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L5-S1 fusion vs ADR

I've faced this question for nearly 4 years now.  A brief reprieve with a discectomy, until I re-herniated 1 year later.  Now I'm coming to a fork in the road, choosing one or the other, and it's agonizing.  I'd love to hear if anyone else has faced this and what was the outcome?


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  • Back in 2003 I was part of a study to get the FDA approval (here in the US)of the prodisc.  The surgery went great, I was jet skiing within 6 weeks.  It saved my life.  Now 16 years later I started having pain again.  The doctor that did the surgery has passed away and one of the doctors in his practice is not a fan of the prodisc. He told me most that get them will end up getting a fusion.  Because of the prodisc most tests are inconclusive, so the only way he can see what is going on is to go in.. But he's giving me a 70% success rate of a fusion, that is not good enough for me.  I've started to get serious about my stretching and exercises and my pain is manageable.  I've always heard if anything is planted in the body, you will eventually have to have it replaced.  I forgot to say I had degenerative disc disease and was told the level above was showing signs of it, so with the replacement it would take the pressure off of that one.  I'm thinking the problem I'm having now is the one above the replacement.   If I didn't have any issues with the levels above or below - I probably wouldn't do a replacement.  I know fusion puts a lot of pressure on the surrounding levels. I know this doesn't give you a solid answer - I had 16 years on no pain, it was a good decision for me. 

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