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Old 05-23-2017, 11:56 AM
Blizzaga Blizzaga is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 129

Harrison is absolutely correct with the reasoning of the downsides of traveling, but I still want to partially argument for the other side

I would argue that there is a significant price difference. I paid ~30 k for a two-level lumbar. Sure, adding the travel and hotels will increase the price, but can you get a two-level lumbar by a top-surgeon in US for less than 40 k$? Of course, if you have an insurance that covers the cost, then it is a different story.

I fully agree with the no legal tools. But then again, I would cross my fingers for not having to need it in the first place... You put your life in the hands of the surgeon and then the outcome is what it is. No reimbursement is going to ever make up for a botched surgery. I don't know how successful lawsuits against US surgeons have been, maybe someone with more insight can weigh in on that.

So in the end, I would say that there are many factors affecting the choice. In some cases staying in US is the best, in other cases Europe may actually have both cheaper and better chance of success, but really, it is very situational.
2015 Lost ability to sit
2016 Gradually worsening despite conservative treatment
2016 L4-L5, L5-S1 activ L success!
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Old 05-25-2017, 01:57 PM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 6,909

Well said indeed.
"Harrison" - info (at)
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
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Old 05-29-2017, 04:37 AM
LumbarSpine LumbarSpine is offline
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 44

Originally Posted by Harrison View Post
Why not go with a Euro surgeon? Of course, you can and may have good results. My argument has been consistent: you can achieve similar outcomes with the same or less money stateside. And avoid the agonizing travel and lack of follow-up care. If things get really bad post-operatively, you have no legal tools to employ for Euro-docs -- and I mean none. The Germans in particular make it impossible for patients to sue for malpractice.

Some Euro docs even try to sell "extra" insurance if there are complications, and some patients in this community have purchased it. I find that really unscrupulous, but that's just my opinion. Some of the Euro docs are getting between $60,000 - 120,000 for spine surgeries in cash.
I assume you meant "Why go with a Euro surgeon"? Not "Why not go with..."

The answer is simple: The doctors near me, at least one of whom is very accomplished, only use the ProDisc-L. I know you are anti-M6, and I understand your reasons, but theory aside (I think in theory the M6 seems like a better design, and I think you think it is too complicated and may have problems down the road), there are a couple proven points. I know one can take issue with these and say the studies were too small, the doctors weren't the best, etc. I am familiar with the issues with experimental design and all too aware that it is done very poorly in many medical studies. But still, the data I have, high quality or not, is that:

The M6 has a slightly faster recovering time that the ProDisc-L and another disc to which is was compared, I believe is has been shown to reduce adjacent level problems as compared to "hard" discs, and I know hard/unconstrained discs have been show to have a higher frequency of pedicle and facet fractures (which only makes sense as those structures then become the "hard stops" for twisting motions.

That's on top of lesser issues such as the particles that the MoP and MoM are known to produce (and which have been shown, at least histologically, to be inflammatory -- that issue might not rise to clinical significance), and that I believe the ProDisc-L is chromium steel, while the M6 is titanium -- which I suspect gives the M6 a slightly lesser change of allergic reactions. But again, these are tiny points compared to the fact that I fear eventually damage to adjacent levels and facets joints more with a MoP or MoM disc than a viscoelastic disc with graduated resistance.

I'd be happy to hear why I'm wrong. If I go with a ProDisc I have to travel 12 miles via Uber, as opposed to a flight of 1000+ miles. But, while the travel and expense are very unattractive, so is having a second rate disc in me for a few decades. I really wish I didn't feel that way. I'd go to Cedars Sinai tomorrow and get a ProDisc, but I just can't wrap my head around that making sense.
* 40's, otherwise healthy, back pain for many years.
* DDD at L4/L5. Facet pain at same level.
* Multiple RF ablations, with inconsistent/marginal results.
* Single-level disc replacement with Dr. Clavel, Sept. 2017. Went well, recovery MUCH faster and less painful than anticipated. Now need to get active again and keep back in shape!
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Old 05-29-2017, 05:28 PM
bfdfix bfdfix is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 42

There's a video on youtube by Dr Rishke showing the pro disc against the axiomed freedom, that video alone showing how the pro disc moves would be enough to put me off the pro disc!

I could get the M6 fitted in the UK which would be less hassle than going to Germany for the LP ESP which is what I think is going to happen, as I feel better going for that.

It's nowhere near as far as the states to Germany, but I'd do the journey for a better disc.
2013 - Back damaged deadlifting in the gym, recovered well and never had sciatica but life was always a little harder after this injury.

08.16 - Back/sciatica problems arose (what I class as the start of life changing problems in day to day life)

10.16 - After signifcant recovery problems arose again and life has never been the same since

02.17 - L4/5 Small bulge, L5/S1 small protrusion confirmed by MRI, L5/S1 pressed on sciatic nerve but no significant compression noted.
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adr, ddd, lumbar, m6-l, prodisc

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