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Old 05-09-2017, 11:38 AM
JamesE1989 JamesE1989 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 6
Question New User - Possible ADR - Feel confused.

Hello everyone,

This community seems awesome and i'm happy to have found such a great resource.

I am joining because I have a herniation from an accident years ago that has gotten worse. I am scared because I am still only 27, can still be fairly active, and stay fit. Here is some more info:


C4-5: Diffuse central bulge, indents thecal sac.

C5-6:Large left posterolateral disc extrusion, moderate compression on ventral surface of the spinal cord, moderate to severe central spinal stenosis.


I have a constant ache and tightness in many of my back muscles. I feel like I can feel exact point of the herniation and it's effects. I sometimes get tingles, mostly when I am sitting in a stupid position, or letting the wheels of anxiety turn too rapidly.

I have started to develop a bit of low back pain, and sciatica that comes and goes, but I think that is derived from mostly being a lot lazier than normal the past year or so. I have let this get to me (who wouldn't) and have been a lot less active and have experienced depression. I think I can combat it and strengthen my core and assist it's healing process.


My PCP (i'm in the U.S.) tells me I am too young to have surgery, although an ADR would be the best option. She let me seek out a referral. I contacted the Brandon Nuerospine Center in Brandon, FL (I live in Tampa Bay). And went to see a Dr who specializes in spine issues and ADR.

He said I should have a one level mobi-c ADR. That I wouldn't miss much work, and since I am young and fit have a good chance of healing quickly.

After lurking the message board I see a lot of people venturing to Barcelona for treatment with Dr. Clavel.

Are you all paying for this out of pocket? There is no way I could afford 30-40k without a LONG payment plan. My insurance here pays 70% of the copay.

I do not have a great paying job, but there is lots of flexibility, and within the next year I will be starting a career in software development so the opportuinity to make much more is there.

So, all in all, I am confused. Being 27 and facing a major-ish surgery is terrifying. I know there are options but I wish to lessen my pain and have a more structured spine and be able to build strength and enjoy life again. I also do not want the symptoms to get worse and worse. I'm tired of feeling crazy!

Any help or guidance is appreciated. Thank you
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:00 AM
mosullivan86 mosullivan86 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 44

Welcome! I am 30, and need the same disc replaced with a Mobi-c. I have moderate canal stenosis, and have tingling and fire patches in my legs from time to time as well as electric shock like pain. Since I scheduled my surgery with Dr Blumenthal I have been feeling great, so I am confused as well!

How long have you been dealing with this?
30 year old RN
NOV. 2014- C5-C6 herniation with ridiculopathy
Numbness and tingling in all extremities
1st opinion- Recommended 1 level Fusion- NOPE
2nd opinion-Recommended Mobi-c, Dr had only implanted 5.
3rd opinion- Recommended Mobi-C, not crazy about the guy.
4th opinion: Recommended Mobi-C, Dr Blumenthal

June 6, 2017 C5/C6 Mobi-C disc replacement with Dr. Blumenthal at Texas Back Institute!!

Ready to get back to an active lifestyle!
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Old 05-10-2017, 02:05 AM
LumbarSpine LumbarSpine is offline
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 44

I am also curious about the OP's question as to how people are paying for surgery overseas.

I read one thread where someone said that their BC/BS insurance paid for everything overseas! I don't expect to get that lucky, but was hoping that my insurance will pay something (e.g., it seems fair for them to pay what they would have paid an in-system provider in the US). Does anyone have any knowledge or advice as to the laws or common procedures in this matter? I don't even want to say anything to the insurance company until I'm sure I'm not sticking my foot in my mouth.
* 40's, otherwise healthy, back pain for many years.
* DDD at L4/L5. Facet pain at same level.
* Multiple RF ablations, with inconsistent/marginal results.
* Single-level disc replacement with Dr. Clavel, Sept. 2017. Went well, recovery MUCH faster and less painful than anticipated. Now need to get active again and keep back in shape!
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Old 05-10-2017, 01:41 PM
c4c7 c4c7 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 37

If you have severe stenosis, you should just go ahead and get the 1-level Mobi-c. If c4-c5 goes, they can always go back in there and add another one (and the insurance will most likely cover it because you already have a Mobi-c in there, which is approved for two-levels).

I'm also pretty young, and if I was in your situation, I'd just go for it. The M6-c is probably a better disc, but because you're only at one level, and it looks like your other discs are pretty healthy, I can't imagine there will be any major problems, so why pay $35k+ overseas when you can get a pretty good disc for almost nothing here?

Over the years I've always been told by the (many) surgeons I've seen, they'll only do surgery on me if I experience weakness, have muscle atrophy, or have severe spinal cord compression. None of which I have (just a lot of neck pain and the occasional radiculopathy).
C2-3: Mild desiccation with focal 1.5mm central disc protrusion.
C3-4: Unconvetebral osteophyte formation on the right with minimal foraminal narrowing.
C4-5: Focal 2mm disc protrusion which abuts the thecal sac and slightly abuts the ventral cord.
C5-6: Central right paracentral 2mm disc osteophyte fomplex. Abuts ventral cord with some cord flattening.
C6-7: Disc desiccation with broad based central 1.5mm disc osteophyte complex.
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Old 05-10-2017, 02:00 PM
JamesE1989 JamesE1989 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 6

Thanks for the replies all.

I have been dealing with this for 4 years. I was in a very odd accident. I was in a small fishing boat in the channel heading out to fish after lunch with friends. Some person in a much larger boat cuts through the mangroves (not in the channel), is speeding near the wake zone with his bow straight up, sees us at the last second and swerves to avoid us.

Well he didn't, I hit my head/neck while falling back and get knocked out. I wake up and tingle back to life and have had the neck pain ever since. I'm actually lucky only one disc is screwed up. I am still young and try to stay in shape but keep dreaming of being able to have a better structured spine, be able to run and jump without migraines, and to not be terrified of paralysis.

Also, I contacted my insurance (Florida Blue) and I would not be covered in Spain. I work for a small, two location, locally owned business. I love it, but not the best coverage.
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Old 05-11-2017, 04:38 PM
pichaku pichaku is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 29

Hello to all, i m young too, we all have similare problems.....i want to call any older members to give us feedback for how long do they have disc replaced and maybe my question is "For how long could we expect if everything goes well and with good and responsible behaviour to preserve repleced disc....5,10 years or so?"
L4L5 DDD...protrusions on c5c6 and c6c7 just discovered with mri and confirmed by EMG...going trough Pt....
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:12 PM
Harrison's Avatar
Harrison Harrison is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 6,903

James, when you can, pls see:

I would opt for a one-level stateside, where you have a good chance of getting insurance to pay for everything.

Pichaku, this is James' topic but I'll reply to your question anyway. I had ADR in 2004 and my Charite' is fine. I met the man in Germany who was the first Charite patient, and he was doing fine at that time. He is now 33 years post-op!
"Harrison" - info (at)
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
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