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  #1  
Old 10-12-2021, 05:18 AM
sebnied sebnied is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 4
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
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Sebastian
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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  #2  
Old 10-13-2021, 08:57 AM
annapurna annapurna is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,641
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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.
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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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  #3  
Old 10-23-2021, 11:14 AM
Harrison's Avatar
Harrison Harrison is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 6,969
Question

Hi Sebastian, I hope we can help. What's your latest thinking? How are you managing pain?
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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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  #4  
Old 11-03-2021, 10:34 AM
sebnied sebnied is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 4
Default Thanks a lot!

I feel that Annapurna's comment is the best piece of advice I've received so far in this back pain journey. Thanks so much for that.

My general thinking is that I'm living a life that can be tolerated in the short term, but it will not be acceptable in the long term. I can definitely survive the day OK, go to the office twice a week for around 7-8 hours and the rest of the week work from home. In the office I need to sit/stand every 30 to 60 minutes but that's facilitated by a standing desk. Occasionally I have the possibility to lay down for 15 minutes and that helps. The pain level is around 2/3 during the day and I take painkillers when the pain gets worse and takes away my concentration. I do PT exercises daily for around 20 minutes and that's about it. I need to be very careful what I do as anything outside this routine will unfortunately increase the pain.

Since approximately 2 months has been like this, without noticeable progress. The main problem is that any physical activity is out of question. I am lucky as I do not have any family, live my girlfriend who is supportive and have a flexible job. The big problem is that any important life decision with this current condition is completely out of discussion, step up in my career, having a baby, buying a house, it all seems impossible for now. So again, I can live like this for now but I cannot live like this for years.

On the other hand I know the risks of surgery and I know it can get worse if the surgery fails. And even if in my case the success of such surgery might be high there's still that small chance, which is scary as hell.

In any case, I told myself I will give it 3 more months, let Christmas pass and then decide. I have been in contact with several surgeons here in Europe (I live in Austria), like Dr. Desai, Dr. Tropiano, Dr. Rischke and after reviewing my case they all agreed I am a very good candidate for a 1 level ADR. I'm leaning towards Dr. Desai as he has been able to answer all my questions and concerns during a phone conversation. He does approximately 100 surgeries per year, he is very confident in the ESP disc and seems to be a very nice person.

As Annapurna said I want to be ready with the eventuality of a surgery and I hink I am getting there! Let's see
__________________
Sebastian
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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  #5  
Old 11-03-2021, 01:42 PM
dmoney_montreal dmoney_montreal is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 3
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sebnied View Post
I feel that Annapurna's comment is the best piece of advice I've received so far in this back pain journey. Thanks so much for that.

My general thinking is that I'm living a life that can be tolerated in the short term, but it will not be acceptable in the long term. I can definitely survive the day OK, go to the office twice a week for around 7-8 hours and the rest of the week work from home. In the office I need to sit/stand every 30 to 60 minutes but that's facilitated by a standing desk. Occasionally I have the possibility to lay down for 15 minutes and that helps. The pain level is around 2/3 during the day and I take painkillers when the pain gets worse and takes away my concentration. I do PT exercises daily for around 20 minutes and that's about it. I need to be very careful what I do as anything outside this routine will unfortunately increase the pain.

Since approximately 2 months has been like this, without noticeable progress. The main problem is that any physical activity is out of question. I am lucky as I do not have any family, live my girlfriend who is supportive and have a flexible job. The big problem is that any important life decision with this current condition is completely out of discussion, step up in my career, having a baby, buying a house, it all seems impossible for now. So again, I can live like this for now but I cannot live like this for years.

On the other hand I know the risks of surgery and I know it can get worse if the surgery fails. And even if in my case the success of such surgery might be high there's still that small chance, which is scary as hell.

In any case, I told myself I will give it 3 more months, let Christmas pass and then decide. I have been in contact with several surgeons here in Europe (I live in Austria), like Dr. Desai, Dr. Tropiano, Dr. Rischke and after reviewing my case they all agreed I am a very good candidate for a 1 level ADR. I'm leaning towards Dr. Desai as he has been able to answer all my questions and concerns during a phone conversation. He does approximately 100 surgeries per year, he is very confident in the ESP disc and seems to be a very nice person.

As Annapurna said I want to be ready with the eventuality of a surgery and I hink I am getting there! Let's see
Hey. I guess I’m in the same situation as you, although not sure how old you are, but your problems seem to be only recently, and it’s great you’re taking care of it early. I wish I hadn’t waited 7 years to get with it and take action, although everyone until now in Canada has been telling me I am not a candidate for surgery, until one guy offered me fusion to shut me up.

Have you looked into ONZ? I only ask because they’ve been quite thorough with me and they offer an all inclusive type experience. I’m still skeptical about them even though they seem to know what they’re doing, but I am always looking for others. Where did you find the information on the 3 that you were looking into?
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I’m a 42 year old male lbp for the past 7 years. In the most recent 3 years I have gone through episodes of acute pain, resulting in having to take meds to subside nerve pain in the legs, being out on my back for 3-5 weeks at a time, barely being able to move.

ONZ. Diagnosis:

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) (dehydrated disc, loss of disc height, herniation) at level L4/5, L5/S1
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  #6  
Old 11-03-2021, 01:53 PM
sebnied sebnied is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 4
Default

Hey! I'm getting the same feedback here in Austria where instead I'm getting offered a TLIF and being promised everything will be fine after it... yeah, right! ADR is not approved in Austria which is crazy to me as it is widly used in Germany, France and Switzerland.
I found these surgeons mostly on this forum and the Facebook group ADR Support. They seems like the most exprerienced I found so far.
I heard of ONZ yes, but I discarded them quite fast due to many negative expreriences they had. Maybe it's because they have been using the M6 disc while now they switched to ESP. It could be different now, I don't know....
__________________
Sebastian
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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