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  #1  
Old 06-15-2019, 03:26 PM
JohnT JohnT is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 13
Default Considering L4/S1 ADR

Hello

I am kindly asking for your experience regarding these surgeons - Bertagnoli, Bierstedt, Clavel, Desai

I am middle-aged Canadian struggling with disc issues for 25 years. My L4/L5 disc herniated in 2006 and I had a discectomy. The surgery went well and I was ok for about 10 years.

My back took another turn for the worse around 2 years ago - with bilateral leg pain and numbness and new symptoms I did not have before - numbness/tingling/pain in sacrum and perianal. I went twice to emergency concerned with cauda equina which was ruled out. I have seen a surgeon after a long wait (a Canadian standard) and he told me no need to have surgery.
A relative put me in contact with a spine surgeon in Europe that thought he could help - an interspinous implant to distend the foraminal space and stabilize the spine. I had the surgery in December 2017 but did not do anything other than Epidural fibrosis (scarring in the epidural space).

I am close to desperate and not finding the answers. I cannot sit, stand or walk for long. Mostly bedridden with pain and persisting symptoms.

I started exploring ADR and reached out to a few clinics in Europe - Bertagnoli, Bierstedt, Clavel, Desai for a diagnosis - I heard from Bertagnoli and Bierstedt. Dr. Bertagnoli recommended very quickly a 2 level ADR and removal of implants. Bierstedt took a few weeks and he recommended a fusion and 2 level ADR - then just half a day later changed his mind to a 2 level ADR and removal of implants. The cost difference between the two is substantial This exchange left me with a big question mark. Are these surgeons even looking at the case or just a run ADR tourism surgery, how can you possibly provide a diagnosis so radically different in a span of a few hours? I kindly asked for a chance to speak with the surgeon and not surprisingly was declined, I understand their time is limited and need to function via intermediaries.
The stakes are obviously very high for us, patients - in my case 50k EUR and my life on the line, I don't want a run of the mill operation, a hack job living me short 50k EURO and disabled or worse.

I would kindly appreciate if you could share your surgery experience with these doctors or other positive or negative experiences. They promise outcome is 90% positive but from what I hear from the rate surveys and literature is more like 50% leaving aside the surgery risks. Somebody giving you the run of the mill diagnostic will likely not make you better in my opinion.

Thank you
__________________
[SIZE="1"]Canadian - ADR not available in Canada
L4/S1 DDD since 1994 - right side sciatica
L4/L5 herniation and discectomy in 2006 - success
2017 bilateral and sacral pain and numbness, cannot sit
Dec 2017 L4/S1 (2 levels) Interspinous implant (IntraSpine Cousin Biotech) - no result
permanent pain and numbness
Narrow spinal canal, scarring, L5/S1 started autofusing
Implant must be removed, decompression needed
Decision time - discussed with Dr B, Rischke, Desai
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  #2  
Old 06-16-2019, 09:22 PM
GKTM300 GKTM300 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 273
Default

I went to Bertagnoli he performed 100 percent for me and everyone’s else I know who went to him. To me he I said the man ! Getting older I know now go to the best not the cheapest!
__________________
12/22/04 blew L4-5 and L5-S1 out lifting wrong
4/1/05 back to work thanks to Oxy
11/11/13 hurt back lifting again
6/6/15 last of many MRI L4-5 medium paracentral bulge with juice leaking and mid to left bulge on L5-S1
No invasive procedures except steroid shots that did nothing n hurt wicked bad
9/24/2016 Adr surgery Bertagnoli>1 year doing great
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  #3  
Old 06-19-2019, 05:28 PM
JohnT JohnT is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 13
Default Reservations about ProDisc

Concerned about the disc he is using, pro disc is keel and CoCr - (nobody wants to touch it if something goes wrong) and Cobaltism (see Stephen Tower, MD)
__________________
[SIZE="1"]Canadian - ADR not available in Canada
L4/S1 DDD since 1994 - right side sciatica
L4/L5 herniation and discectomy in 2006 - success
2017 bilateral and sacral pain and numbness, cannot sit
Dec 2017 L4/S1 (2 levels) Interspinous implant (IntraSpine Cousin Biotech) - no result
permanent pain and numbness
Narrow spinal canal, scarring, L5/S1 started autofusing
Implant must be removed, decompression needed
Decision time - discussed with Dr B, Rischke, Desai
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  #4  
Old 06-19-2019, 05:41 PM
JohnT JohnT is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 13
Default Reservations about ProDisc

..............
__________________
[SIZE="1"]Canadian - ADR not available in Canada
L4/S1 DDD since 1994 - right side sciatica
L4/L5 herniation and discectomy in 2006 - success
2017 bilateral and sacral pain and numbness, cannot sit
Dec 2017 L4/S1 (2 levels) Interspinous implant (IntraSpine Cousin Biotech) - no result
permanent pain and numbness
Narrow spinal canal, scarring, L5/S1 started autofusing
Implant must be removed, decompression needed
Decision time - discussed with Dr B, Rischke, Desai
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  #5  
Old 06-22-2019, 10:41 AM
Harrison's Avatar
Harrison Harrison is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 6,907
Post

John, hey just curious about your thoughts regarding your doctor selection. Why have you not considered American surgeons? Hundreds have been performing ADR since 2000.
__________________
"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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  #6  
Old 06-24-2019, 11:55 AM
JohnT JohnT is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 13
Default US versus Europe

Hi Harrison,

Good question. Anyone you would recommend?

To answer for same reason Americans go to Europe - experience.

I need two level plus removing implants. Not sure that many in US have that experience. For less you get more. For me is out of pocket (Canada baby) and critical I maximize my chances for a good outcome.

John
__________________
[SIZE="1"]Canadian - ADR not available in Canada
L4/S1 DDD since 1994 - right side sciatica
L4/L5 herniation and discectomy in 2006 - success
2017 bilateral and sacral pain and numbness, cannot sit
Dec 2017 L4/S1 (2 levels) Interspinous implant (IntraSpine Cousin Biotech) - no result
permanent pain and numbness
Narrow spinal canal, scarring, L5/S1 started autofusing
Implant must be removed, decompression needed
Decision time - discussed with Dr B, Rischke, Desai
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-25-2019, 06:59 PM
Back2life Back2life is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 5
Default 2007 Dr Bertagnoli Prodisc L4-L5

Hey there John. I can understand your reservations and concerns as I've been there myself. I'd suggest doing as much Internet research as you can, as well as talking to patients of the surgeons mentioned. I had two failed discectomies at the L4-L5 level, leaving me with the option of a fusion or disc replacement. This was back in 2007, so getting my insurance to cover it was near impossible. I chose to have the prodisc implanted in Germany by dr. Bertagnoli, and couldn't be more pleased. The operation was a great success, and I went from having excruciating back and leg pain, to nearly pain free overnight. I was also able to stand straight for the first time in two years. I'm now going on 13 years post op and complication free. If you chose him, fear not as he is a highly skilled surgeon. I wish you the best of luck -- keep us updated.
__________________
Jan 06 - Lumbar Discectomy L4-L5
Feb 06 - Lumbar Discectomy L4-L5
May 07 - ADR Pro-Disc Implant (Dr. Bertagnoli)
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  #8  
Old 05-18-2020, 12:56 PM
Maggie28 Maggie28 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 9
Default Cobalism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Concerned about the disc he is using, pro disc is keel and CoCr - (nobody wants to touch it if something goes wrong) and Cobaltism (see Stephen Tower, MD)
Keels are essential for primary fixation. You more cobalt in your blood than shredded by the ADR.
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