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  #1  
Old 11-08-2010, 11:12 AM
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Jstuckey Jstuckey is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 305
Red face New to this site, old pain.

Hello. Well, it's an old subject for me.... my back pain, but I'm starting on a new journey after learning my insurance plan doesn't cover artificial discs. So, after going through what feels like every traditional treatment in the US for over half of my life, I'm now in research mode for flying over the pond. I just spoke this morning with a local (northern Indiana) guy who had a 3 level ADR (M6) at Stenum this summer, and had nothing but good things to say. Since I cry at the thought of having the only US option of a 2 level fusion (with a deteriorating L3-4 on it's way right above it), I really see no choice but to go oversees for 2 level ADR. I would welcome any thoughts, and have begun reading the many previous posts on the subject. Here we go.....
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Joey Sue - 50 years old
9/28/2011: Hybrid STALIF TT interbody fusion at L5-S1 and M6-L ADR L4-5 with Nick Boeree, UK - forever grateful to you Nick! Still doing great.
Prior to the fix: Severe DDD L4-5 and L5-S1 with moderate facet degen at L5-S1, but only mild facet degeneration at L4-5.
http://healthyback2011.blogspot.com/
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2010, 01:28 PM
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jss jss is offline
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Joell,

Condolences on your condition. I hope that you are able to avoid fusion. I have two fusions and two ADRs, and lament even the thought of having to have had two more fusions (like my insurance company wanted me to do).

I went to Spain for two M6-C's almost exactly a year ago. I have had a better outcome than I could have ever asked for, it was an incredible experience in multiple senses, and I'd do it again given the same circumstances. Like you, my choices for treatment were 1)have my insurance company pay for fusion, 2)pay out of pocket for ADR in the US, 3)pay less than half out of pocket in Europe, or 4)pay even less than that in Costa Rica, India, Thailand, Mexico, etc...

As you are making your decisions, please be aware that there are a few substantial risks unique to overseas surgery.

  • If there is a complication, you are expected to pay the additional cost of treatment right then.
  • If the complications are due to negligence from the provider, you will likely have no recourse.
  • Many US doctors decline to treat patients that need revision of a failed foreign spine surgery.
Like the majority of others that have gone overseas for ADR, I was fortunate in that there were no issues.

Another consideration... I have seen people that were contraindicated for ADR for various reasons, that chose to go to Europe for ADR anyway because some of the German surgeons will operate on anyone. A very high percentage of them had very bad outcomes. So if you have been contraindicated for ADR by a spine surgeon, I would encourage you to do a lot of research and be very sure before going against that contraindication.

Please keep us posted on what you decide to do.

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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  #3  
Old 11-08-2010, 03:41 PM
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Jstuckey Jstuckey is offline
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Thanks for the thoughts. I know I have a lot of work to do. It's helpful to hear it all.
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Joey Sue - 50 years old
9/28/2011: Hybrid STALIF TT interbody fusion at L5-S1 and M6-L ADR L4-5 with Nick Boeree, UK - forever grateful to you Nick! Still doing great.
Prior to the fix: Severe DDD L4-5 and L5-S1 with moderate facet degen at L5-S1, but only mild facet degeneration at L4-5.
http://healthyback2011.blogspot.com/
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  #4  
Old 11-08-2010, 08:01 PM
JPJH JPJH is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
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Default Shop Around!

Joell,

Jeff makes very good points on all fronts.

If your going to go over seas for the surgery take your time and shop around and find the situation that you feel the most comfortable with.

Mine was a two year process. I looked at the surgeons in Germany, Spain and England. I also considered India. For me Germany was just too expensive. I had been to India before on vacation and loved the Country. The cost for the surgery would have been the least expensive there, but it is a long trip and I was not comfortable going that far to have the surgery. I then set my focus on Dr. Clavel in Barcelona and Dr. Boeree in England. I liked the both of them and they were very good to work with. For me it came down to a couple of things. I had a set time I could get off work to have the surgery and Dr. Boeree was not available, but I was also very inpressed with Dr. Clavel and was more than comfortable having him do the surgery. The cost did play into is as well. Germany was about 40K for a two level, England was 34K and Spain was 27K.

So in general that was my process. If you need anything more specific please let me know. All the best to you as you shop around.

JPJH
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  #5  
Old 11-09-2010, 03:11 PM
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Jstuckey Jstuckey is offline
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Thank you so much. All of this is helpful. The cost is overwhelming, but trying to think of it as a car (a very nice car...). Was your surgery for cervical or lumbar?
__________________
Joey Sue - 50 years old
9/28/2011: Hybrid STALIF TT interbody fusion at L5-S1 and M6-L ADR L4-5 with Nick Boeree, UK - forever grateful to you Nick! Still doing great.
Prior to the fix: Severe DDD L4-5 and L5-S1 with moderate facet degen at L5-S1, but only mild facet degeneration at L4-5.
http://healthyback2011.blogspot.com/
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  #6  
Old 11-09-2010, 10:13 PM
JPJH JPJH is offline
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Default C-Spine

Joell,

Mine was Cervical 4/5 & 5/6.

JPJH
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  #7  
Old 11-11-2010, 12:30 PM
curlygirl54 curlygirl54 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 5
Default Curly Girl

I have had 2 individual fusions in my neck and am absolutely certain they affected both my neck and lumbar spine. Wouldn't have another - feeling very positive about ADR, travel if you need to
Good Luck!
__________________
Age 56
Awaiting Prodisc ADR L5/S1
L4/5 IDET 2005
C5/6 Fusion and Titanium implant 2002
C4/5 Fusion 1987
Road accident aged 18, further RTA 1 year ago
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