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  #1  
Old 03-06-2015, 12:16 PM
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Cynlite Cynlite is offline
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Default Germany & Dr. Bierstedt for Cervical ADR?

I'm a 50 plus year old female and have been in pain for 9 years now. I have tried many ways to get my health and life back. My surgeries are all listed below. I lost a thriving career, all my sports and my social life. I'm sadly on disability now. All of this is the result of three car accidents when I was younger and time taking its toll. I used to be an avid water and snow skier too so, I'm sure a few well placed falls didn't help my situation either. I was very active and traveled a lot until my neck slowed me down. I spend most of my time at home now trying to manage pain. In the last three months I've been losing the ability to walk and stand again so, I have been SLOWLY moving my way through the U.S. medical system and finally have an appointment with a top surgeon at the Barrow Institute on 3/23/15. I already anticipate that my health insurance will turn me down and demand that I have fusion. I know I'll have a long appeals process in hopes of getting them to approve the ADR surgery. I expect to find out that I need 2 to 3 levels fixed because the surgeons wanted to fuse two levels back in 2007. If it's 3 levels, well, that isn't going to happen in the U.S.

I am really leaning towards the M6-C disc which is still in Trials here in the U.S. I tried to get in but, my prior surgeries disqualified me. So, after reviewing much information on this site (thank you everyone for your contributions!!!), I've been in contact with Dr. Bierstedt's office (Malte has been great so thanks for steering me his direction) and also Dr. Bertagnoli's office (both German surgeons.) I'm waiting to hear back from Dr. Bierstedt regarding my prognosis. I'm really leaning towards Dr. Bierstedt and have only had an initial contact with Dr. Bertagnoli's U.S. liaison. The other surgeon that caught my attention was Dr. Clavel but, it seemed like there were some questions about his practice. I can't remember exactly so, will need to go back and research him again. Anyway, if anyone has any information, suggestions or experience to contribute in helping me figure out this puzzle, I sure would appreciate it! I'm trying to make a decision asap before I do irreversible damage to my spinal cord. The changes in my symptoms the last three months have me pretty rattled. Thanks so much!
__________________
2006: epidural shots did nothing; 2 surgeons recommended 2 level fusion, I declined.
2007 - 2010 4 foraminotomy and cord decompression cervical surgeries and 2 endoscopic discectomy T7-T8 surgeries; total 6 with Dr. Jho (Pittsburgh,PA) My C6/C7 autofused around 2009.
2013 - 2015: epidurals 3 times (again did nothing) and 4 Radiofrequency ablation (or RFA) procedures.
2016 more RFAs, hit the 10 year mark of this insanity and pain, 3 level M6-C ADR with Dr. Clavel May 19, 2016

Last edited by Cynlite; 03-09-2015 at 02:02 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2015, 02:14 PM
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Romakis Romakis is offline
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Default

Hello and Welcome,

There are some questions you can find on the web about Dr. Bierstedt as well, but Dr. Clavel seems to have a very solid reputation. I personally found many more negative references about Dr. Bertagnoli. I have personally narrowed my selection to two: Dr. Bierstedt and Dr. Clavel. This is my 5c only.
__________________
46yo, DDD of L4-S1. Microdiscectomy L5-L4 in 2014. L4-L5-S1 M6 ADR with Dr. Clavel - June 2015.
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  #3  
Old 03-06-2015, 03:19 PM
Karger Karger is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynlite View Post
I'm a 55 year old female and have been in pain for 9 years now. I have tried many ways to get my health and life back. My surgeries are all listed below. I lost a thriving career in finance, all my sports and my social life. I'm sadly on disability now. All of this is the result of three car accidents when I was younger and time taking its toll. I used to be an avid water and snow skier too so, I'm sure a few well place falls didn't help my situation either. I was very active and traveled a lot until my neck slowed me down. I spend most of my time at home now trying to manage pain. In the last three months I've been losing the ability to walk and stand again so, I have been SLOWLY moving my way through the U.S. medical system and finally have an appointment with a top surgeon at the Barrow Institute on 3/23/15. I already anticipate that my health insurance will turn me down and demand that I have fusion. I know I'll have a long appeals process in hopes of getting them to approve the ADR surgery. I expect to find out that I need 2 to 3 levels fixed because the surgeons wanted to fuse two levels back in 2007. If it's 3 levels, well, that isn't going to happen in the U.S.

I am really leaning towards the M6-C disc which is still in Trials here in the U.S. I tried to get in but, my prior surgeries disqualified me. So, after reviewing much information on this site (thank you everyone for your contributions!!!), I've been in contact with Dr. Bierstedt's office (Malte has been great so thanks for steering me his direction) and also Dr. Bertagnoli's office (both German surgeons.) I'm waiting to hear back from Dr. Bierstedt regarding my prognosis. I'm really leaning towards Dr. Bierstedt and have only had an initial contact with Dr. Bertagnoli's U.S. liaison. The other surgeon that caught my attention was Dr. Clavel but, it seemed like there were some questions about his practice. I can't remember exactly so, will need to go back and research him again. Anyway, if anyone has any information, suggestions or experience to contribute in helping me figure out this puzzle, I sure would appreciate it! I'm trying to make a decision asap before I do irreversible damage to my spinal cord. The changes in my symptoms the last three months have me pretty rattled. Thanks so much!
If you need a 3rd option. Dr Zeegers (also in germany) is really good.

Dr. Willem Zeegers – Artificial Disc Replacement | World pioneer in treating back and neck pain

Cheers,

Karger
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  #4  
Old 03-06-2015, 07:45 PM
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Cynlite Cynlite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romakis View Post
Hello and Welcome,

There are some questions you can find on the web about Dr. Bierstedt as well, but Dr. Clavel seems to have a very solid reputation. I personally found many more negative references about Dr. Bertagnoli. I have personally narrowed my selection to two: Dr. Bierstedt and Dr. Clavel. This is my 5c only.
Thank you so much for your input!
__________________
2006: epidural shots did nothing; 2 surgeons recommended 2 level fusion, I declined.
2007 - 2010 4 foraminotomy and cord decompression cervical surgeries and 2 endoscopic discectomy T7-T8 surgeries; total 6 with Dr. Jho (Pittsburgh,PA) My C6/C7 autofused around 2009.
2013 - 2015: epidurals 3 times (again did nothing) and 4 Radiofrequency ablation (or RFA) procedures.
2016 more RFAs, hit the 10 year mark of this insanity and pain, 3 level M6-C ADR with Dr. Clavel May 19, 2016
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  #5  
Old 03-06-2015, 07:46 PM
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Cynlite Cynlite is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2015
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karger View Post
If you need a 3rd option. Dr Zeegers (also in germany) is really good.

Dr. Willem Zeegers – Artificial Disc Replacement | World pioneer in treating back and neck pain

Cheers,

Karger
Thanks for the link! I'll look into him.
__________________
2006: epidural shots did nothing; 2 surgeons recommended 2 level fusion, I declined.
2007 - 2010 4 foraminotomy and cord decompression cervical surgeries and 2 endoscopic discectomy T7-T8 surgeries; total 6 with Dr. Jho (Pittsburgh,PA) My C6/C7 autofused around 2009.
2013 - 2015: epidurals 3 times (again did nothing) and 4 Radiofrequency ablation (or RFA) procedures.
2016 more RFAs, hit the 10 year mark of this insanity and pain, 3 level M6-C ADR with Dr. Clavel May 19, 2016
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  #6  
Old 03-07-2015, 09:40 PM
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Cynlite Cynlite is offline
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Posts: 666
Default Second Guessing my appointment at Barrow Institute

It was such a pain getting the darn appointment. It took several weeks for the surgeon to review my file and accept me as a patient. I picked the surgeon based on his great reviews locally and because he does ADR. Since then and lots of hours of research coming up the learning curve, I have learned that the Mobi-C is a better disc than the Pro-Disc and there is only one surgeon at Barrow listed on the Mobi-C site. It's not the one I have my appointment with on the 23rd! So, I think I should call on Monday and may have to start the process over again which is just going to delay me further. I also found out since I scheduled with the one surgeon that if I want to see another surgeon at the Barrow Institute, HE would have to refer me over so getting a 2nd opinion at Barrow is probably not going to work out and 1/2 the neurosurgeons in my network work for Barrow. Talk about having all my eggs in one basket. Hopefully, by some miracle, the surgeon I have the appointment with is familiar with and uses the Mobi-C! Hopefully, I can find that out Monday.

I wish my introductory post hadn't been moved from New Member to the International Assistance category because I'm looking at both options, the U.S. and internationally! Do I need to start a new post elsewhere or continue this thread? I'm not sure how things work around here.

Reading all the posts from people that have had unsuccessful ADR surgery also has me a bit rattled. I'm wondering if I'm expecting too much from neck surgery again. I had all but given up hope of ever having a normal life until I learned about ADR as an option. It just seems like having a fusion surgery would make things worse. It just feels wrong to me and barbaric. I know that the odds of getting back to my old life back 100% are unlikely but, is 80% being too optimistic? Frustrated tonight Is vocalizing my frustrations allowed here?
__________________
2006: epidural shots did nothing; 2 surgeons recommended 2 level fusion, I declined.
2007 - 2010 4 foraminotomy and cord decompression cervical surgeries and 2 endoscopic discectomy T7-T8 surgeries; total 6 with Dr. Jho (Pittsburgh,PA) My C6/C7 autofused around 2009.
2013 - 2015: epidurals 3 times (again did nothing) and 4 Radiofrequency ablation (or RFA) procedures.
2016 more RFAs, hit the 10 year mark of this insanity and pain, 3 level M6-C ADR with Dr. Clavel May 19, 2016
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  #7  
Old 03-08-2015, 01:49 PM
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Cynlite Cynlite is offline
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Default FYI Romakis

Not quite sure how to link people into threads yet. I just posted some information you might be interested in reading.

https://www.adrsupport.org/forums/f6...45/#post109613


Note to information in post above: I believe that surgery in the UK will be more expensive than Germany or Spain so, Dr. Dare will fall to the bottom of my list. He took over some of the patients for Dr. Nick Boeree who sadly passed in 2011 and was considered one of UK's finest.
__________________
2006: epidural shots did nothing; 2 surgeons recommended 2 level fusion, I declined.
2007 - 2010 4 foraminotomy and cord decompression cervical surgeries and 2 endoscopic discectomy T7-T8 surgeries; total 6 with Dr. Jho (Pittsburgh,PA) My C6/C7 autofused around 2009.
2013 - 2015: epidurals 3 times (again did nothing) and 4 Radiofrequency ablation (or RFA) procedures.
2016 more RFAs, hit the 10 year mark of this insanity and pain, 3 level M6-C ADR with Dr. Clavel May 19, 2016
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  #8  
Old 03-08-2015, 01:58 PM
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Romakis Romakis is offline
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Default

Venting frustrations is allowed I hope . May I ask which levels you have a problem with?
__________________
46yo, DDD of L4-S1. Microdiscectomy L5-L4 in 2014. L4-L5-S1 M6 ADR with Dr. Clavel - June 2015.
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  #9  
Old 03-08-2015, 02:46 PM
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Cynlite Cynlite is offline
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Posts: 666
Default Multi Level Breakdown

Ya, last night wasn't good for me emotionally so, I just vented online. It doesn't happen too often. The steroid shots I got jabbed with the day before to release the muscle spasms covering my whole neck and back were getting to me. I'm all better now I think the spasms are releasing. I'll see if they rear their uglies when I start trying to get things done today.

To answer your question, I think the only place I don't have issues it C2-C3. I have narrowing at C3-C4 with a 2.4mm osteophyte; a broad based bulge at C4-C5; a 4.5mm osteophyte at C5-C6 and the coup de grace at C6-C7 is an auto fusion after two foraminotomy surgeries to fix that level. I haven't seen a surgeon lately but, I'm pretty sure multi-level something is in my future.

Fortunately, my Lumbar spine is normal for my age last I checked and my thoracic spine is not that bad although the surgeon poked around there thinking he could fix my leg problems. He didn't. I haven't had recent MRI's of either. The last were in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
__________________
2006: epidural shots did nothing; 2 surgeons recommended 2 level fusion, I declined.
2007 - 2010 4 foraminotomy and cord decompression cervical surgeries and 2 endoscopic discectomy T7-T8 surgeries; total 6 with Dr. Jho (Pittsburgh,PA) My C6/C7 autofused around 2009.
2013 - 2015: epidurals 3 times (again did nothing) and 4 Radiofrequency ablation (or RFA) procedures.
2016 more RFAs, hit the 10 year mark of this insanity and pain, 3 level M6-C ADR with Dr. Clavel May 19, 2016
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  #10  
Old 03-08-2015, 03:22 PM
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Cynlite Cynlite is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 666
Default My prospective surgeon list to date

Surgeon List:
  1. Dr. Randall Porter at Barrow Institute; apt. 3/23/15 - US; or change this week to Dr. Francisco Ponce (Mobi-C Training) also at Barrow Institute in Phoenix
  2. Arizona Brain & Spine (heard nothing back yet)
  3. Dr. Bierstedt - Germany (ONZ Spine); full package delivered, waiting for response
  4. Dr. Clavel (Barcelona Spain Institute)
  5. Dr. Willem Zeegers - Germany
  6. Dr. Chris Dare - UK (More expensive than Germany or Spain)
__________________
2006: epidural shots did nothing; 2 surgeons recommended 2 level fusion, I declined.
2007 - 2010 4 foraminotomy and cord decompression cervical surgeries and 2 endoscopic discectomy T7-T8 surgeries; total 6 with Dr. Jho (Pittsburgh,PA) My C6/C7 autofused around 2009.
2013 - 2015: epidurals 3 times (again did nothing) and 4 Radiofrequency ablation (or RFA) procedures.
2016 more RFAs, hit the 10 year mark of this insanity and pain, 3 level M6-C ADR with Dr. Clavel May 19, 2016
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