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  #1  
Old 03-11-2018, 04:14 PM
GravyBaby's Avatar
GravyBaby GravyBaby is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 132
Default Hiya! L5-S1 + Retrolisthesis

Hi all!

Pleasure to make your acquaintance and happy to have found this community.

I am considering a L5-S1 arthroplasty in the United States with an unknown doctor at this time. I have been diagnosed with a L5-S1 herniation with retrolisthesis via MRI 6 months ago.

Last week I had to go to the clinic to get a steroid injection to halt the pain and discomfort. My low-back was getting contorted with pain and spasms. The Doc prescribed Tramadol 50mg and Cyclobenzaprine 10mg 3x daily or as needed. I am also taking 2x Naproxen 225mg twice daily as well.

I have been out of work over a week now because the herniation has gotten so bad that I can hardly walk more than a few steps at a time without pain, discomfort and weakness flaring up. Sciatica almost all of the time too. The only time I am comfortable is when I am laying down on my side with a pillow between my legs.

I made appointments with 3 of the best neurosurgeons/orthopedic surgeons in the area that specialize in ADR for consultations. I only have to wait until next month to meet with them.

In the meantime I will be going for another MRI. My major concern is that my retrolisthesis has gotten worse or that there is an issue with my facet joints that will disqualify me as an ADR candidate.

Does anyone have any experience with ADR and retrolisthesis?

Best Regards,
__________________
2001 - Pulled off monkey bars, landed directly on coccyx.
2006 - Sports injury that made it worse.
2016 - Multiple instances of paralyzing low-back pain.
2017 - Blew out my back on leg-press. MRI showed L5-S-1 disc herniation and grade 1 retrolisthesis.
2018 - Successful ADR surgery with Dr. Rolando Garcia using the Activ-L implant.
2019 - In physical therapy for burning in feet, L4-L5 diffuse disc bulge and SI joint pain.
2020 - Getting better with one-on-one PT.

30 - Male - American
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  #2  
Old 03-11-2018, 09:52 PM
GKTM300 GKTM300 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 273
Default

my advice would be send your mri to bertagnoli its free for a diagnosis
__________________
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 03-12-2018, 05:46 PM
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GravyBaby GravyBaby is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 132
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Great idea! I'll try him, thank you!
__________________
2001 - Pulled off monkey bars, landed directly on coccyx.
2006 - Sports injury that made it worse.
2016 - Multiple instances of paralyzing low-back pain.
2017 - Blew out my back on leg-press. MRI showed L5-S-1 disc herniation and grade 1 retrolisthesis.
2018 - Successful ADR surgery with Dr. Rolando Garcia using the Activ-L implant.
2019 - In physical therapy for burning in feet, L4-L5 diffuse disc bulge and SI joint pain.
2020 - Getting better with one-on-one PT.

30 - Male - American
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  #4  
Old 03-29-2018, 04:48 PM
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GravyBaby GravyBaby is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 132
Default

Thank you GKTM300 for pushing me in the right direction!

I'm currently in contact with three European doctors - Clavel, Ritter-Lang and Bertagnoli - to get their individual opinions. I have only heard back from Bertagnoli so far regarding a final opinion. He says that I have degenerative disc disease in addition to the retrolisthesis and herniation at the L5-S1 level. He is recommending the ADR surgery.

I will be meeting with my first American surgeon on Monday, followed by two more later in the month to get more opinions.

I am very concerned with having a facet issue after the surgery due to the retrolisthesis. My worst fear is that it does not correct it and I need to have a revision surgery, or at worst a fusion
__________________
2001 - Pulled off monkey bars, landed directly on coccyx.
2006 - Sports injury that made it worse.
2016 - Multiple instances of paralyzing low-back pain.
2017 - Blew out my back on leg-press. MRI showed L5-S-1 disc herniation and grade 1 retrolisthesis.
2018 - Successful ADR surgery with Dr. Rolando Garcia using the Activ-L implant.
2019 - In physical therapy for burning in feet, L4-L5 diffuse disc bulge and SI joint pain.
2020 - Getting better with one-on-one PT.

30 - Male - American
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  #5  
Old 04-02-2018, 11:34 AM
GKTM300 GKTM300 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 273
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trust me dont waist your time with ritter or clavel if you want longevity. read bertagnolis whole site. the other two you mention use bertagnolis name as a google hit advertisement look on here someone accuses ritter of coming to operation hung iver dri king till 2 am or drunk and maming three people in one day. clavel is favored here but bertagnoli showed me dozens of failed i plants by clavel.

I would choose wisely my friend

also it doesnt hurt to do a search to see if anyone you consider is being or has been sued for mal practice. i on,y found two negitive comments in internet about bertagnoli. I tracked the teo people down. I was just a disgruntled person who had a broken sacrumn bertagnoli doesnt fix sacrums. and the other was a promoter of that hospital in barcelona. he was sued and lost. its hideous what people do for money.
__________________
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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  #6  
Old 04-15-2018, 07:28 PM
GravyBaby's Avatar
GravyBaby GravyBaby is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 132
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Well, I'm at a stand-still with the doctors in the US. All three neurosurgeons I met with said they do not do lumbar disc replacements anymore since there were so many Charite failures some years ago. All are happy to do a fusion at some point after I satisfy them with a few more months of PT.

Been to two PTs over the past couple weeks who've only made it worse. Going to try one more before giving up on it.

My wife is from Japan and I may have a foot-in to their medical system. If they do the disc replacement in Japan, we may try to have it done there because of the socialized medicine. We might be able to get it done for free, basically. She tells me Japan has some of the best doctor's in the world, so it might work out, I dunno.

All euro doctors got back to me saying that I am a candidate and all are ready to move forward when I am ready. Green light from Dr. Ritter-Lang's office, Dr. Clavel and Dr. Bertagnoli. I would love to go with Bertagnoli, but we just don't have the cash to put up for it. I'm 28 and have no savings, a bunch of debt and trying to work with a screwed up back. Really not sure what to do at this point.

One more shot at PT this week. Possible surgical option in Japan. Would have to take out a large loan to get it done in Europe. Or wait until next year and change my insurance in the US to cover another US doctor who does in-fact do the operation, like Dr. Rolando Garcia in Florida who co-invented the Activ-L.

What about worldwide or international insurance? Does Bertagnoli take any insurance that you know of?

Thanks for the help and advice.
__________________
2001 - Pulled off monkey bars, landed directly on coccyx.
2006 - Sports injury that made it worse.
2016 - Multiple instances of paralyzing low-back pain.
2017 - Blew out my back on leg-press. MRI showed L5-S-1 disc herniation and grade 1 retrolisthesis.
2018 - Successful ADR surgery with Dr. Rolando Garcia using the Activ-L implant.
2019 - In physical therapy for burning in feet, L4-L5 diffuse disc bulge and SI joint pain.
2020 - Getting better with one-on-one PT.

30 - Male - American
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  #7  
Old 07-13-2018, 11:01 PM
GravyBaby's Avatar
GravyBaby GravyBaby is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 132
Default

Hi All!

Just an update to my story today:

I met with Dr. Rolando Garcia today, who co-developed the latest FDA-approved artificial disc for the lumbar, the Activ-L. He said I am a candidate, but my insurance might prove to be a problem. So, like many people on this forum and under Blue Cross of Florida, who knows what's going to happen.

For now, I have to change my insurance (+$500/month) then get the final CT scan and bone density test before his office submits the paperwork to Flordia Blue for approval.

He says it could get approved immediately or it could take a year. There's no rhyme or reason to the way they do approvals. So, it looks like that's the way I'm going.

Feels like a crap-shoot. It shouldn't be this way, but it is what it is. My wife is from Japan and she has been appalled at the whole process and the medical industry as a whole here in the States.
__________________
2001 - Pulled off monkey bars, landed directly on coccyx.
2006 - Sports injury that made it worse.
2016 - Multiple instances of paralyzing low-back pain.
2017 - Blew out my back on leg-press. MRI showed L5-S-1 disc herniation and grade 1 retrolisthesis.
2018 - Successful ADR surgery with Dr. Rolando Garcia using the Activ-L implant.
2019 - In physical therapy for burning in feet, L4-L5 diffuse disc bulge and SI joint pain.
2020 - Getting better with one-on-one PT.

30 - Male - American
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  #8  
Old 10-06-2018, 03:15 PM
GravyBaby's Avatar
GravyBaby GravyBaby is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 132
Default

Just a quick update to my story:

I had a full discectomy and ADR of my L5-S1 with Dr. Rolando Garcia of Aventura Hospital in Aventura, Florida last week and I feel great! He implanted the Activ-L device and I am very happy with it. I would recommend the procedure and Dr. Garcia to anyone in a similar situation as mine looking for relief.

You can read my full story on the surgical outcome section of the forum, or follow this link:
https://www.adrsupport.org/forums/sh...ad.php?t=13945
__________________
2001 - Pulled off monkey bars, landed directly on coccyx.
2006 - Sports injury that made it worse.
2016 - Multiple instances of paralyzing low-back pain.
2017 - Blew out my back on leg-press. MRI showed L5-S-1 disc herniation and grade 1 retrolisthesis.
2018 - Successful ADR surgery with Dr. Rolando Garcia using the Activ-L implant.
2019 - In physical therapy for burning in feet, L4-L5 diffuse disc bulge and SI joint pain.
2020 - Getting better with one-on-one PT.

30 - Male - American
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  #9  
Old 10-06-2018, 04:32 PM
phillyjoe phillyjoe is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 249
Default

I thought that any form of spondy, retrolisthesis or otherwise, was a contra indication for any form of lumbar ADR? or was grade 1 just not significant enough to worry? Did the doc discuss this ?thanks
__________________
Pre Surgery:
C3-C4:Mild disc osteophytes. Mild-moderate right facet arthrosis. Mild right foraminal stenosis.
C4-C5:Midline central disc protrusion, significant. Mild canal stenosis.
C5-C6:Moderate disc osteophytes. Mild-moderate canal stenosis. Moderate-severe bilateral foraminal stenosis.
C6-C-7:Mild-moderate disc osteophytes. Mild canal stenosis. Moderate left and moderate-severe right foraminal stenosis.
June 29,2016-3 level M6 (C4-C7) Dr. Clavel Barcelona
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  #10  
Old 10-06-2018, 06:18 PM
GravyBaby's Avatar
GravyBaby GravyBaby is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 132
Default

Hi Phillyjoe!

The way it was explained to me by Dr. Bertagnoli when I consulted with him is that grade 1 spondylolithesis can be corrected with ADR, but only using a semi-constrained prosthetic.

The reasoning is that if it is beyond grade 1, there is most likely a pars defect occurring or some other factor that would not be corrected by the prosthetic.

In my case, I think the impact trauma on my lower-back when I was younger, resulted in a simultaneous disc herniation and retrolisthesis. Luckily, there was no bone damage.

My options as presented by Bertagnoli were the Prodisc and the Activ-L. I would not be a candidate for unconstrained devices such as the M6. I also went on to research the Activ-L and found information on their website stating exactly as Dr. B had said: applicable on grade 1 spondylolithesis.

When I consulted with another doctor in the US, he thought the same as you, having only dealt with the charité years ago; that the spondy was an automatic disqualifier. I had him pull up the Activ-L website and showed him right there during our consult the statement from Aesculap.

Needless to say, I did not go back to that doctor. He had never heard of the Activ-L before our meeting and his staff lied to me when I made the appointment with him.

They told me he was performing ADR surgeries when in fact he had stopped. He had been performing them years before when the charité disc was all the rage and had stopped when news came out about the negative results from doctors mucking up the surgeries with bad placement and poor patient selection.

He was one of three doctors I met with in the US where their offices had misled, or some would say lied, to get me in for the visit. Beware people! Don't get roped into a spinal fusion because your doctor is not aware of modern technology and the latest medical procedures!!

Back on topic, I ended up meeting with Dr. Garcia who explained that my grade 1 retrolisthesis would be a piece of cake. He performed the surgery and my spine is now back in perfect alignment after being malaligned for 17 years.

On a funny note, I used to have a bubble-butt because my L5-S1 retrolisthesis caused my pelvis to slip and roll posteriorly about 15-20 degrees. Now that it's corrected, my wife commented that while I still have a nice butt, it's not as big as it used to be
__________________
2001 - Pulled off monkey bars, landed directly on coccyx.
2006 - Sports injury that made it worse.
2016 - Multiple instances of paralyzing low-back pain.
2017 - Blew out my back on leg-press. MRI showed L5-S-1 disc herniation and grade 1 retrolisthesis.
2018 - Successful ADR surgery with Dr. Rolando Garcia using the Activ-L implant.
2019 - In physical therapy for burning in feet, L4-L5 diffuse disc bulge and SI joint pain.
2020 - Getting better with one-on-one PT.

30 - Male - American
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