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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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Old 08-09-2006, 01:20 PM
JFerg JFerg is offline
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Where else would I find understanding folks? I'm in a bit of a desperate situation, and I'm sure a lot of it resides in my head. Intro: 6 mm. herniation at L4 bulging to the left and somehow "resting" on the sciatic nerve, DDD diagnosis 5 years ago, chiropractors, epidurals, nerve blocks, Norco to Pecocett and now Percocett with MS Contin (30 mgs.) 3 x's a day for each along with 2400 mgs. on Neurotin, traveled to Texas Back and saw Blumenthal, home dr. is Garcia in Miami, went to Bogota, Colombia on opinion of father-in-law to see a renowned neurosurgeon, visited with Univ. of Miami top dr. Eismont (fusion only). Other than the fusion doc, the other three said I was candidate for ADR. All three said a fusion (in my case) would put too much pressure on above vertebrae causing me to be back under the knife in a few years. I've got a history of abusing my pain meds. Thank God my wife doles them out to me, or I would be a goner.
My insurance co. (United Health Care) has denied the ADR procedure as "too experimental" and "no sufficient evidence" blah, blah, blah.
I'm on my 3rd appeal with not a lot of confidence in that system. Perhaps I need to retain an attorney with background in this type of stuff?
I'm experiencing a consistent level 8 pain (sciatic) throughout the day except for the brief respite the meds bring. I am starting back to work soon (8th grade history teacher), and I was already asked to leave for a few days last year because I was "impaired" according to the principal, etc. I know the fusion procedure is the reasonably outdated (according to my research), and the fusion doc said I would have a 60% chance that I would say I was glad to have the surgery. I'm uncomfortable with those odds. I also know the future of back surgery is the ADR procedure. I'm about ready to give up the fight and go for the fusion for whatever relief it might bring. The past week has been a nightmare even with the meds. Any suggestions - all are welcome. Thank you for letting me vent here. I've wanted to share this for awhile now, but I know those around me seem tired of me complaining (at least that's the assumption I've formed.
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DDD diagnosis - denied disc replacement by United Health Care 3x's - Recently, Manipulation Under Anesthesia procedure - much needed relief from constant pain.
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Old 08-10-2006, 04:41 PM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
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J, thank God for wives, eh? Many of us would be in some lesser place without them!

I am sorry about your situation, but it seems like you are already on your way to do something. Is the insurance the only holdup? Can you afford to have the “right” procedure done? If money was not an issue – what would you say is the right medical choice?
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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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Old 08-10-2006, 05:06 PM
annapurna annapurna is offline
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Where I think Harrison is going with this and I'd carry further, is the idea that depending on your age and likelihood of a sucessful (in our meaning, you are out of pain and functional) surgery, it may be worth paying for the best surgery out of pocket. You'll need to think this through and decide for yourself, but we did the same thing when Laura's lumbar disk failed and again with her cervical. She earns enough that the expense would be paid for if we could extend her potential career with the ADR compared to where she would have been with no surgery or a fusion. Depending on your age and expected likelihood of sucess, investing in extending the number of years you can work may be the best investment at this time.
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Laura - L5S1 Charitee
C5/6 and 6/7 Prodisc C
Facet problems L4-S1
General joint hypermobility

Jim - C4/5, C5/6, L4/5 disk bulges and facet damage, L4/5 disk tears, currently using regenerative medicine to address

"There are many Annapurnas in the lives of men" Maurice Herzog
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Old 08-12-2006, 09:44 AM
JFerg JFerg is offline
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Anna and Harrison......I thank you for your replies. I'm craving wisdom and insight at this point in the journey. Anna, I'm 55 years old and have had this progressive problem for a good 5 years now. The cash price or finance of the operation would be a bit more than we can handle financially at this point. South Florida is a complicated place to live for those of us not making significant salaries. The neurosurgeon in Colombia stated that his fee minus hospital expenses for a Prodisc was $20,000. That seems at least doable considering the other options. Harrison, if money wasn't the only issue to consider, I would be out at the Texas Back Institute this weekend. I would say that the "right medical choice" is primarily based on the opinions of the experts. An L4 ADR with a little clean up of the disc area at L3 is what has been recommended to me. On the outside of this issue, I wonder if there are any organizations or foundations that work with spinal procedure candidates? One would think that living in the town with the most millionaires per capita that there might be a chance of finding a benevolent philanthropist.....thanks for taking the time to care and to jot down your thoughts.
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DDD diagnosis - denied disc replacement by United Health Care 3x's - Recently, Manipulation Under Anesthesia procedure - much needed relief from constant pain.
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  #5  
Old 08-14-2006, 02:01 PM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
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J,

As I work turning ADRSupport into a 501 c 3 non-profit, I am finding that some foundations are set up specifically for providing surgical operations to those who do not have the financial means to pay for it.

J, email me if you would like me to pursue this option for you (and others too!).
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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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