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  #1  
Old 09-21-2006, 03:02 PM
Cat Cat is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
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Hi everyone. My name is Cathy and this is my first day here. I just found The Big Bucket while trying to research ADR (Prodisc & Maverick). I was on page five when I decide that I needed to pick ya'lls brains about this procedure. Without thinking (as we blondes sometimes do) I replied to Doug and Maria's message from five or so months ago. I don't know how these message boards work, but I'm thinking that perhaps my message to them will be back in their old news. Anyway, When My brain finally kicked in, I clicked on the first page, but I haven't gotten the chance to read the inputs yet. I look forward to doing so. I have already learned a lot.
I injured myself at work a year ago August. Since then I have had two discectomies between L4, L5 and all of the usual attempts at pain relief (drugs, shots....) I am still sufferring like crazy. My last MRI showed that I don't have hardly any disc matter left, my vertebre are hitting each other, which is causing arthrtis. Not so much fun, as I'm sure all of you know. My Dr. recommended a fusion, but I am scared to death of that due to I alredy have L5, S1 fused from ten years ago. I would welcome your comments, advice...Thanks
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*1998 - Two discectomies and a fusion at L5,S1 (MRI, mylogram & epidural injection through coccyx bone) and surgery to repair spinal fluid leak
*2005 Discectomy at L4-5 (MRI, epidural shots, PT)
*2006 Discectomy at L4-5 (MRI, mylogram, & PT)
*Curr
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2006, 05:39 PM
annapurna annapurna is offline
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First thought: you mention arthritis of your vertebrae, is it the facets going or self fusion of the vertebrae? If your facets are allowed to go too far you'll either not be acceptable for ADR or risk not taking care of all of the pain generators when the disk is replaced. If it is a close call, you may have moved from a "plenty of time for research" to a "grab as much info as possible and decide real quick" state.

As I'm out of my depth with questions of workers comp (you mentioned it elsewhere), I'll stay away from that and just stay with the bits I'm more sure of.

Second question: are you a double level patient? You mention L4 and L5 and a previous fusion at L5-S1. Does that mean that you've fused L5-S1 and have problems with L4-5 and L3-4? If so, your options are narrower with fewer surgeons willing and competent enough to risk a double layer ADR.
__________________
Laura - L5S1 Charitee
C5/6 and 6/7 Prodisc C
Facet problems L4-S1
General joint hypermobility

Jim - C4/5, C5/6, L4/5 disk bulges and facet damage, L4/5 disk tears, currently using regenerative medicine to address

"There are many Annapurnas in the lives of men" Maurice Herzog
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  #3  
Old 09-21-2006, 07:53 PM
Cat Cat is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 26
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Thanks for responding. I had two discectomies followed by a fusion at L5, S1 ten years ago.
after this injury,I also had two discectomies and now need a fusion between L4,L5.
So now we are only dealing withone level, and the arthritis has just begun.. Therefore, I would like to begin a plan of action before my situation gets worse, and befor I start thinking stupid thought of how to be done with the pain Due to me only needing one level done, does that afford me more promising possibilities?
__________________
*1998 - Two discectomies and a fusion at L5,S1 (MRI, mylogram & epidural injection through coccyx bone) and surgery to repair spinal fluid leak
*2005 Discectomy at L4-5 (MRI, epidural shots, PT)
*2006 Discectomy at L4-5 (MRI, mylogram, & PT)
*Curr
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  #4  
Old 09-22-2006, 02:56 PM
annapurna annapurna is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,669
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With one level and beginning arthritis, you do have more options but with little disk left you do need to move out on those options to get yourself to the decision point quickly. There's lots of discussion on the board about where to go and who's the best or who's the best for the out-of-pocket cost. Rather than rehashing it, I'd suggest getting a copy of the MRI films and report, locating a local doc who'll confirm your pain originates with the L4-5 disk with a disogram (if that's necessary) and spending all of the free time until that's done finding a surgeon. As most surgeons want the MRI films to review as well as the report and like to have a discogram to confirm the pain source, you'll not waste your time there.
__________________
Laura - L5S1 Charitee
C5/6 and 6/7 Prodisc C
Facet problems L4-S1
General joint hypermobility

Jim - C4/5, C5/6, L4/5 disk bulges and facet damage, L4/5 disk tears, currently using regenerative medicine to address

"There are many Annapurnas in the lives of men" Maurice Herzog
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  #5  
Old 09-22-2006, 04:24 PM
Mariaa Mariaa is offline
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Hi Cathy
I'm sorry I didn't answer your question earlier~ I am slated for a fusion at L5S1 and ADR at L4 and have also had two discectomies (one at L5 and one at L4).

My thinking on this is to get a few reputable ADR spine surgeons to look at your films and get whatever else is necessary to rule out anything that would exclude one from having ADR as well as making sure that the disc itself is a pain generator (discogram) and then go from there.. I too am not keen of fusing another level tho that's not to say ADR is possible or even successful for everyone depending on knowing as best as one can what the true pain generators are.

Get more opinions~ by the most reputable spine surgeons and if you can, ones not biased by what insurance will pay for only.

good luck, Maria
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  #6  
Old 09-24-2006, 12:48 PM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 7,011
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Cat, welcome.

When I had ADR 2+ years ago, I was starting to "autofuse." Luckily, it was caught just in time! I did great, thank God.

Any way, there's much to learn, and ADR is not for everyone (as you've already learned). Let me know how I can help, we can chat some time too.

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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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  #7  
Old 09-24-2006, 05:28 PM
Eddie_G's Avatar
Eddie_G Eddie_G is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 238
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Welcome Cat,

You can spend quite a few hours here doing searches and just reading reading and more reading. I hope to get a Prodisc in October by Dr. Goldstein at NYU. I don't know anything about the Dr's in Florida but I'm sure there are some ADR friendly ones down there.
*The trick is to find an EXPERIENCED ADR surgeon.
*Dont take what the insurance companys say as gospel because they are all F.O.S. and only care about saving money (In my humble opinion)

If I didn't fight the ins. company, I would be some surgeons FIRST ADR! HA HA Yeah RIGHT!

Good luck and happy reading. You'll be an expert in no time!
__________________
12/16/03 Work Accident
Herniation and DDD at L4-L5
4/1/05 Discectomy
Epidurals and facet injections
5/15/06 Discogram confirmed L4-L5 DDD also an asymptomatic L5-S1 tear
10/24/06 L4-L5 Prodisc surgery with Dr. Goldstein
CAT scans & X-Rays show ossification
Trigger Point Injections, Medial Branch Blocks, Acupuncture, Weekly Deep Tissue Massage
10/27/08 Discogram (positive L5-S1 tear)
11/25/08 L5-S1 fusion with Dr. Goldstein
FAILED BACK SYNDROME
Liberty Mutual WC
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  #8  
Old 09-25-2006, 04:13 PM
Cat Cat is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 26
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Well I'm pretty sure that I am going take the plunge. I sceduled an appointment to see Dr. Gaines (my surgeon) next Tuesday to discuss ADR and pain management because my pain medications give me little relief. Although he does not perform ADRs, I'm hoping he might know some surgeons who have experience doing the surgeries. Some of you mentioned a "discogram". I am not familiar with that. Could someone explain what it is, how it is performed, if it is neccessary to have for the ADR, and if I can request to have one? By the way, have any of you found pain meds that are helpful? Right now I am taking Vicoprofen 7.5/200, Neurontin 300mg 3 times daily, Soma, and Ambein CR to sleep. I only get very minimal relief.

Oh yea, I can't remember if I asked about this previously, does anyone have any suggestions on a bed? I have a select comfort, which was the most comfortable bed in the world before my surgeries. Now, I wake up all night long (even while taking Abien) with incredible pain, to the point of crying my eyes out. I asked my work comp nurse about what I could do, but her response was, "What do you want me to do about it?" Wow, that made me feel so much better. She must have just completed sympathy/empathy 101 class. Yea right! If only they could walk in our shoes for a day or so. No, I wouldn't wish this on anyone. Well, maybe....no, no no, that would be evil

Thanks so much
__________________
*1998 - Two discectomies and a fusion at L5,S1 (MRI, mylogram & epidural injection through coccyx bone) and surgery to repair spinal fluid leak
*2005 Discectomy at L4-5 (MRI, epidural shots, PT)
*2006 Discectomy at L4-5 (MRI, mylogram, & PT)
*Curr
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  #9  
Old 09-25-2006, 04:43 PM
cathydownunder cathydownunder is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 297
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Hi Cat
A discogram is where dye is injected under pressure into the disc space to assist in diagnosing/confirming if it's a pain generator.
Often another level is done as well to compare. (I had 3 done, my L4/5 was the main culprit).
It's very painful if the injected disc is bad, but it's quick thank goodness.
Also,most doctors give light sedation first and you get a local before the actual discogram.
Cathy
__________________
Scoliosis 35*
DDD Everywhere!
The Usual Discograms Epidural Facet Injections etc
Maverick L4/5 Fusion L3/4
July 3 2006

Dynesys Stabilisation L4/5
Lt & Rt Facet Removal +Non-Bone Fusion L5/S1
May 26 2008
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  #10  
Old 09-25-2006, 06:02 PM
annapurna annapurna is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,669
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To give more detail about the discogram: You're generally lightly sedated, the needles to inflate the discs are placed, and you're partially brought back out of sedation. The doctor pressurizes the discs (typically one or more bad ones plus one good one as a control) and you call out with great volume which one(s) hurt. Afterwards, a flat xray image can be taken or CT scan taken to see how bad the discs are. You're not expected to remember and retain pain after the procedure but some do. The purpose is to make sure the pain generating disc is treated.
__________________
Laura - L5S1 Charitee
C5/6 and 6/7 Prodisc C
Facet problems L4-S1
General joint hypermobility

Jim - C4/5, C5/6, L4/5 disk bulges and facet damage, L4/5 disk tears, currently using regenerative medicine to address

"There are many Annapurnas in the lives of men" Maurice Herzog
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