial Disc.

I'm not going in there thinking this is any sort of guaranteed plan, not by any stretch of the imagination. To be honest, I'm not happy about going hundreds of miles from home for this procedure, but I recognize that is an order of magnitude less than others have gone for an ADR.

As for level of activity, I can tell you that my goal is to get back to being active once this is fixed. With the current levels of impingement on my spinal cord and the symptoms that have come with it, I've become much less active, and the bathroom scale is telling me about it!!!
__________________
Bill
Auto accident mid-80's
Neck Pain for 10+ years
Some bouts of dibilitating numbness/muscle control issues since '93 treated by chiropractic when acute.
August 2012, some loss of sensation and muscle control/spasticity issues noted, all 4 limbs. C-Spine MRI Conducted.
September 2012, Diagnosed herniated discs/cervical Stenosis: C5-C6, C6-C7
Initial proposed procedure, multi-level fusion at C5-C6, C6-C7.
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