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  #11  
Old 08-08-2011, 10:06 AM
JEVE19 JEVE19 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2006
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The best surgeon in the
world isn' t of much use if he/she hides behind lousy office
staff and you can' t get questions answered.

Amen to that one!
Exactly why I am putting TBI off and seeing a doctor here in Florida now. If I want to be treated like a cash cow, I can stay here in Florida and get that treatment.
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L5-S1 Lumbar M6 by Nick Boeree
10-14-2011
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  #12  
Old 08-10-2011, 10:10 PM
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Lewis01 Lewis01 is offline
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Thanks for your reply, Laid up doc. I have not been tested for instability, but I suppose it is possible. I go to work everyday, exercise each night, and am not on alot of medication except an occasional naproxin sodium. However if I do not do ALOT of back exercises, I can't sleep for more than 4 or so hours at night. I will make an appt with my local neurosurgeon and see what he says. The orthopedic doctor I went to several times never mentioned this. My chiropractor has never mentioned it either. I will find out.
__________________
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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  #13  
Old 08-26-2011, 09:01 PM
nanfromsactown nanfromsactown is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 145
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Hi! I too have had severe back issues for over 10 years. In my case I had all of my records and films reviewed by both Dr. Bertagnoli and Dr. Zeegers in Germany, and I have also had a consult at UCSF. When I saw the doc at UCSF, she said that Bertagnoli does mostly Pro-disc and she considered him a collegue, I believe he is also listed in the manufacturers website as a trainer or something. Obviously the only option I've been offered in the US is Pro-disc since it's FDA approved. To me it seems that Dr Zeegers makes his choice of disc based on the patient's (me!) needs. He wants to use the Activ-l on me.

In one of your posts you said you had spoken to Dr. Bertagnoli's US rep. Unless something has changed that I'm not aware of, you can contact any of the overseas docs on your own without the use of anyone over here. Since you have already gone through a third party, whatever quote you got for surgery may stay the same but it might have been less if the third party hadn't been involved. I'm not really sure but it did seem that the cost quotes I got from his office were higher through the rep than what I had been told to expect. Hopefully someone here will correct my information if it's incorrect!

Good luck on your quest!
Nanci
__________________
3/96 injury, bending over to pick up book and felt a snap.
MRI's show DDD at L45 and L5S1, disc bulge at both levels.
Discogram and CT 1999: posterior annular tears at both levels.
TREATMENT: IDET, ESI's, Radiofrequency, Chiropractic, Pain Management, PT.
No work since 1999.
ADR Surgery at BetaKlinik, Bonn, Germany 11/30/11-Activ-L at L45,STALIF at L5S1--recovery good so far!
http://backtalk2011.blogspot.com/?v=0
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  #14  
Old 08-28-2011, 04:31 PM
Maddie Maddie is offline
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I can highly recommend Dr. Luiz Pimenta from Brazil (although he does work in the US & Mexico as well I think) He has an address in San Diego which is where I sent my images.

I went through similar treatments but after a few years, all stopped working. I strongly disagree with the poster who said you were not bad enough. Our options evaporate because we leave things go far too long.

I got consults from almost a dozen surgeons throughout the world, and didn't get a warm fuzzy with Dr. B. Plus I am leary of the ProDisc as well...there seems to be more bad stories with it than any other disc.

Because of severe metal allergies, I could not get a lumbar ADR, just one (NeoDisc) for my C5/6. (There are no non-metal lumbar ADRs available yet.) So I had fusion at the bottom two lumbar levels. I have to say that my initial fear of fusion is starting to disappear, and I certainly wouldn't hesitate to have one at L5/S1, with ADR at the L4/5 level. There has been much discussion about the need for ADR at the bottom since there isn't nearly as much motion at that level. Also, I would be uncomfortable with stacking too many ADRs...JMHO.

Dr. Pimenta was wonderful to work with and discussed many options with us. I would go back to him in a heartbeat. He also had the least expensive price, but it didn't include hotel & travel. While the fancy German hotels would be great, I couldn't afford them.

If you would like any more information about our experience, I'd be glad to chat.
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C3/4-5/6- Mod. ant., severe posterior bulging w. nerve root compression. Sev. narrowing of spinal canal with cord compression.

L4/5/S1- Mod. narrowing, bulging disc, significant hypertrophy of flava lig.

Highly allergic to all metals.

NEW: 3/16/2010: Successful surgery in Brazil w. Dr. Pimenta; Nuvasive NeoDisc at C5/6, and XLIF & ALIF at L4/5/S1 w. PEEK cages. No rods, screws, plates. Non-metal lumbar ADR not available at present time, so went with fusion.
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  #15  
Old 08-28-2011, 05:00 PM
nanfromsactown nanfromsactown is offline
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You're right about waiting too long. I actually had one of those medical tourism guys tell me that anyone would "kill" to have my MRI, but he certainly isnt a doctor (although he has an ego to match one) nor is he inside my body! Actually it is attitudes like his, and the mis-education of many medical providers which has probably slowed the ADR approval process in this country. Those of us who have undergone a discogram on an otherwise not-so-bad looking spine can tell the naysayers that there is more than meets the eye in many cases.

When I am uncertain or fearful, all I have to do is come here and read up on peoples stories to feel better and more secure.
__________________
3/96 injury, bending over to pick up book and felt a snap.
MRI's show DDD at L45 and L5S1, disc bulge at both levels.
Discogram and CT 1999: posterior annular tears at both levels.
TREATMENT: IDET, ESI's, Radiofrequency, Chiropractic, Pain Management, PT.
No work since 1999.
ADR Surgery at BetaKlinik, Bonn, Germany 11/30/11-Activ-L at L45,STALIF at L5S1--recovery good so far!
http://backtalk2011.blogspot.com/?v=0
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  #16  
Old 08-28-2011, 05:39 PM
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Jstuckey Jstuckey is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 305
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Waited too long myself.... Functional and active through the years - sometimes with a pain, but after 20 some years, my options have changed due to facet damage.....
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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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  #17  
Old 08-29-2011, 03:44 AM
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laid up doc laid up doc is offline
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nanfromsactown - you're exactly right, and there are still some old geezers who only look at MRI's. i've had 2 ridiculously positive discograms, and this guy basically told me he doesn't believe in discograms and had nothing to say except to do more PT. yeah, been doing that for 2.5 yrs, thanks a lot dude. my bones are pristine. L4/5 has been negative on discogram 2x. i want to keep them that way!!!
__________________
US non-spine MD - laid up no more!!!
had recurrent annular tear L5/S1, failed everything
M6L done 10/19/11 w/ Dr Clavel getting back to my old self more and more every week!
laidupdoc@gmail.com if my PM box is full

The content herein represents my professional thought and opinions in a general sense only; they do not constitute professional advice or services. if you need medical advice, please consult a licensed physician.
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  #18  
Old 08-29-2011, 07:10 AM
Maddie Maddie is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 138
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Quote:
i've had 2 ridiculously positive discograms, and this guy basically told me he doesn't believe in discograms and had nothing to say except to do more PT.
Wish we could force doctors like this into retirement. The scarey part is that for many patients, this is the only type of doctor they see, and then go on to suffer in silence because their 'expert' said they had to.

Yes, I've dealt with a couple of those Med-tourism guys as well and gotten a bad taste in my mouth. I'm not sure if they are working directly for the surgeons, but if so, they should do a better job of vetting their recruits. They are hurting their reputation.

And as many know, the MRIs, etc. are not an accurate indication of how much pain one is suffering. Some with very bad looking images have little to no pain, and vice versa.
__________________
C3/4-5/6- Mod. ant., severe posterior bulging w. nerve root compression. Sev. narrowing of spinal canal with cord compression.

L4/5/S1- Mod. narrowing, bulging disc, significant hypertrophy of flava lig.

Highly allergic to all metals.

NEW: 3/16/2010: Successful surgery in Brazil w. Dr. Pimenta; Nuvasive NeoDisc at C5/6, and XLIF & ALIF at L4/5/S1 w. PEEK cages. No rods, screws, plates. Non-metal lumbar ADR not available at present time, so went with fusion.
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  #19  
Old 09-04-2011, 03:03 PM
Lewis01's Avatar
Lewis01 Lewis01 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 72
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Thanks Maddie. Dr. Pimenta sounds very talented. After 1.5 years since your lumbar fusion, how are you doing / feeling? Does he do surgery in San Diego, and do you know if he takes U.S. insurance? Did you use insurance? Was your surgery in Brazil, Mexico, or California? How did you determine you were allergic to metals?
__________________
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.

Last edited by Harrison; 09-04-2011 at 03:28 PM. Reason: Fixed the funky font size
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  #20  
Old 09-05-2011, 08:47 AM
rubygeneseo rubygeneseo is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 23
Default try my doc

First, let me say that the anti-inflammatory diet and exercising are helping you a great deal, and will speed up your recovery, regardless of what the fix is. I was part of the Freedom-Pro disc study in May, and I am, as my PT says, "far surpassing" anyone else he has rehabbed. He gives the credit to the condition I fought to keep prior to surgery. It wasn't easy, as I had nerves and muscles shutting down, as I'm sure you do, as well. The longer you wait, the worse it gets, no matter how hard you try.
I think my doc, Ken Pettine, in Loveland, CO, is among the best. He has desiged two discs himself, has done the "firsts" of many surgeries, and has implanted over 500 ADRs. He presents internationally and produces research. His passion is studies, and has many different types going. Brilliant surgeon and good man.
I will tell you that my PT has told me more than once that I waited too long. It appears that I will be able to recover quite well, but I was really pushing things. If you have a qualified surgeon, to me, there is no need to wait. I wouldn't have said that prior to surgery, and, in fact, had a couple of docs tell me I wasn't bad enough yet. Wish I had jumped the first time I met with him, rather than waiting several more months. It just prolongs the pain and compounds the injury. When the disc is dead, there is no going back. Do not do this with just any surgeon, however! Keep us posted on your progress and remain prayerful.
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May 11, 2011
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