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Old 06-15-2016, 06:38 PM
IanHogan IanHogan is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 3
Default Dr Pettine Arrested

Johnstown surgeon accused of faking prescriptions

From the article:

"His business partners reported to investigators that he had seemed “intoxicated” and “incoherent” during several patient consultations in April. One of his business partners also said the medical director at Arete Surgery Center in Johnstown — where Pettine performed surgeries — told her that Pettine might have handled three surgeries inappropriately, and that he had instructed the physician assistant to manipulate the operative notes to reflect differently and support his actions."
March 2013: Pain when standing / walking, possibly from hockey fall
August 2013: Intensification of symptoms, ineffective physical therapy.
November 2013: MRI showing DDD in L4/L5 and L5/S1, with severe neural foraminal stenosis at L5/S1.
December 2013: Lots of possible options proposed, which one to choose?
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Old 06-20-2016, 11:20 AM
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randolf randolf is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 45

i had him do a mri review, he charged me $300. he would only treat 3 levels. Dr. Clavel said i needed 9 levels treated and he didn't charge me a dime. not to mention that was far more accurate than Pettine's review, now that is criminal doing only 1/3 of the job that needs to be done.
2007 mri revealed all but 2 discs of entire spine are either bulged, some torn, a few herniated and compressing foramenal nerves or chord c3-4 fusion. myelomalacia at 2 levels, facet arthropathy, spinal and foramenal stenosis, yadda, yadda...
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:48 PM
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Cynlite Cynlite is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 666

I gave up on Dr. Pettine's offices in September last year after trying to work with them. This story is particularly sad because he came highly recommended and was considered one of the premier ADR surgeons in the United States.

The information I got from the stem cell side and the orthopedic side of his business was inconsistent and not clear. I sent them my package but, there seemed to be a lot of bad communication over there so, after I overnighted it to them, it sat for over a month even though I did call weekly to follow up on it. They had my package, then they said they sent the package back to me, then somehow they had the package again; one stem cell treatment verbal quote was at $8,000 and then later a verbal quote over $10,000; never once did I get any diagnosis on my cervical spine except to get stem cell injections. I wanted to know how that would help with my cord compression and degeneration but, never got a clear answer because they didn't know. They just said that "70% of their patients get 70% relief from the injections." I was pretty unhappy with the information I received from the offices so, I did not hire Dr. Pettine and never spoke with him. The final straw for me was when the orthopedic side assistant wanted me to send them a psych evaluation because of my prior surgeries and test results for Fibromyalgia which my primary care did not think was necessary. There were more problems with the information I received but, that will give you a general idea of what I experienced. It felt like they were really trying to push me into the stem cell side of their business and I told the orthopedic side we had reached an impasse.

When things don't go smoothly for me with a doctor and/or his office, I consider that a red flag. It should never be that hard to work with any office on any type of project IMO. I think this is a very sad outcome for a highly regarded surgeon. There are some good people, both patients, doctors and employees, connected to him and his work. I feel badly for them.
2006: epidural shots did nothing; 2 surgeons recommended 2 level fusion, I declined.
2007 - 2010 4 foraminotomy and cord decompression cervical surgeries and 2 endoscopic discectomy T7-T8 surgeries; total 6 with Dr. Jho (Pittsburgh,PA) My C6/C7 autofused around 2009.
2013 - 2015: epidurals 3 times (again did nothing) and 4 Radiofrequency ablation (or RFA) procedures.
2016 more RFAs, hit the 10 year mark of this insanity and pain, 3 level M6-C ADR with Dr. Clavel May 19, 2016

Last edited by Cynlite; 06-21-2016 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 06-23-2016, 03:49 AM
hanshan hanshan is offline
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 64

You could tell that something was screwy on the ethical side of things by watching the advertisements his office would post to youtube. They would feature a woman showing her MRI's and giving a testimony about how Pettine's stem cell injections gave her her life back - and this was put forth as a reason for you to lay down your hard earned cash for a BMC injection into your spine. The problem is that the woman had an entirely different stem cell injection. Her injection was not BMC at all, it might have been using embryonic stem cells. They were essentially misleading the public about what they could expect from a BMC injection.

When I tried to get Pettine to say a few words about the dangers inherent in poking a hole in the disc (which have been documented in the literature), he averred that the ONLY RISK that existed was to my pocket book - that the procedure might not work and I would have effectively wasted my money. An objective view would have been to acknowledge both the risk and the potential for healing. It just didn't sit well with me and I chose not to work his office.

If this turns out to be true, this would be sad since the man is obviously a brilliant and innovative surgeon. I hope things turn around for him, his family and his patients.
2009: Injure lower back while doing deadlifts
March 2014: MRI shows moderate degeneration at L5-S1
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Old 06-23-2016, 07:03 PM
TheGrt8 TheGrt8 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 42
Default Pettine Scam

Same thing as me, $300 for a 15 minute phone consult to poke holes in 5 of my discs to do stem cell. Guess that gets rid of osteophytes, DDD, stenosis, compression on your thecal sac. This is the 4th or 5th time he's been arrested (2x for DUI and malpractice). Clavel said that's ludicrous, and I only had 3 bad discs. Pettine told me he's Mr NFL. Well I guess he won't be treating CTE NFL players anymore. He should be behind bars, by scamming everyone!
May '15, 3 level ADR with Clavel
2 ADR M6-C at C5-7 (2 6mm)
-Loss of disc height (DDD), osteophytes, approaching thecal sac with severe nerve compression. On the verge of paralyzation per Dr Clavel, but spine was fine per 40 US Nueros/quacks
1 ADR M6-L at L4-5 (1 10mm)
-Torn disc (fissuring), loss of disc height (mild DDD), approaching thecal sac as well
*Gained 1 1/2- 1 3/4 inches in height due to M6 disc height, and perfect lordosis now
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:32 PM
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colorado babe colorado babe is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 345

I am a former patient of Dr. Pettines and have nothing but positive things to say about him. When I met him two years ago, I was bedridden, on FMLA and severely depressed. Dr. Pettine performed two stem cell therapies on me via IV flush and put two mobi-c disc in my neck and a fusion in my lumbar and within three months post surgery I was off all medications and pain free and no longer suffering from Fibroymalgia. At the 7 month mark, I was hiking/running 5-10 miles a day. I am now almost 2 years post op and am in better shape then I have ever been in my life (retired USAF). Dr. Pettine gave me my life back and it is much better than it ever was even prior to the injuries I incurred while serving our country.

It saddens me to hear about Dr. Pettine. He has helped thousand's of patients and is a very brillant man with a quirky sense of humor. I hope and pray that he can get help I don't think he'll ever be able to practice again but hopeful he can share his knowledge of Stem Cells with others because I really feel they are the way of the future.
1998- Injured neck and back in USAF
2011 - Started experiencing Severe Symptoms, Migranes, numbness, spasms in legs and feet and sciatica.
Feb 2014 - Received upper Lumbar Injection - Severe Allergy to injection
Mar 2014 - MRI of Cervical and Lumbar, protruding disc in C3-7, Herniated Disc in L5/S1, placed on STD and FMLA )
July 2014 - Stem Cell Procedure performed
Oct 20, 2014 - ADR (MOBI-C) at C5-7 and Anterior Fusion at L5/S1 by Dr. Pettine and Dr. Techy
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Old 07-09-2016, 09:44 PM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 6,962

Colorado Babe, thank you for sharing this. And I am so glad you are doing well! Good health and peace to you always!
"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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