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The Big File All issues not easily categorized in the above forums are here. Comments on general health, diet, "getting comfortable," and more are here.


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  #1  
Old 01-18-2006, 02:00 PM
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Hello,

I came across this site while running a search and I must say that it truly is a gem. Very informative and it has some very active forums. Very happy I found this support group.

I recently was a candidate for single level ADR but found to be ineligible because my discogram was confirmed to be positive for 2 levels. Thus the only surgical option I was given was a fusion, which I "DO NOT WANT". I'm still in my 20's with small children I do not want to have to be back in the shop in another 10-12 years (or less) for followup work as I feel according to the various studies and testimonies ADR gives me my best chance to resume some semblance of a normal life.

At any rate my injury is in the domain of WC and my employer has asked about the possiblity of settlement and my attorney is asking for my feelings on a number to bring to the mediation.

It was explained to me by the attorney that it has been his experience that WC insurance companies are very unlikely to pay for any experiment surgeries, i.e. ADR, but I "DO NOT WANT A FUSION".

I know multi-level ADR hasn't been approved in the United States and we can't be sure of any time line as to when it maybe be approved. But I'm willing to suffer a bit longer if I can structure enough money into the settlement to pay for the cost of surgery when it because available. *sigh*

Its a very complicated situation probably just like the rest of your all's own situations. My attorney's estimator came of with a figure of 90k USD for a 2-level ADR surgery. For anyone who has had or is prospecting the idea of a 2-level ADR (L5-S1, L4-L5) does this sound reasonable???

Thank you in advance for any advice!

Feel free to contact me via email if you or uneasy about publicly discussing numbers

ezekiel@ec.rr.com
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  #2  
Old 01-18-2006, 03:17 PM
letteski letteski is offline
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ezekiel,

Welcome to the club/forum and I hope you find all the info you need make the right decision for your life and your family.

My 1 level was around 40K before the insurance kicked in. I know the disc it self went for 6,000. The rest was hospital and doctor fees.

It is well known that the cost in Germany is much more reasonable and you get a more experienced doctor for your money. May be something to look into.

Good Luck
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Paulette
ProDisc L5-S1 W/Dr Delamarter Aug 23, 2005
L5-S1 DDD Diagnosis 12/04
T-12 Compression Fracture 10/04
C-7 Spines Process Fracture 5/99
http://prodisc2.blogspot.com/
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  #3  
Old 01-18-2006, 03:19 PM
JeffreyD JeffreyD is offline
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Probably 1/2 that amount and all-inclusive if done in Germany.

-Jeff
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15+ years back pain w/ advancing disc degeneration.
2002-2 level lumbar IDET w/ Nucleoplasty (very unsuccessful; huge setback)
Three level lumbar Charite (L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1) with Dr. Zeegers in Munich, Germany: 2/25/05 (successful)
Two level cervical Mobi-C (C5/6, C6/7) with Dr. Zeegers (successful)
Laser Facet Coagulation (left side: L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1 & sacral) with Prof. Dr. Reul (significant reduction in remnant lumbar & sacral pain)
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  #4  
Old 01-18-2006, 03:21 PM
Alastair Alastair is offline
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Hi Ezeikiel,
the first of all let's get down to basic fact is that ADR is not experimental worldwide, at the moment it is just the USA that has been on the go for two to three years.

ADR has been in Europe since 1989, and has been extremely successful. I would think that you could go across to Europe and get a 2 level done by the world's most experienced surgeons for well under $90,000 and have change to come back and buy yourself a new truck may be.

I live in the UK but there are plenty of your fellow countrymen that have been to Europe and had 2 level ADR -- -- -- just keep looking at people's personal signatures at the bottom of their postings.

Welcome to the site
Best,
Alastair
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ADR Munich 26th July 2002 L5/S1. Aged 82 now
Your best asset is your health
My story is here
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Thank goodness for Dr Zeegers I am painfree
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  #5  
Old 01-18-2006, 05:00 PM
annapurna annapurna is offline
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Ezekiel,

The AlphaKlinik, where I had my single-level L5/S1 ADR with Dr. Zeegers is currently charging 19,000 euros for a single-level ADR. From what I've heard, additional levels do not necessarily double the cost, so, if you went there, you'd be looking at around 38,000 euros MAX. Given the current exchange rates, that would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 46,000 US dollars. I would imagine that Dr. Bertagnoli would be charging something in the same neighborhood. I've currently paid for two ADR's out-of-pocket and, despite the fact that I have continued pain issues, feel that it was the best decision I could have made. I am still able to work (albeit with some pain med's). I paid myself back for my investment with my first three month's back at work (an that doesn't count the tax deductions). If worker's comp will give a generous settlement, that might really help too.

Before you make any drastic decisions, you might want to be evaluated by a good ADR doc and make sure ADR will help you before you settle with WC in anticipation of going overseas for ADR.

Best,
Laura
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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

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  #6  
Old 01-18-2006, 06:38 PM
mmglobal mmglobal is offline
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The incremental cost for adding levels at the AlphaKlinik or Pro-Spine is 3-4k Euros.

My 2-level ADR 3.5 years ago at the AlphaKlinik was 22k Euros.

Mark
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  #7  
Old 01-18-2006, 06:58 PM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
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ezekiel -- welcome!

Roughly $34k a level in the US (on average), including the (Charite') disc and professional services.

PS: Put your email in your profile, not in the message. That way, the spambots won't get you....
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  #8  
Old 01-18-2006, 07:10 PM
djscal djscal is offline
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Ezekiel,

The costs are all over the map. My surgery (single level) was billed at about $105,000. Cedars Sinai hospital (charged about 90k out of the 105k total) only received about $30,000 as that was the contracted rate with my insurance company. And the surgeons will get anywhere from $8k to $15k depending on who pays what on top of the $30k. So the negotiated cost of my surgery will be roughly $40k-$45k.

Cedars does NOT negotiate rates with individuals. So even though an insurance company will only have to pay them $30k, if you are on your own you would have to pay them the full rate of $90k (nice huh?). My surgeons also did a similar thing, although we made a financial agreement as a safety measure in case the insurance company wouldn't cough up.

So, as you see the prices can be very high or reasonable depending on which hospital you go to, if they are negotiable, which surgeon you go to and if they are negotiable as well. It never hurts to ask for a discount...

Dan
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  #9  
Old 01-18-2006, 10:29 PM
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Wow! Thank you all for you quick responses. I wasn't thinking I would hear anything back so quickly!

I'm also blown away by the cost of ADR stateside versus going overseas. Whenever FDA gets around approving multi-level ADR according to above and what I have found/heard elsewhere 90k USD probably won't be enough because my current insurance doesn't cover single level ADR and all expenses will be out of pocket having to come from a structured WC settlement; if and when that ever comes to. The surgeons performing the procedure will be qualified but I feel pretty comfortable in saying that compared to european ortho-surgeons that can't compare.

Maybe 34k USD (only a guess) to go abroad to Munich to have a 2 level ADR seems to be the ticket. Especially if I can have it now and not have to wait for the FDA to get their thumbs out of their ...

I suppose the pro of having it done stateside is that if for some reason I had complications I wouldn't have to travel abroad but then again I'm sure Dr. Zeegers has some colleagues stateside he would feel more than comfortable referring someone to in the event I was unable to travel overseas?

It just seems like a no brainer to get it done NOW, and not delay any longer like I thought I was going to have to do because of the FDA. Am I missing something? Is there a huge drawback to traveling to lets say Germany and having the procedure done there versus waiting another 2-3 years for multi-level ADR here in the States?

Thanks again.
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  #10  
Old 01-19-2006, 04:46 AM
Alastair Alastair is offline
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If you can wait for two to three years, for your surgery then do so. Surgery really is for those who cannot wait because they are in too much pain.
Best,
Alastair
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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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