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  #1  
Old 08-06-2011, 08:24 PM
Lewis01's Avatar
Lewis01 Lewis01 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 72
Default Interested in finding best doctor & disc

Reading posts on this site has been very encouraging for me. I appreciate and am impressed how people read and reply to each person's unique situation. I am at the point where I believe I must have surgery done. I am in the early stages of deciding what to do, but prefer to move forward.

Since 1999, I have been trying to find a non-surgical solution for my degenerated lower back. Steroid shots brought temp relief each time for about a week after. I went to 6 chiropractors before I ran into no. 7 who uses different techniques and is marvelous. Tried massage therapy, different herbs, every back excercise there is etc. In 2002, After 42 years on the meat & sweet diet, I got on a mostly raw food diet. I call myself a flexatarian, because although I eat (& juice) mostly raw vegatables, I also eat some eggs, fish, and occasional meat. Because of diet, big changes occurred & back pain subsided to a large degree. If anyone is interested I can discuss more about the anti inflammatory / regenerative diet & herbs etc. I am on etc.

To my dissappointment there is little if any blood flow to the disc and all my efforts to regenerate my disc have failed per discogram, mri, & catscan. The rest of my body has profitted from this anyway. I even spent all the money I had in the world 1.5 years ago to buy a Hydroworx exercise pool. It has an underwater treadmill, jets etc and is great, but still does not fix my discs.

Now I want to make the absolute best decision possible concerning my back. Choosing the best doctor & best disc etc. I may be making this all harder than it is due to fear of the unknown, but I am terrified of making the wrong decisions. This is therapudic just typing this out.

So far my reading has led me to believe that the U.S. has nothing to offer for me & that Germany or England is a much better choice. I'm scared of Stenum hospital because of some posts I've read. I've talked to the US rep for Stenum and the US rep for Bertagnoli. I've also talked to Texas Back Institute. I plan on contacting Boeree in England.

HOW DO I KNOW WHICH DOCTOR & DISC IS BEST? Bertagnoli seems like a great choice as a doctor, but from what I've read he prefers the pro-disc, which I believe is 20 year old technology. Boaree, Stenum, and others seem to prefer the Spinal Kinetics M6L. The US rep for Bertagnoli says the M6 is not what it's cracked up to be. What about the "Freedom Disc", ActiveL, Maverick etc. I'm going to have to live with this the rest of my life. I believe doctors do what their trained to do and comfortable with many times, and not what's necessarily best. That's why I'm not doing this in the U.S. Sorry this is so long. Future posts will be short. What do you all think?
__________________
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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  #2  
Old 08-07-2011, 11:16 AM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
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Welcome, Lewis, glad you found us. When you can, pls add a signature. See: http://www.adrsupport.org/forums/f58...-health-11053/

I hope we can help! I may join back in later.
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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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  #3  
Old 08-07-2011, 11:33 AM
JEVE19 JEVE19 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 359
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Lewis,

Your feelings sound very much like most who have DDD.
The what if factor makes me terrified.
What if I pick the wrong doctor, wrong disc, wrong country, etc?
The conflicts for me are reading the posts.
Some have success and some don't.
There is no real pattern of one disc being better, or doctor.
All have good and bad stories.
I went on Google and just typed in pro disc lawsuits, Texas Back Institute lawsuits, etc. Type any of the discs, doctors, hospitals and lawsuits and that alone will scare off a decision.
Keep reading, keep yourself informed and hopefully we will make the right decision. Oh, and praying helps
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L5-S1 Lumbar M6 by Nick Boeree
10-14-2011
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  #4  
Old 08-07-2011, 01:04 PM
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Lewis01 Lewis01 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 72
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Thanks Harrison. I think my signature is in now. I am glad to be a part of this. I think most of the answers I am looking for are available, I just need to do more reading. The choice of disc is interesting to me because there are so many and it seems to be so important. I am asking here because I believe the opinions will be non-biased. I have found ways to put off surgery for over ten years hoping (and praying) that technology would improve as much as possible.
__________________
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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  #5  
Old 08-07-2011, 02:13 PM
Lewis01's Avatar
Lewis01 Lewis01 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 72
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Thanks Vicki. Good advice. What are you going to do now?
__________________
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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  #6  
Old 08-07-2011, 02:14 PM
annapurna annapurna is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,650
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I can't say who the best doctor or best ADR for you but I can make some suggestions. With four damaged levels that have been bad for over ten years, you're likely to have some facet damage at at least one level. You'll need a doctor who's willing to offer many different solutions instead of a doc that's dedicated to using a single ADR type. You could easily need a hybrid fusion/ADR, so look for a surgeon who's comfortable doing that. Your recovery is likely to be slow so make sure you have a way to contact your surgeon and discuss the set backs that are going to happen. Assume you'll have them and plan accordingly; they might be minor or they might be major but everyone's going to have them.

Foreign surgeons drive the need to think about travel and support while you're overseas. Local surgeons in your area oblivate that need but may not have the experience to offer you a mixed and tailored solution.
__________________
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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  #7  
Old 08-07-2011, 02:43 PM
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Lewis01 Lewis01 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 72
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Thanks for the good advice. I hope I am the exception to too much facet joint damage. To keep my back muscles strong, I do about 200 to 300 pushups each night, as well as other exercises, and have a workout pool that I use at home. I have a standup desk at work and wear z-coil shoes etc. I will ask my neurosurgeon here as well as potential surgeons about that. I am nervous about the whole thing. That's why I've put it off so long.

How long ago did you have the Prodisc C surgery? How is your neck doing now? How long ago on the Charitee? How is that going?

I should be having consultations with several doctors this month, but I thought I would attach a picture of my MRI for comments. It might help me with my discussions etc.

Thanks for taking interest in my situation.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf MRI 2.pdf (166.7 KB, 43 views)
File Type: pdf MRI 1.pdf (166.7 KB, 41 views)
__________________
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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  #8  
Old 08-07-2011, 06:36 PM
laid up doc's Avatar
laid up doc laid up doc is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 775
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have you been evaluated for any instability?

disclaimer: i am a doc but not a radiologist/ortho/neurosurg.

i will give you my cursory opinion - though those are only the lateral views on the MRI, looks like there is some bony abnormality going on and some impingement on the thecal sac.
__________________
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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  #9  
Old 08-07-2011, 08:33 PM
tnt136913 tnt136913 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 44
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if you can do 200 to 300 push up a night ,, your not bad enough for surgery,,, take it from some one who has had 3 lower fusion ,, just keep going and your pain will get better or get worse
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  #10  
Old 08-07-2011, 08:42 PM
annapurna annapurna is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,650
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lewis01 View Post
How long ago did you have the Prodisc C surgery? How is your neck doing now? How long ago on the Charitee? How is that going?
Charite - 2002
1st Prodisc C - about 2005
2nd Prodisc C - Jan 2010

Everything is doing fairly well now but the recovery from the Charite was several years long and still causes some pain in the low back-SI joint area. Laura deals with it with prolotherapy and heat with a very occasional Lortab. Her 1st Prodisc C has given her too much flexibility at that level so she still deals with occasional pain.

Laid-up doc is far better at this than I am but both Laura and I glanced at your MRIs and questioned whether or not you something more than DDD going on there. I suspect that you've put it off for so long that your options have been narrowed greatly. Still, to get the most out of this, I'd recommend focusing on finding the best surgeon and letting the ADR choice be the second question. As for the best surgeon, remember that access to the surgeon is as important as the skill of the surgeon. 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.
__________________
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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