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Surgery or medication?

13

Comments

  • My doc recommended the ADR for me but was pretty sure he wouldn't be able to fit it in (he couldn't). So I had a fusion at L5/S1. He was one of the trial docs for the Charite and he said the "data sucked" on the Charite. Apparently, they had a lead wire or something that stuck out and was really hurting people. He said the ProDisc is the real deal. He told me that I did well by waiting 6 years--so the technology would improve, and it did improve--I gained BMP and a more minimally invasive approach. I also gained ProDisc--although, I didn't use it. However, my doc said waiting any longer would not help me much--in other words, there are not any big break throughs on the horizon according to him. He told me he personally was going to have the L5/S1 fusion and the ADR with the ProDisc at the next level. However, he hasn't done it yet and I will believe it when I see it. It does cause you pause that three of the docs I saw have major back issues--even worse then mine--and yet they have elected not to have surgery yet because they know firsthand how bad these surgeries are.

    I feel that a person should be practically disabled before they have a fusion or ADR. I know in my case, I didn't like having pain every day of my life--some days worse then others. However, we all get older and our parts wear out. Today, I am 6 weeks out and I am still not happy I had this surgery. If I could go back and un-do it, would it? I don't know--because there is the other side--it is done, the implant is in, the bone is hopefully growing, and maybe, just maybe, I will have less pain in the future. It's a tough decision.

    Chuck
  • When I lost my quality of life and was terribly depressed I knew something had to be done. My Dr also said to wait as long as you can because technology was improving in the spine area. I waited 7 years and the last year I fought with my insurance company for a 2 level ADR and was turned down at every stage of my appeals process. My Dr said he could get my quality of life back with a 2 level fusion and leave my L3-L4 disk alone since it wasn't causing any pain yet. I was sick of taking so many narcotics daily to get by working. I now am almost 11 months post op and feel 100% better and can now do things with my family again instead of laying around all day long. It is a painful surgery and a slow recovery but I would do it again in a heart beat.

    Keith
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  • I made my decision to have surgery twice based on trying to fix the problems. I feel in hindsight that I was a little naive about back surgery. I believed in what I was told, regarding recovery time. I was hoping I'd be on my feet and feeling better than I did prior to either surgeries but things haven't work out. Now I wonder what else is there to do and is it viable for me.
  • My boyfriend's uncle used to work for a company that sells parts for surgery (all instrumentation used for spine surgery and even for things like knee replacements and other "replacement" surgeries). Something he told me is that artificial discs are not researched or advanced enough to be using yet. There's lots of complications and many have to have surgery again to correct the issues. I was highly recommended against it. I even asked my surgeon about it and he explained basically the same reasons as to why their practice isn't using that method and sticks to PILF/TLIF/ALIF for fusions. I'm going to be having a two level fusion - ALIF with PLIF instrumentation. Took me a while to be comfortable with it, but I'm also lucky enough to have all of it be covered. I would definitely get a second or third opinion about this! I really think that disc replacement isn't advanced enough yet. That's just my opinion, but I've heard it echoed from others as well.
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