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  #1  
Old 12-24-2010, 06:53 AM
Scrill Scrill is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 7
Default L-4/L-5 Prodisc scheduled for Jan. 4

Hi there everyone. I have been reading everyone's posts and am very thankful to have found this forum.

I'll cut to the chase. I have surgery scheduled for Jan. 4. I have just seen the Nuerosurgeon for a pre-op and found out that he has done only 4 of these procedures. I am grateful that the insurance company approved it, but worry that my HMO insurance isn't getting me to the most experienced doctor I can get.

I also made a mistake and watched a video of the procedure online. Wow.

The deal is, I don't have pain all of the time. But when I do, it's bad and I can't walk for days. It happens 2 or 3 times a year and lasts weeks. I lose time off work and haven't taken a real vacation in years. I stay away from activities that aggravate my back. The things that are supposed to be helping it are hurting it. (Yoga, core strengthening exercizes, etc)

Reading everyone's posts I feel like my surgery isn't warranted. Maybe I am just looking for a way out.

Anyway, Good luck in recovery to those that have had the procedure already.
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  #2  
Old 12-24-2010, 07:01 AM
Scrill Scrill is offline
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Added signature =)
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35 years old
Lower back pain since '99
L-4/L-5 disc herniation (6mm)
Epidural injections
Discogram
IDET procedure relief for several years
4 years of periodic pain have returned
PRODISC-L Scheduled for
Jan.4 2011(Canceled)
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  #3  
Old 12-24-2010, 07:20 AM
kennethhoff kennethhoff is offline
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I completely empathize with your situation and hope the vest for you. I read your profile and it seems you have had back pain since 1999, so going on 11 years now. And if it is a herniated disc, they just keep degenerating.

As for pain, like you, I don't have pain all the time either. But it has limited my life so that I can't do all the things I would like to do. Is that how you feel? Limited? Are you living to survive or cautious with all your activities because of pain? If so, think of surgery as not only to help your back, but preventative for future possible worse back problems. I often wondered if it is better to wait, but what, wait until it is so bad that your begging for relief?

Don't worry about a video. You'll be under and won't feel it. The hardest part in my opinion is recovery

Thank god your insurance is paying, your luckier than most ADR patients. And your doc, outside of the 4 he has done, is he a great doc otherwise? Does he have great education/med school/residency? Is the hospital you are going to a really good one? Do you feel comfortable with your doc?

I can understand your hesitancy with a doc who has done 4, but what if those 4 were all great successes? It's always a tough decision, but only you have to be comfortable with it, no one else.

Wishing you a health back!

Ken
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  #4  
Old 12-24-2010, 10:51 AM
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jss jss is offline
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Scrill,

Condolences and welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrill View Post
The deal is, I don't have pain all of the time. But when I do, it's bad and I can't walk for days. It happens 2 or 3 times a year and lasts weeks. I lose time off work and haven't taken a real vacation in years. I stay away from activities that aggravate my back. The things that are supposed to be helping it are hurting it. (Yoga, core strengthening exercizes, etc)

Reading everyone's posts I feel like my surgery isn't warranted. Maybe I am just looking for a way out.
This is a somewhat subjective question, but it is one that only you can answer; weighing the risks and expense of surgery against feeling mostly Ok most of the time, but being subject to being out of commission for weeks at a time a few times a year and not being able do anything more strenuous than gingerly walking down the hall. That someone else is in worse condition than you are shouldn't suggest that relief of your symptoms and limitations aren't warranted. Having your life back is warranted; but only you can decide if it is worth incurring the risks inherent with surgery.

Anyway, good luck on the 4th, and please keep us posted.

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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  #5  
Old 12-24-2010, 11:53 AM
annapurna annapurna is offline
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A few years ago the common wisdom was that beginner surgeons should only operate on people who are a little more desperate than you are right now. Four procedures isn't really enough to get a feel for the range of what can happen and people who weren't all that bad off going into the surgery could wind up being worse coming out than they were going in. It's likely, though, training for new surgeons has improved quite a bit from the early days. You might be able to ask him what kind of training he went through to get qualified to do ADRs and see if you could allay fears about his experience.
__________________
Laura - L5S1 Charitee
C5/6 and 6/7 Prodisc C
Facet problems L4-S1
General joint hypermobility

Jim - minor C5-6 instability and facet damage, currently using regenerative medicine to address

"There are many Annapurnas in the lives of men" Maurice Herzog
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  #6  
Old 12-25-2010, 02:58 AM
Scrill Scrill is offline
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Thank guys for your replies.

Dr. Lawner has 33 years experience as a Neurosurgeon. I have heard good things about him. As far as the hospital, it's St. Joe's in Burbank. It's no Cedars-Sinai but it is comfortable to me. I live in Burbank and St. Joe's ER got me through the worst back spasms I could imagine. It felt like what I would imagine child birth feels like. Never want to experience that again. I feel comfortable with the doctor I guess. I have only seen him twice.

I want to be able to mountain bike again, hike Mt. Whitney, hike in Costa Rica for my honeymoon ( getting married April 17), things that if I do now, run me the risk of being out of commission for weeks. Limited indeed.

I am really back and forth on this, but I really REALLY appreciate your thoughts and considerations. Thanks.
Merry Christmas!

-Brett
__________________
35 years old
Lower back pain since '99
L-4/L-5 disc herniation (6mm)
Epidural injections
Discogram
IDET procedure relief for several years
4 years of periodic pain have returned
PRODISC-L Scheduled for
Jan.4 2011(Canceled)
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  #7  
Old 12-25-2010, 01:59 PM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
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Posts: 6,988
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Brett, I would spend as much time disqualifying yourself for any particular procedure as you would qualifying yourself for it. As you know, there's a lot to know. So, if you have not already...

- read this lengthy topic: http://www.adrsupport.org/forums/f51...ications-9620/

- talk to your doctor(s) about these indications in detail; make sure you understand all of them clearly.

If you are a good candidate, "beating it up" and leaving no stone unturned will help you better prepare for any possible procedure. The DVD really gets into these details.

Hope this helps. BTW: I have no limitations and enjoy riding my bikes. To me, getting on a bicycle is the hallmark of health. I've been cycling since 1967. Then, I was five when I hopped on a bike without training wheels, but still managed to find the closest tree!

__________________
"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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  #8  
Old 12-29-2010, 08:41 PM
Scrill Scrill is offline
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Well I sure hope to be able to ride again. It is one of my favorite things to do. There are so many great places to ride around here. Riding usually forces my back into a relapse so I have avoided it for over a year.

Not sure if I am going to have the procedure at this point. Only 6 days away. I am getting some chest congestion and have been battling a sore throat. Heading to urgent care tonight to get some antibiotics. Hopefully that will knock any bugs out and keep my options open.

I read the link you provided and am very appreciative. The only thing that worries me is that my primary doctor observed me as having some "scoliosis". I have never been diagnosed with that before. This was last week in my pre-op appointment. I hope that I don't have any scoliosis. I read a horror story about someone getting ADR and had adult onset scoliosis. That they should have been disqualified from ADR due to that.

I'm going to talk to the doctor Monday before my surgery and ask him about this.
__________________
35 years old
Lower back pain since '99
L-4/L-5 disc herniation (6mm)
Epidural injections
Discogram
IDET procedure relief for several years
4 years of periodic pain have returned
PRODISC-L Scheduled for
Jan.4 2011(Canceled)
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  #9  
Old 12-29-2010, 08:48 PM
Harrison's Avatar
Harrison Harrison is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 6,988
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"I'm going to talk to the doctor Monday before my surgery and ask him about this..."

Good move Scrill!
__________________
"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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  #10  
Old 12-30-2010, 10:50 AM
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Jstuckey Jstuckey is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 305
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If it's any help, here's what Dr Clavel said to me regarding ADR and the "mild" scoliosis I have. I asked him the following, and his response follows: I want to verify that my level of scoliosis is not a contraindication to ADR. No. There is a lateral left anterior osteophyte as a main cause of the lumbar scoliosis. I believe that by performing the lumbar discectomy and mobilization we will be able to correct it.

Dr. Bertagnoli dismissed my scoliosis completely and recommended a 3 level ADR.
Dr. Nick Boeree believed it was minimal enough (I wish I could give you a degree of curvature, but to me, it is very visible to an untrained eye on an xray) that it would not be a contraindication, and without evidence of osteoporosis (Dexascan normal), I would be in better position afterward.

Hope that gives you some additional talking points.


__________________
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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