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  #1  
Old 04-05-2007, 07:56 PM
dusty dusty is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2
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Hello,
I am a 56 year old female who has been suffering with chronic back pain for over 15 years.
Due to a few minor auto accidents and a few falls down flights of stairs and with aging my back has gotten progressively worse over the last few years. I suffer from degenerative disc disease, have arthritis and scoliosis (very minor)

I have been to chiropractors (and most recently tried the new traction method (SpineMed Therapy) have had accupunture, epiderals, you name it.

I recently took a trip to Manhattan to see Dr. Fabian Biton who has done the most spinal surgeries in the Northeast. He is just as wonderful in person as he appears on line and also agreed with my local doctor here in CT, Dr. James Yue, that I need to have 3 discs replaced, L3, L4, L5, however, Dr Biton mentioned that a fusion could also work. I am not interested in a fusion because I have only heard negative comments about it and most people I have spoken with have experienced more pain after the fusion. Dr. Biton can perform the ADR however I have insurance issues that I need to work out. Dr Yue can perform the ProDisc but thus far I have not met anyone who I can speak to about this although I did briefly meet one of Dr. Yue's patients last year and he said he has improved, but not significantly.

Can anyone share their stories with me and help guide me through this difficult process.
The only insurance company that will pay for the ProDisc is Aetna. Presently I have no insurance since I had to leave my job due to this condition and I am having difficulties getting insurance because of my pre-existing condition.

Hope to hear back from you soon!!!
saldurso@sbcglobal.net
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  #2  
Old 04-06-2007, 04:42 AM
chasswen chasswen is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 627
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a very warm welcome dusty
very sorry we had to meet like this but you are in the right place.
i have a single level Prodisc-L at L4-L5 aug 2nd in bogen germany with Dr. Bertagnoli and all though it has been a crazy roller coaster ride i am doing very well. i was back to work at just under 12 weeks. i have no problems with my back any more i do still have some nerve issues with my feet but this continues to slowly improve. if i had to do it again i would. the most important thing for you to do at this time is learn all you can about your problem so you are not going into this blindly. feel free to contact me if you wish. also my recovery can be read in the surgery outcomes area.
best wishes
chuck
__________________
ddd 1990
2003 mri,xrays,shots,emg
2004 discogram ouch pos l4 l5
facet block neg
lost all appeals BCBS 5 months of that
3 surgeons later
surgery with dr. bertagnoli aug 2nd 2006 in Bogen Germany Successfully ProDisc-L L-4 L-5
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  #3  
Old 04-06-2007, 05:37 AM
David David is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 453
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I have heard good things about Dr. Bitan, and I *tried* to have two level ADR with Dr. Yue, but, due to various factors, I chose to have surgery with Dr. Bertagnoli, and couldn't be happier with the results.

Do some searches for Kim_DeansWife (I believe that is the account name), as they had two level ADR with Dr. Yue about a month ago.

Insurance: Insurance can be a tricky business when it comes to multi-level ADR. I certainly can't speak for anyone else, but when I finally decided to go to Germany for my multi-level ADR procedure, I didn't even bother dealing with my insurance company...

David
__________________
47 years old
Surgery: 14-NOV-2006; Straubing, Germany (Dr. B.)
L4-S1: Prodisc
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  #4  
Old 04-07-2007, 01:41 AM
cathydownunder cathydownunder is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 297
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As one of the few on here that have scoliosis I thought I'd respond. What degree is your curve? I ask because another poster, Kim I think, had an 11* curve and DR Bitan wouldn't perform ADR above 10* and she had to settle for fusion.
I've had a 35* thoracolumber curve for 30 years and my surgeon performed an L4/5 ADR and L3/4 fusion last July. Although technically successful, I've found the co-existing conditions of widespread DDD and arthritis have really impeded my recovery.
As for insurance, there are many here who've fought that battle with some wins and many losses. Take Care.
__________________
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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  #5  
Old 04-07-2007, 03:57 AM
Judy Judy is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 194
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I am a patient of Dr. Yue and he could not perform my surgery due to FDA and forwarded my imformation to Dr. Bertnagoli. I cannot say enough about both doctors.
I too was back to work part time 6 weeks, fulltime 11 weeks. My outcome was great in the beginning and I always have had numbness in the left thigh since day one.
This numbness after about 3 months turned into pain which gradually overtime has gotten worst. I have now been diagnosed with arachnoditis which there is nothing they can do for but either a spinal chord stimulator or pain management. Still I am at least 60% better than prior to surgery and would do it again. They feel the first doctor in the states that performed my surgery one year prior to ADR did the damage. Did he who knows needless to say I have it and it will never go away.
I can do most of the things I want to do but I may pay for it with higher pains the next day.
I have the upmost respect for both Dr. Yue and Dr. Bertnagoli and if you have any questions feel free to contact me.

Judy
__________________
Surgery Vienna by Dr. Bertagnoli Oct. 16, 2004
ADR L3/4
Fusion L4/5
ADR L5/S1
Diagnosed with Arachnoiditis 11/06
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  #6  
Old 04-10-2007, 10:35 AM
Alastair Alastair is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,391
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Hi Dusty,
it's very difficult to even think about giving you a good answer to this question.

You have got to think about the Doctor who offered you a fusion maybe that was the only thing that he was qualified to do. However there are occasions when a fusion is "best advice", it could be a good idea to get some photographs of your x-rays and e-mail them across to Dr Bertagnoli and also to Dr Zeegers, (do remember that Dr Bertagnoli sometimes operates out of the AlphaKlinik the same as Dr Zeegers). I think Dr Zeegers charges about $56 for an opinion and I'm not sure if Dr Bertagnoli does it for free?

How to photograph your x-rays etc is in the FAQs

A big thing is that you still have all your options open which is really good, get as many opinions as you can before making a commitment.

As you know we can only point you in directions, we are not doctors, and cannot give you medical advice, but that is what I would do at this point in time.
Best,
Alastair
__________________
ADR Munich 26th July 2002 L5/S1. Aged 82 now
Your best asset is your health
My story is here
http://www.adrsupport.org/alastair.html
Thank goodness for Dr Zeegers I am painfree
I am here to help,I live in the UK


I now run the UK spine site and can be contacted at

www.adrsupportuk.com/
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  #7  
Old 04-10-2007, 04:37 PM
kevin bosse kevin bosse is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 33
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HI DUSTY,
ALASTAIR'S COMMENTS ARE RIGHT ON IT IS NOT AN EASY DECISION TO MAKE AS FAR AS WHAT TO DO
I'M A 45 YR OLD MALE AND ALSO NEEDED 3 LEVELS DONE, AND AS YOU WELL KNOW IT IS NOT DONE HERE IN THE STATES I HAD MY SURGERY DONE IN GERMANY AT STENUM HOSPITAL. I WENT THRU HELL TO GET WHERE I AM NOW.IT HAS BEEN 5 MONTHS AND CONTINUE TO MAKE IMPROVEMENT, BUT I DON'T WANT TO SUGAR COAT ANYTHING,IT WAS HARD ON THE WHOLE FAMILY I TOO LIVE IN CONNECTICUT BRISTOL TO BE EXACT IF YOU WOULD LIKE YOU CAN CALL ME OR P.M ME MY HOME # IS 860 5824221 GOOD LUCK IN YOUR DECISION
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  #8  
Old 04-11-2007, 11:14 PM
dusty dusty is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2
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Hi Alastair,
I enjoyed reading your story and I am so delighted to hear about your successful surgery.
I heard that Dr. Zeegers is the best so you made a wonderful choice.

At this point, having no insurance, I am at a standstill. ProDisc has been recommended by my doctor here in Connecticut (USA), Dr. James Yue and also by Dr. Fabian Biton in New York who has an excellent reputation, however, multi-disc replacment (I need 3 replaced) is not done here in the states yet. Insurance companies have been tough since I have this pre-existing condition.

Do you know what insurance companies are accepted by Dr. Zeegers group and the hospital he is affiliated with? I have so many questions, I don't know where to start.

I wish you the best and continue to have fun at your shooter's club. I have a friend here in Connecticut who enjoys the same thing.

I hope to hear from you, Alastair.
Thanks again.

DUSTY
www.saldurso@sbcglobal.net
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  #9  
Old 04-12-2007, 05:45 AM
David David is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 453
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Zeegers:

http://www.alphaklinik.com/en/alphaklinik

Since I am a bit biased...

Bertagnoli:

http://www.netplosiv.de/pro-spine/cms/front_content.php

David
__________________
47 years old
Surgery: 14-NOV-2006; Straubing, Germany (Dr. B.)
L4-S1: Prodisc
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  #10  
Old 04-12-2007, 09:21 AM
annapurna annapurna is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,594
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If you work through the Alpha Klinik to get to Dr. Zeegers, they do not accept any insurance and, in fact, don't know the codes to file insurance claims in the US. That said, they do give you detailed bills that can be translated to English and submitted with your insurance for reimbursement to you.
__________________
Laura - L5S1 Charitee
C5/6 and 6/7 Prodisc C
Facet problems L4-S1
Knee, Shoulder, Toe, Finger, Elbow Problems

Jim - no spine problem but lots of other fun medical challenges

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