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  #1  
Old 10-20-2011, 12:23 AM
Douglas's Avatar
Douglas Douglas is offline
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Default Fusion and ProDisc ADR 5 months ago - traded pain for pain

I'm five months out from having a ProDisc ADR. I'm not sure which model of the ProDisc I received. Good news is that the pain in my right arm has mostly gone away. Pain in my left arm has started last week.

I have had a permanent headache since the surgery that never goes away, just varies in intensity.

My thorasic spine area has been in pain ever since the anesthesia wore off. I have been to a month worth of physical therapy and had a thorasic spine MRI that showed everything is fine. This pain sometimes radiates out into my chest area. Is this from the ADR or is this common from a fusion at such a low level.

Questions:

Has anyone ever had a fusion or ADR at the level C7-T1. Isn’t that an unusual level to have a fusion at?

It is my understanding that the thoracic spine joints don’t move because the rib-cage prevents it. So if C7 and T1 are fused, C7 must also now not move. So doesn’t this mean that the artificial disc at C6-C7 would move more than it is supposed to?

I used to think that an artificial disc above a fusion was unusual till I found this site and read about “Cervical Hybrid Surgery”. I would like to hear more from people who have had that surgery. Sounds similar to my situation except that I had it done in two separate surgeries on the same day.

Has anyone had trouble with Acid Reflux as a result of having C-spine surgery?

What has been people’s experience with permanent headaches after ProDisc-C implant?

Has anyone had mid-back pain after c-spine surgery? Clear down at level T6-T7 area?

My doc has me banned from NSAID's till I reach the six month mark and x-ray has verified the fusion is complete. Since I don't want to take narcotics while I am working that only leaves Tylenol which I understand can ruin your level if used for a long period of time. What are other's experience in this area? My doc gave me a week of a steroid which was great for a week, but by the next week all the pain came back. I don't go back to see him for another month which will be the six month mark for me where I am hoping my fusion will be at 100% at that point.
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Summer 2004 or 2005 – jumped backward off of a trailer onto driveway and felt a snap in my lower back
July 2009 – Discectomy at L5-S1
November 2010 – Arm pain started
May 2nd 2011 – Fusion at C7-T1, prodisc ADR at C6-C7
Present – Headache since May 2nd. Dizzy spells with trouble concentrating and blurred vision and hearing. Mid-back pain that radiates into my chest, neck soreness, numb extremities. Cold chills throughout body.
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2011, 05:27 PM
ventura43 ventura43 is offline
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Has anyone ever had a fusion or ADR at the level C7-T1. Isn’t that an unusual level to have a fusion at?

I just met with my NS yesterday. He said that not everyone is a candidate for C 6-7 ADR because the surgeon must be able to see the area clearly on X ray to verify proper placement of the device. He said some people's shoulders sit so high that it's hard to view C 6-7 or C7-T1.



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Herniated C 6/7
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  #3  
Old 10-25-2011, 05:46 PM
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laid up doc laid up doc is offline
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it can be hard to image the lower cervical vertebrae - often the patient's shoulders have to be pulled down and/or they have to do what's called a swimmer's view w/ the arm over the head to see C7/T1. not sure they could do that during surgery...
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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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  #4  
Old 10-31-2011, 07:04 PM
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Douglas Douglas is offline
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In two weeks I have an appointment to have my ADR and fusion x-rayed by a new doc. In after surgery check-up visits, they have had me hold sand bags (while standing) in each hand while taking the x-ray in order to pull my shoulders out of the way. But I do wonder what they did during surgery. I did have a huge yellow bruise on my left arm and I wonder if it is from them pulling my shoulders down. They must have pulled them down even just to get to the area to operate that low.

Why does my mid-back hurt is my biggest mystery. Why do I always have a headache? I am wondering, after reading other people's posts, if my ADR is not positioned correctly.
__________________
Summer 2004 or 2005 – jumped backward off of a trailer onto driveway and felt a snap in my lower back
July 2009 – Discectomy at L5-S1
November 2010 – Arm pain started
May 2nd 2011 – Fusion at C7-T1, prodisc ADR at C6-C7
Present – Headache since May 2nd. Dizzy spells with trouble concentrating and blurred vision and hearing. Mid-back pain that radiates into my chest, neck soreness, numb extremities. Cold chills throughout body.
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  #5  
Old 10-31-2011, 08:46 PM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
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Douglas, it sounds like you have not exercised your right to obtain copies of your medical records -- is that right? It's easy to do...
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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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  #6  
Old 10-31-2011, 09:10 PM
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MeggieLynn MeggieLynn is offline
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Hi Douglas,

I love your avatar!! Mid-back pain is common for pre-& post-surgical cervical patients especially starting w/C5-6 herniations and on down. For it still to be a factor 6 mo out my guess is its either morphed into a chronic myofascial pain syndrome w/triggerpoints (chronic muscle tension due to sympathetic nervous system overdrive) or possibly due to disc placement. Some patients that just have fusions can have similiar symptoms, but the constant HA also leaves me wondering.

Have you seen a PT person or massage therapist that can help you identify whether you have any triggerpoints in your trapezius muscle. They could maybe help w/releasing those muscles if that is your problem. HA's can also come from triggerpoints.

If not getting any better, or getting any good answers, I'd start consulting to get other opinions in the next month, or two, or sooner, depending on how uncomfortable you are. It's a hard call - some people heal slower than others, but w/continuing symptoms, I'd keep asking questions.
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*C4-5 and C5-6 Mild & moderate posterior broad-based disc bulges w/small posterior end plate osteophytes, mild spinal canal stenosis.
*C6-7 Broad-based posterior disc bulge w/small focal posterior central protrusion mildly indenting the anterior thecal sac, no canal or neural foraminal stenosis.
*SI Joint issues, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Myofascial Pain, Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
*Tx's-PT, 2 ESI's Interlaminar & transforaminal, 2 SI Joint steroid injections, Failed LBB for SI Joint
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  #7  
Old 11-03-2011, 01:08 AM
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Douglas Douglas is offline
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Thanks for the suggestion Harrison. I think I will get a copy of my medical records.

MeggieLynn - Ya, I chose that avatar because I feel like a robot ever since receiving an ADR.
Also, thanks for all of the info, you make allot of sense. When I was in PT, the exercises they were having me doing were right in the area of the trapezius muscle so it makes sense.

Two weeks from today I have an appointment with a new surgeon and I plan to make sure he checks the placement of my ADR. After reading other threads on this site and the comments here, it is sounding like my ADR might be out of place.
__________________
Summer 2004 or 2005 – jumped backward off of a trailer onto driveway and felt a snap in my lower back
July 2009 – Discectomy at L5-S1
November 2010 – Arm pain started
May 2nd 2011 – Fusion at C7-T1, prodisc ADR at C6-C7
Present – Headache since May 2nd. Dizzy spells with trouble concentrating and blurred vision and hearing. Mid-back pain that radiates into my chest, neck soreness, numb extremities. Cold chills throughout body.
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  #8  
Old 11-03-2011, 09:59 PM
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MeggieLynn MeggieLynn is offline
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Good luck with your appointment. Hopefully this new surgeon will help to sort through your various symptoms and be able to pinpoint the problem. It may not be obvious with just x-rays and getting other imaging post-ADR can be problematic. Your situation is a little bit different in that it is a hybrid, but the constant headaches, dizziness, & tingling in fingers with head positioning is a concern and no physician/surgeon or pain management MD should turn you away with those symptoms. Have you've been following Jarrod's posts (2 cervical M-6's)? - had EMG's, & was suggested to him to have an ESI to try to r/o nerve root compression. Just some ideas to prepare/bring to your appointment.

ML
__________________
*C4-5 and C5-6 Mild & moderate posterior broad-based disc bulges w/small posterior end plate osteophytes, mild spinal canal stenosis.
*C6-7 Broad-based posterior disc bulge w/small focal posterior central protrusion mildly indenting the anterior thecal sac, no canal or neural foraminal stenosis.
*SI Joint issues, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Myofascial Pain, Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
*Tx's-PT, 2 ESI's Interlaminar & transforaminal, 2 SI Joint steroid injections, Failed LBB for SI Joint
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  #9  
Old 11-03-2011, 10:49 PM
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Texas Toast Texas Toast is offline
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Hi Douglas,

Sorry you're not feeling well. Brighter days await.

Harrison had a really good idea about gathering up your medical records; I'm doing the same right now in anticipation of diagnostic appointments. The last dr. asked me for complete records of injections, when, what, and exactly where was it injected into me. I could not tell him. Woops 8-)

MeggieLynn's ideas to try (1) to do an EMG will test your muscle performance and help diagnose and (2) to try ESI (Epidural Steroid Injection) can help, too. I've had a lot of ESIs, but they were not guided by a fluoroscope. A lot of the literature recommends that ESIs be guided by fluoroscope (live x-ray, so they get the medicine to the exact point they're going for). Having fluroscope guided injections helps them know exactly where the pain is coming from. If the injection helped, they found the pain.

Nerve conduction studies, too, if you have not had them can help diagnose; this one's got a mild electric shock though; not too bad. Just some other thoughts.

Hang in there! 8-)
__________________
Applied for S.S.D.I./Medicare, 1st appeal.
Dr. ordered Discogram of S1/L5, L5/L4, and L4/L3. Have not gotten; 2 lower discs black/herniated
Injections in cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and 8+ in S.I. joint
Plan: Trying to see spine surgeon at charity hospital, further diagnosis. Evaluate for S.I. joint fusion and lumbar and cervical fusions/ADR.
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  #10  
Old 11-06-2011, 12:36 PM
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JKDE302 JKDE302 is offline
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Posts: 236
Unhappy

I'm sad to hear about this as I lay in bed wondering why I let the doc cut this pro disc in me.
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C4-5: Mild disc height loss with central annular fissure. Small broad-based left paracentral disc protrusion. Moderate central canal stenosis-the disc protrusion abuts and mildly flattens the left ventral surface of the spinal canal.

C5-6: Disc desiccation with mild height loss.Diffuse discosteophyte bulge and uncovertebral joint hypertrophy, moderate central canal stenosis- Severe neuroforaminal stenosis bilaterally, right greater than left.
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