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Old 10-10-2010, 05:02 PM
tman tman is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 8
Default Can I have ADR, post Foraminotomy

New to the forum - Hello everyone - need help please - have had back pain for around 7 yrs, this past January began having right arm pain for 2 months and then over a period of few days began having weakness and numbness in the right arm. MRI showed degenerative disk disease in c5-c6 & c6-c7 and acute disc hernaition in c6-c7. Had a posterior approach Foraminotomy to remove the herniation which was effective in treating my RT arm weakness, numbness and pain.

Went back to my full activity (Running, Light Weight Lifting, Hiking) but now having pretty intense upper RT sided back pain between the spinal column and scapula having difficulty working and driving my car because can't turn my neck enough for turns, the continuous pain is making life very difficult.

Does anyone know if my previous Foraminotomy excludes me form ADR treatment? The Doc who did the Foraminotomy in March says I am not a candidate for ADR because of the Degenerative Disease - In the process of getting more opinions
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:50 PM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 7,010

Hey TMan, assuming it is at the same level (sounds like it is), it could contraindicate you for ADR.

Does that mean you could find someone perform ADR? Probably! Many German surgeons will take anyone for a long list of reasons! Also, there are some surgeons who will disqualify a patient even if they had a discectomy - while others have operated on a range of much more aggressive procedures. So it is prudent & wise for you to get multiple consults.

Pls see this multi-page topic:

What started your degenerative process? Pls add a signature soon that describes your spinal history. Thx!
"Harrison" - info (at)
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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Old 10-11-2010, 11:40 AM
tman tman is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 8

Harrison thanks for the info - yes same level however surgeon did not do much with c5-c6 but opened up the foramen and removed "tiny" piece of the facet in c6-c7 - My surgeon gave me only 2 options for the problem I was having; fusion or foraminotomy, never mentioned ADR as a possibility - when I found out about it this time around I asked him why he did mention ADR as a possibility, he said he did not mention it because I'm not a candidate - this is contrary to everything I have read so far accept for the surgery he did in march - I have an appointment with texas back institute this wednesday - hopefully get some good news - as for now pretty upset about the whole thing

As for what started the DDD not completely sure - it began 7 yrs ago - while lifting weights had episode of rt sided upper back pain and radiculopathy of the rt arm which confined me to my bed for 2 weeks - the episode past but have had that same back pain for past 7 yrs and then developed an acute herniation again in march this time with acute significant weakness - was very concerned about it being permanent so did the least invasive surgery within a few days - now back to having pretty intense back pain again.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:58 PM
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jss jss is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,411


I don't know if a foraminotomy at the operative level would/should contraindicate ADR. But here is a link to a study in which 63 ADRs were implanted in 25 lumbar patients where eleven subjects had prior "laminoforaminotomies" at the operative level. The lead investigator of this study was one of the German doctors that Harrison cited that "will take anyone".

Good luck, Jeff
C4/5 - ACDF in 2000
C5/6 - ACDF in 2002
C3/4 & C6/7 - M6 ADR, Nov 2009, Barcelona
Conceded defeat to a manifestly disingenuous BCBS-TX in my quest for reimbursement, Jan 2011
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:08 AM
CP7959 CP7959 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 43

I had a foraminotomy in 2003 at C5/C6, I had DDD at that level. That lasted till 2009. I had an ADR at that same level in 2009 at Stenum. They were more than willing to operate at that level.

I had problems ever since at C5/C6. Most Dr.s I consulted prior to ADR said that would be a painful joint and it would fuse eventually over the ADR. They were correct.

In April of 2010 I had the ADR removed at C5/C6 and fused.

Some food for thought. Each time you are operated at the same level your nerves are exposed to more manipulation and may become more irritated, potentially creating long term nerve pain or problems.

I would see a few surgeons and if the majority say no ADR, I'd follow their advice. I wish I did.

Good Luck.

Fusion C6/C7 - 2/2002
Foramenotomy 1/2004 - C5/C6 right side
Stenum M6 - 4/2009 - C4/C5, C5/C6
US Prestige ST - 12/2009 - C3/C4
Revision to Fusion 4/2009 - C5/C6 M6
Auto fuse of M6 at C4/C5 - determined after Xray on 3/2011.
Current - Fused at 3 levels C4/5/6/7, ADR C3/C4
Lumbar L5/S1 Annular tear - pain started 8/2009. MRI Hiz on 3/2011
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adr contraindications, c6-c7, ddd c5-c6, lumbar adr, lumbar artificial disc replacement, previous foraminotomy

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