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  #1  
Old 10-31-2010, 04:30 PM
Steveski Steveski is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2
Default Decision Week

After waking up one morning with my right arm in pain and numb, I have been diagnosed with a severe bone spur at C6 causing a pinched nerve to my right arm. After 6 weeks of Dr visits, cortisone injections, and head traction, Dr. Siddique at Cedars Sinai recommends a 2 disc replacement. (I have a moderate bone spur at C5.

So this week I have to decide (after 2 more cortisone injections) whether to have the three vertebrae fused OR get two disc replacements. The fusion is covered by insurance, the disc replacements are $20K. While I am happy to trade a new pool and jacuzzi for my health, this isn't going to be an easy decision.

I'm 46, very active - into yoga, weight training, hiking and motorcycle riding (all electric!!). Any words of encouragement or advice appreciated! I am looking at this as an upgrade, but the idea of being put "under" is a bit spooky
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- Moderate to severe degrees of foraminal stenosis, C5-C6 and C6-C7.
- Cervicothoracic scoliosis
- RECOMMENDATION: 2 Disc Replacement (ProDisc)
- BCBS Insurance Not Covered
- Fusion Option available and covered by insurance
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  #2  
Old 10-31-2010, 06:14 PM
JPJH JPJH is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 70
Default Young & Active = ADR!

I'm 46, very active - into yoga, weight training, hiking and motorcycle riding (all electric!!). Any words of encouragement or advice appreciated! I am looking at this as an upgrade, but the idea of being put "under" is a bit spooky[/QUOTE]

You've just answered your own question with the above comments. Go for the ADR. But if you're willing to pay for it yourself I would go abroad and get the M-6 over the prodisc. I need a new car, but could also live with getting a new car. I could no longer live with the pain I was in so I took the money and went to Dr. Clavel in Barcelona and had two M-6's put in. No regrets, don't miss having a new car.

I've had three major surgeries in my life. I never get over the uneasy feeling of being put under. Just part of the process.

JPJH
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  #3  
Old 10-31-2010, 06:34 PM
Steveski Steveski is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2
Default

Never thought of going abroad. Is the cost any different? I haven't investigated the different disc options, as there is no option at this point in the USA. How is the M-6 different/better?
__________________
--------------------------------------------------------
- Moderate to severe degrees of foraminal stenosis, C5-C6 and C6-C7.
- Cervicothoracic scoliosis
- RECOMMENDATION: 2 Disc Replacement (ProDisc)
- BCBS Insurance Not Covered
- Fusion Option available and covered by insurance
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  #4  
Old 10-31-2010, 10:07 PM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 6,988
Default

Steve, there's tons of info that address your question -- pls look around the forums, especially in the post-op forum. Tyler posted lots of articles and specs that answer your questions.

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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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  #5  
Old 11-01-2010, 09:13 AM
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jss jss is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,411
Default

Steve,

I don't have the qualifications to state that the M6 is "better", but I can tell you how it is different. The M6 is designed to emulate every aspect of the movement provided by your natural discs. The ProDisc and Prestige preserve most motion, but preserve it in only unnatural ways.

When you walk, run, stand, sit, hit a bump in your car, etc... your head is forced downward while the rest of your body doesn't move. Your intervertebral discs act just like a shock absorber in that they cushion this motion. The Spinal Kinetcs M6 and Nuvasive NeoDisc both cushion this up and down motion. The ProDisc and Prestige and ACDF don't cushion this motion and instead force the discs above and below to absorb the extra motion.

When you turn your head left and right, the joint between C2 and C3 does most of the turning. But your other intervertebral discs all the way down to C7/T1 also twist to let your head turn. The M6 and NeoDisc both provide resistance to turning that gets stronger the more your head turns; just like your natural discs. This lets all of the intervertebral discs do about the same amount of work when the head is turned. With ACDF the fused joint doesn't turn any, requiring that all of the other discs do more work when the head is turned. The ProDisc and Prestige have so little resistance to turning, that they will allow that joint to turn all the way to "full dead stop" before the other intervertebral joints begin to turn, causing the other discs to do less work. However, the facet joints, the joints that come to "full dead stop", now have to do a lot more work at the ADR level than they were designed to do. This is why the ProDisc and Prestige are suspected in accelerating facet joint degeneration.

The benefits of the ProDisc and Prestige over the M6 are that they contain only three or four pieces each, where the M6 contains many more. I don't know that there's been any study done on this, but that suggests that the ProDisc and Prestige may be less prone to failure than the M6. The ProDisc and Prestige have also been in use longer and so much more is known about how they will perform over time.

I'm an engineer and liked the M6 enough that I was willing to travel to Spain and pay almost $30k to have two of them implanted rather than have my insurance cover ProDisc/Prestige here in DFW. My thinking is that even though the M6 may be more prone to failure (that's unknown) that it is also more prone to preserve my remaining anatomy (that's also unknown) making it less likely that I'll loose more discs in the future (yet another unknown).

As you're considering ADR, I would encourage you to learn about all of the different ADR devices out there and then weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each. Though the M6 is my favorite, I don't know that any one device has been "proven" to be the best.

Good luck!

Jeff
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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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  #6  
Old 11-01-2010, 11:52 AM
JPJH JPJH is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 70
Default Thanks!

Jeff,

Thanks for your last post. No one could have answered the question more clearly and honestly.

JPJH
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