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Old 10-12-2021, 05:18 AM
sebnied sebnied is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 1
Default Welcome!

Hi everyone!
I've been following this group since a while now and am amazed by the positive outcomes some people had after an ADR.
What brought me here is my degenerated disc at L5-S1 which suffered a recurrent herniation after an open microdiscectomy 10 months ago.
I never really felt ok after that surgery, actually I even felt and feel worse, and that's what held me back from having a revision. But my quality of life has in the meantime tremendously degenerated (as my disc 😃) and my back does not allow me for literally anything without some sort of pain both in the leg and in the back. Pain usually gets worse with activity and the only things left for me to do are PT exercises. Working full time is really hard unfortunately, and I'm anyway only doing an office job.
Looking for possibilities online has brought me to contact some ADR surgeons here in Europe and surprisingly all of them recommended an ADR at L5-S1. I'm saying surprisingly as even mentioning this to any of the surgeons in my area (Innsbruck, Austria) I received really negative reactions. Two of them instead recommend a L5-S1 fusion while one recommends a revision microdiscectomy. And that makes me wonder..
In any case, I can now survive OK during the day but my back feels ALWAYS off. There's not a moment that I don't feel there's something wrong with my back. I keep it very easy during the day, never in one position for more than half to one hour, no physical activity and no sports, only PT. Life pretty much sucks but I feel better than 3 months ago. I still miss out on more strenuous social events like cinema or long dinners and I guess events like longer trips or weddings will be far out of reach. Summing up maybe I'm not that bad but not that good either. The worst situation for making a decision
October 2020 - Start of back issues
November 2020 - MRI 14mm L5-S1 Herniation
December 2020 - Microdiscectomy
March 2021 - MRI Dehydration and with loss of disc height at L5/S1, disc re-herniation, slight facets reaction, mild modic changes and slight neuro foraminal narrowing.
Chronic back and leg pain.
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Old 10-13-2021, 08:57 AM
annapurna annapurna is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,611

The advice I'd give about decision-making is this: do your research now, while you feel like your back isn't too bad. Learn about options, read online, ask questions, and find surgeons who you'd like to work with if you do end up going the route of either fusion or ADR. Doing that while you're in relatively less pain makes it easier to make decisions. Your mind isn't clouded by pain or narcotics and you don't have a feeling of fear and urgency rushing you. Particularly, locating the surgeons and understanding the devices and surgical options they offer can take some time. Don't use a surgeon outside of their main comfort zone; a surgeon who does thousands of fusions and an occasional ADR isn't an ADR surgeon you want to seek out and vice versa.

While you're doing that, record somehow, journal or notes or whatever works for you, how your back is impacting your life every day. Not just pain but what you can and can't do. At the end of a few months, look over the journal to see if you can honestly say you're improving slowly, holding level, or getting slowly worse. If you're getting slowly worse, it's probably (remember I'm not a medical professional so my advice is just that of an opinionated engineer) time to look for more medical intervention. Whether you feel holding level is okay or needs more treatment is a hard call but you'll at least be making that decision with the best information available. You may find that you're improving slowly but the rate of improvement is so slow you don't notice unless you looked over long lengths of time.
Laura - L5S1 Charitee
C5/6 and 6/7 Prodisc C
Facet problems L4-S1
Knee, Shoulder, Toe, Finger, Elbow Problems

Jim - no spine problem but lots of other fun medical challenges

"There are many Annapurnas in the lives of men" Maurice Herzog
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