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  #11  
Old 03-08-2015, 05:03 PM
NJ Gene NJ Gene is offline
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Cynlite,

Here are a few more U.S. doctors you might want to add to your list:

1. Dr Wohns in Seattle
2. Dr. Vikas Patel in Denver.
3. Dr. Blumenthal at TBI in Plano, TX.
4. Dr. Daniel Peterson at Austin Brain and Spine.

They all use the Mobi-C disc. I'm looking at some of the same people myself.

Best of luck to you!!

Gene
__________________
Car Accident 2002 - Small Herniated Disc C3/C4
1998 Larger Herniation and Cervical Fusion C3/C4
2005 Herniation C4/C5 - 40 epidural steroid injections from Oct 2005, - Oct, 2007
2008 - Foraminotomy at C6/C7 on left side
Feb, 2010 - Cervical Fusion C4/C5
Dec, 2010 - Lumbar Fusion L3/L5
2013 - Bulge on C5/C6; herniation C6/C7 right side
Mar 26, 2013 - Foraminotomy at C6/C7 on right side
May 5, 2015 - ADR with Dr Blumenthal of TBI for C5/C6 using Mobi-C
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  #12  
Old 03-08-2015, 10:43 PM
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Cynlite Cynlite is offline
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Thank you for your list of doctors!
__________________
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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  #13  
Old 03-13-2015, 12:11 AM
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Cynlite Cynlite is offline
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Default Calls with the European doctors

NJ Gene, Romakis & AKactivemom, I just wanted to let you know that I spoke to Dr. Bierstedt today and feel very good about the prospects of going to Germany for surgery. I agreed with his diagnosis and am now waiting to see what the surgeon locally has to say in 10 days. He advises that I replace two cervical discs with the M6-C. My levels are C5-C6 and C3-C4. The M6-C is better technology for protecting the facet joints in the long run so, that's something to consider even though the FDA has approved the two level Mobi-C in our country. I also believe the 6 day hospital stay to make sure all went well with the surgery along with the additional 7 day PT program is pretty important to retraining the muscles to help avoid pain from the rest of the body adjusting to the implants. Having gone through two neck surgeries from hell and being on my own at home is not something I want to re-experience. He's done over 1000 of these implants so, I feel comfortable with his experience. I am still in the investigative process but, he's definitely of interest to me at this point.

I also spoke to Dr. Zeegers yesterday from the Netherlands. What a fascinating man! I am considering spending $900 U.S. to have him give me a consult on my condition since my situation is more complex. He led the forefront in ADR surgery and is a high analytic plus, very compassionate person. I believe he is both a neurologist and a neurosurgeon. I still have questions regarding where he does surgery and what his program would involve so, I have an email out to him with some more questions.
Experience ADR | Dr. Willem Zeegers – Artificial Disc Replacement

Anyway, just wanted to give you all an update.

Today sucked with a huge migraine so, I ended up sleeping part of it. I sure am hopeful that surgery will be the answer to this constant day to day struggle with pain. Hope everyone else had a much better day than me! Be well!
__________________
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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  #14  
Old 03-14-2015, 04:44 PM
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Cynlite Cynlite is offline
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I have requested a second opinion from Dr. Zeegers in the Netherlands. His approach is so much more inclusive than any other doctor I have seen that I think it is worth paying for his consultation. (Correction, he is an Orthopedic Surgeon not a Neurosurgeon as I previously posted.) He has requested so much history that in going through everything, I have already discovered things on my reports that I missed and my U.S. doctors did not bring to my attention. Dr. Zeegers has brought up questions that no doctor has ever brought up. This is quite the experience! So far, I have heard that my spinal cord has not been damaged and for that I am very grateful. Perhaps there is a light at the end of this tunnel.

One more week until I finally have my appointment at the Barrow Institute. It will be interesting to see what the surgeon there has to say. I'm really glad that I reached out to the surgeons in Europe because they are so much easier to work with than the U.S. surgeons IMO. Everything is wait, wait, wait here and often no answers unless you get checked into a top notch hospital and have great insurance.

My symptoms continue to get worse so this can not happen fast enough. I spent the last two days in bed with a blinding migraine headache. Unfortunately, I think I'm at least 4 - 6 weeks out from having a surgery so I'll just have to deal with what happens and hope I don't get too much worse before I make a decision on who will operate on me. I sure know I can't wait a year for my insurance company and the appeal process. Perhaps they will have pity on me and approve the two level cervical disc replacement....not holding my breath.
__________________
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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  #15  
Old 03-14-2015, 06:04 PM
NJ Gene NJ Gene is offline
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Cynlite, is Europe still a possibility for you? You say you're at least 6 weeks away from surgery. I got my evaluation from Dr. Bierstedt about 5 days ago. He could accommodate me as early as March 24th. However, I was not impressed with his evaluation. While the M6 and Mobi-C are great devices, they are not for everyone. Ideally it's best to be examined in person. If you can't get examined in person, a detailed remote one like the one you had with Dr. Zeegers sounds the best.
__________________
Car Accident 2002 - Small Herniated Disc C3/C4
1998 Larger Herniation and Cervical Fusion C3/C4
2005 Herniation C4/C5 - 40 epidural steroid injections from Oct 2005, - Oct, 2007
2008 - Foraminotomy at C6/C7 on left side
Feb, 2010 - Cervical Fusion C4/C5
Dec, 2010 - Lumbar Fusion L3/L5
2013 - Bulge on C5/C6; herniation C6/C7 right side
Mar 26, 2013 - Foraminotomy at C6/C7 on right side
May 5, 2015 - ADR with Dr Blumenthal of TBI for C5/C6 using Mobi-C
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  #16  
Old 03-14-2015, 07:43 PM
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Cynlite Cynlite is offline
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Yes, Europe is still a strong possibility for me; however, I have an appt with a US surgeon on the 23rd and I want to see what he has to say.

I spoke to Dr. Bierstedt for about 45 minutes and felt confident in his diagnosis for my surgery. He didn't evaluate me over the phone however. I also spoke to Dr. Zeegers but, we are at the beginning still. I'm in the process of sending him my information which is quite lengthy. He asks a lot of questions and that does build confidence in him.

I'm taking this a day at a time still. I can't leave for another five weeks anyway because I'm waiting for my passport to be renewed. I just know that I am not going to wait for a lengthy fight with my insurance company. I'm in too much pain to wait.

I think the M6-C is one of the best implants on the market. Dr B said it protects the facet joints better. I like the fact that it has titanium end plates. I already have titanium screws in me so I don't have to worry about an issue with the metal.
__________________
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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  #17  
Old 03-18-2015, 03:45 PM
DrewDotNet DrewDotNet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Gene View Post
I got my evaluation from Dr. Bierstedt about 5 days ago. He could accommodate me as early as March 24th. However, I was not impressed with his evaluation. While the M6 and Mobi-C are great devices, they are not for everyone. Ideally it's best to be examined in person. If you can't get examined in person, a detailed remote one like the one you had with Dr. Zeegers sounds the best.
A lot of great thoughts, here.

May I ask what about Dr. B's evaluation didn't impress you?
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32 Years Old
C5-C6: Disc bulge, bone spurs, mild cord compression; Arm/Shoulder Pain, both sides.
L5-S1: Mild disc bulge, managed with physical therapy
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  #18  
Old 03-18-2015, 06:50 PM
NJ Gene NJ Gene is offline
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Posts: 376
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewDotNet View Post
A lot of great thoughts, here.

May I ask what about Dr. B's evaluation didn't impress you?
You can see his evaluation on Post 28 of my thread "Need some suggestions". I did see a U.S. surgeon in Allentown, PA recently who felt that neither the M6 nor Mobi-C would be good for me since I have 2 levels of fusion at C3/C5 and would need the proper device at C5/C6 to stop the domino effect. There's extra pressure at that level because of the adjacent fusion. It's important to know that I also had two minimally invasive procedures at level C6/C7 which I'm having problems with again.

With any artificial disc, there is a risk of autofusion. Bone ultimately grows over and around artificial disc making it worthless. This surgeon felt that ProDisc or Prestige would be best in my case to reduce liklihood of this. He and other (even ones who don't do ADR) surgeons felt a CT Scan was also necessary to get a better look at level C6/C7. Since I have hardware in my neck from the fusion, it can distort some of the MRI images at that level whereas a CT Scan would not.

Dr. Bierstedt felt that no CT Scan was necessary, that when they cut me open they would see what needs to be done at C6/C7 and decide then. They also recommended the M6, which is contrary to what my surgeon said here. I felt my surgeon had good reason not to recommend M6 nor Mobi-C. I get the impression that ONZ has the attitude "M6 fits all."

I don't want to knock Dr. Bierstedt nor the M6. Many patients (quite a few on this board) have done well with him. Note that what I'm about to say has anything to do with Dr. Bierstedt or his medical team, but about his U.S. liaisons. In my opinion they are clowns. Several of them are former patients/employees of Dr. Ritter-Lang, who has a very bad reputation on this forum. These people will not volunteer any of this info. Kelli was a former patient of Ritter-Lang who happened to be "lucky". Malte was a former employee or Ritter-Lang as well. I don't know if Ken was associated with him.

The final straw in his evaluation was saying that he gives me no assurance that 2 level ADR with M6 will help existing symptoms at that C6/C7 level. However he recommends I get this anyway to preserve motion and prevent further damage.

I hope I haven't bored you to death.

Gene
__________________
Car Accident 2002 - Small Herniated Disc C3/C4
1998 Larger Herniation and Cervical Fusion C3/C4
2005 Herniation C4/C5 - 40 epidural steroid injections from Oct 2005, - Oct, 2007
2008 - Foraminotomy at C6/C7 on left side
Feb, 2010 - Cervical Fusion C4/C5
Dec, 2010 - Lumbar Fusion L3/L5
2013 - Bulge on C5/C6; herniation C6/C7 right side
Mar 26, 2013 - Foraminotomy at C6/C7 on right side
May 5, 2015 - ADR with Dr Blumenthal of TBI for C5/C6 using Mobi-C
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  #19  
Old 03-18-2015, 10:53 PM
Stonewall_Boris Stonewall_Boris is offline
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Posts: 547
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Hi NJ,

Yes I knew that Dr Bierstedt and Malte had connections with R-L. And that they had a fundamently disagreement with their practices. BTW Dr. Clavel also had connections with R-L.

I went with Dr. Biersted based upon a number of factors.

BTW ... If you can find a doctor that will guarantee success of your back surgery GO WITH IT!

They offer no guarantees.

http://www.germandiscreplacement.com/
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  #20  
Old 03-19-2015, 07:01 AM
NJ Gene NJ Gene is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 376
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Boris,

I know there are no guarantees. However, they are telling me flat out that they have doubts about surgery helping me with my current symptoms. Yet, they're suggesting surgery anyway to prevent my issues from getting worse.

Gene
__________________
Car Accident 2002 - Small Herniated Disc C3/C4
1998 Larger Herniation and Cervical Fusion C3/C4
2005 Herniation C4/C5 - 40 epidural steroid injections from Oct 2005, - Oct, 2007
2008 - Foraminotomy at C6/C7 on left side
Feb, 2010 - Cervical Fusion C4/C5
Dec, 2010 - Lumbar Fusion L3/L5
2013 - Bulge on C5/C6; herniation C6/C7 right side
Mar 26, 2013 - Foraminotomy at C6/C7 on right side
May 5, 2015 - ADR with Dr Blumenthal of TBI for C5/C6 using Mobi-C

Last edited by NJ Gene; 03-19-2015 at 09:55 AM.
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