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ADR causes instability and more pain

Renos64RRenos64 Posts: 76
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Does anyboy have experience that an ADR at L4L5 causes total instability of the lumbar spine and causes severe and more pain? It happen to me and the ADR had to be removed and replaced by a cage/fusion. Also this cage has not fused well and I have to have revision surgery.
If I will advice to do ADR or not? Don't do it!! I have heard a lot of terrible stories of people and where the ADR have to be removed by a riskfull revision surgery.

Regards, Renos.

45 years male, married, 3 sons, living in Europe. No work possible since 2005.
Jun.2003, Chronical pain back, botton, leg, foot right side
Nov.2005, ADR L4L5 with no result and extra pain left side
Febr.2006, Posterial fusion L5S1, Right side pain resolved but left pain worse.
Aug.2006, Anterial fusion L4L4S1, no result but worse.
Febr.2007, removal ADR posterial and placement of cage L4L5, no result.



  • Renos- I do believe that ADRs aren't for everyone. And your Dr should determine that with several test. There are great success with both ADR and fusion.
    You posted that your fusion has not fused. Was there any test done for bone density or facet joint strength? The ADR caused total instability. Was it the wrong size? Was it placed wrong? What did your Dr tell you caused the instability?
    I just want to know because I am looking into getting an ADR over fusion due to my age.
  • Hi gla_gua,
    You are right, I to have heard, great stories from patients who got an ADR, but also with fusions. When a fusion go wrong they can do a revision. But when a ADT go wrong, it is almost not possible or very, very, difficult to fix it. I had a revision surgery and it almost cost my life due to raptorted (damaged) vene during the revision. Due to all scartissue in that area. Even now I had the ADR removed and replaced by a big cage and this is still not fused well because of the necessay size. My surgery told me that the ADR caused a great mess.
    My point is a ADR is very good when it went well, but if you have a problem with the ADR you have a very big problem. Believe me, I have been there!! And I am not the only one. Then a lot of problems will occur after 4 to 12 years, with the same risks during revision. It your decision and your body (and not the Dr.'s body), I yust want to warn everbody. A ADR surgeon will never point out exacly all the risks. Especially these risks.
    Take care, Renos
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  • Hi Gla_glua,
    You asked me:"You posted that your fusion has not fused. Was there any test done for bone density or facet joint strength?" Bone density was very good and facet joint also.

    "The ADR caused total instability. Was it the wrong size?"
    Size was perfect, there are serveral sizes.
    "Was it placed wrong?" Yes it was placed a little bit out of the center of the spine, but this was not the cause of the problems. The cause was, that the metal plates of the ADR was not grown fixed to the vertebra's. When I had have my revision my surgeon told me that my total spine was instable due to the ADR because all the ligaments are cut away.

    Oke an ADR can also result in an excellent outcome but the placement and reactions are so fragile. But if anything go wrong (which can always the case, everbody is different) you have an very very big problem, which can almost not be resolved without danger. In Holland where I live, this procedure is even not done due to the danger.

    Succes, Renos
  • Before my fusion I did all the research on ADR's and have to admit, if my insurance covered it and my surgeon did it (Both NO's) I would have gotten it done. I would have taken the chance.

    And then I would have read this and S*** myself!

    I hope everything works out for you! Really!
  • Hi NJ Shamrock,
    Thanks. Yes, I did to my research and even read all the FDA trails and they reported even failures, but the did not tell about the danger of a failed ADR. And how the revision has been caried out. I read also failed ADR stories when I had mine ADR and I also scared the S***, but then this thing was already in my body. I am glad to get rid of this device now.
    I don't want to scare everybody but just warn! Be carefull!!

    How is it now after your fusion? When was is done? I hope it went well for you

    Regards, renos.
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  • And I feel prety good. A LOT better than expected. I have the normal upper back muscle issues but they are not to bad and go away when I walk. I am actually not taking any meds at this point except for a tylenol when needed (About two or three a day) and plan on keeping this up (I hope).

    If the additional things I am experiencing like the heavyness in the "Other" arm are related to the surgery than I will be thrilled.

    Hope all goes well with you!
  • My ns does not like adr at L4/5 since they don't line up very well. If you look at an xray or mri L5 is on an angle and L4 is more upright. He chooses to fuse mine but will install adr at L3/4.

    Good luck...
  • I am very sorry for the trouble you have experienced. From the research I've done, ADR works quite well in the cervical spine, but not so much in the lumbar. My surgeon wouldn't even consider it for that reason. Although, everyone is different, and heal differently from various procedures, I have seen studies which show lumber ADR isn't indicated. This back stuff sucks.
  • Hi Nancy,
    I am glad that people like you, are critical and do not accept all the positive talks about ADR. Bare in mind, there is no way back or the way is very dangeous. It cost me almost my life!! I just want to point people to think twice.
    I have heard also from my Neurosurgeon that he did already 30 removals of ADR, placed by others, at people who went very good the first years, but after 4 to 12 years wear occur and this causes infections due to the wear particles in the body. Also he say a lot of instability and facet joints problems. All the revisions were very difficult and critical and had to be done with assistance of a vene-surgeon.

    Regards, Renos
  • Hi khumph,
    Why not do fusion as well at L3L4? When fusion is go wrong you can revise it. Please ask your surgeon what to do when it is going not well? Can he do also removal of ADR? And what the costs are then? If he can not do it you have to look for a surgeon who want to do this procedure but they are very hard to find.
    I too had done a lot of research and red also failures with ADR but I thought that it would not will happen to me. Wrong, it happened to me and I wish my greatest enemy with this problem.

    Regards, Renos.

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