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  #1  
Old 03-15-2022, 05:26 PM
Brofreck Brofreck is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2022
Posts: 7
Default Glad I found this group

Been living with pain for many years, numbness began creeping down right leg 20 years ago, today numbness in feet, heels, calves, buttocks and groin. referred pain moving around feet toes and legs. Ortho surgeon locally Missouri recommended 2 level fusion L4-5 and L5S1. BCBS Medicare advantage denied surgery. Waiting on surgeon in Germany for recommendation. Not sure ADR will work with my old messed up spine. Any thoughts welcome. thanks
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40 year pain with numbness increasing past 20. Have seen many neurologists. neurosurgeons had many mri x-rays. Finally this January an orthopedic surgeon recommended 2 level fusion l4-5 and l5-s1. blue cross Medicare advantage denied surgery. Considering going to Germany waiting for Evaluation.
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  #2  
Old 03-16-2022, 09:07 AM
annapurna annapurna is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,648
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One practical recommendation: Several of the European spine surgeons and their clinics are notoriously slow in replying to inquiries. If it doesn't strain your resources, you might try sending inquiries to two or three instead of just one.
__________________
Laura - L5S1 Charitee
C5/6 and 6/7 Prodisc C
Facet problems L4-S1
General joint hypermobility

Jim - minor C5-6 instability and facet damage, currently using regenerative medicine to address

"There are many Annapurnas in the lives of men" Maurice Herzog
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  #3  
Old 03-16-2022, 02:07 PM
Brofreck Brofreck is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2022
Posts: 7
Default ONZ Dr. Illerhaus

ONZ recommends TILF I am not sure if there is any type of additional spine support. Proposed devices either Signus Germany or SpineArt Switzerland, 7 days hospital stay with 8 days rehab. My local surgeon recommended 2 level fusion with pedicles and rods for support. I am torn between accepting ONZ proposal or pursuing BCBS Medicare Advantage, the US procedure is to send me home after 2 days in hospital and walk as much as possible, ONZ probably wants to be sure I am OK to travel away from their care so a much longer post op program. Any thought welcome. Money not really an issue, just want to stop deterioration. Thanks.
__________________
40 year pain with numbness increasing past 20. Have seen many neurologists. neurosurgeons had many mri x-rays. Finally this January an orthopedic surgeon recommended 2 level fusion l4-5 and l5-s1. blue cross Medicare advantage denied surgery. Considering going to Germany waiting for Evaluation.
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  #4  
Old 03-16-2022, 05:18 PM
Brofreck Brofreck is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2022
Posts: 7
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Thanks for your reply, I have decided to go to Germany for fusion surgery, cannot wait any longer on insurance appeals. March 30 0r April 5 surgery available. I will update my progress.
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40 year pain with numbness increasing past 20. Have seen many neurologists. neurosurgeons had many mri x-rays. Finally this January an orthopedic surgeon recommended 2 level fusion l4-5 and l5-s1. blue cross Medicare advantage denied surgery. Considering going to Germany waiting for Evaluation.
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  #5  
Old 03-16-2022, 05:39 PM
phillyjoe phillyjoe is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 273
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Sorry, are you saying that both levels will be fused via TILF? Or just L4-5, with ADR at L5S1? I don't see the advantage of fusion in Germany if ADR is not involved. Also, consider that if you need post surgery support, you may have some difficulty with ONZ. Search the forum regarding this.
__________________
Pre Surgery:
C3-C4:Mild disc osteophytes. Mild-moderate right facet arthrosis. Mild right foraminal stenosis.
C4-C5:Midline central disc protrusion, significant. Mild canal stenosis.
C5-C6:Moderate disc osteophytes. Mild-moderate canal stenosis. Moderate-severe bilateral foraminal stenosis.
C6-C-7:Mild-moderate disc osteophytes. Mild canal stenosis. Moderate left and moderate-severe right foraminal stenosis.
June 29,2016-3 level M6 (C4-C7) Dr. Clavel Barcelona
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  #6  
Old 03-17-2022, 10:21 AM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 6,975
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There are dozens if not hundreds of clinics here in the states that have the right experience to perform fusion and/or disc replacement. I would check with the top 4-5 clinics, like Texas Back. It would also save you some serious money.
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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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  #7  
Old 03-20-2022, 11:02 AM
Brofreck Brofreck is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2022
Posts: 7
Default Self pay spine surgery

ONZ proposes 2 level fusion 7 day hospital stay and 8 days rehab. I am finding USA providers see you out the door after 2 days and send you home. This leaves me with the problem of finding a package deal if away from my home for less than $45000. I am under the impression US surgery is very expensive for anyone who cannot get their insurance to pay. My facet joints are so damaged that ADR is not a solution, should I be at a different site? Thanks.
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40 year pain with numbness increasing past 20. Have seen many neurologists. neurosurgeons had many mri x-rays. Finally this January an orthopedic surgeon recommended 2 level fusion l4-5 and l5-s1. blue cross Medicare advantage denied surgery. Considering going to Germany waiting for Evaluation.
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  #8  
Old 03-20-2022, 11:23 AM
annapurna annapurna is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,648
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When Laura and I checked 15-ish years ago, at the time of our last surgery in Germany rather than the US, it was significantly cheaper for a cash-pay patient to get surgery from a package deal clinic outside the US rather than the ala carte approach the US takes. If your insurance can get involved at all, you can greatly decrease the cost with a US surgery by using the negotiated rates but only if your insurance has some kind relationship with who you're getting the work done with.

That said, I still believe ONZ has been mentioned as being poor at post-surgery communications. Check on this site to see if I'm right and, if I am, consider whether it'd be worth your while to stick around for additional few days beyond the stated two week period ONZ offers. If nothing else, giving yourself a few more days of healing and home-rehab attempts will let you know how strong you feel before you attempt to fly home. Worst case, it's a lot harder to ignore someone who can walk in the clinic's front door and ask for a follow-up meeting.

BTW, if there's a trick you can think of to decrease your luggage weight on the return trip, this is the time to use it. Hit the Goodwill for clothing you don't mind leaving behind when you return home, mail home a box to decrease your traveling weight; whatever works but definitely don't expect to be putting a nearly full roll-aboard in the overhead compartment.

As for whether you wish to leave the site or investigate others - fusion seekers & patients have been welcomed here. Rich/Harrison has said in some personal exchanges between he, Laura and me (Jim), that he's seen patients get surgery outside of the US and have little recourse when the surgery doesn't work for some reason. It's also true that you need to pick a path that you feel leads you to the best chance at a successful surgery first. As money comes to play in that decision-making, it sounds like you're headed towards what you feel to be the best bet; questions about ONZ notwithstanding.
__________________
Laura - L5S1 Charitee
C5/6 and 6/7 Prodisc C
Facet problems L4-S1
General joint hypermobility

Jim - minor C5-6 instability and facet damage, currently using regenerative medicine to address

"There are many Annapurnas in the lives of men" Maurice Herzog
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  #9  
Old 03-20-2022, 11:58 AM
JackBauer JackBauer is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 92
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I would definitely speak with more than one surgeon.

Personally I'm pretty skeptical of ONZ from reviews I have seen. Granted all surgeons have some less than desirable outcomes.
__________________
L4-L5 Broad Diffuse Bulge, mildly contacting left L5 nerve root
L5-S1 Broad Central Disc Protrusion mildly impinging left S1 nerve root
"Mild scoliosis of lumbar spine".
Four central disc protrusions in thoracic spine.

C5-C6, C6-C7 bulging, bone spurs. Imaging not looking good. Successful CP-ESP's placed in Oct 2019 by Dr. Desai.

Delayed lumbar surgery to work on bone density. Considering options now, some but minimal bone density improvement. Will only use LP-ESP.
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  #10  
Old 03-21-2022, 10:44 AM
phillyjoe phillyjoe is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 273
Default

Saving money is important, no doubt, esp if you don't have much of it. But cheaper isn't always better. Likewise, PT on site immediately after surgery might be useful. I don't know because my cervical PT wasn't too much other than massage and stretching. But you can get PT in the US also. If you are uninsured, that might be a whole other situation. But I can attest to the fact that if you don't have a set up with a doc in the US to follow up with, Xrays, solving problems from surgery etc, that is an issue with surgery outside the US. Good luck with a tough decision
__________________
Pre Surgery:
C3-C4:Mild disc osteophytes. Mild-moderate right facet arthrosis. Mild right foraminal stenosis.
C4-C5:Midline central disc protrusion, significant. Mild canal stenosis.
C5-C6:Moderate disc osteophytes. Mild-moderate canal stenosis. Moderate-severe bilateral foraminal stenosis.
C6-C-7:Mild-moderate disc osteophytes. Mild canal stenosis. Moderate left and moderate-severe right foraminal stenosis.
June 29,2016-3 level M6 (C4-C7) Dr. Clavel Barcelona
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