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L5-S1 total disc replacement



  • Hello,

    I had ADR and Fusion in May 2009. The pain is definatly less than before surgery. I am almost 1yr out and I still have pain which was made very clear by my doctor before surgery. This was not a cure for me but to improve my quality of life which it has. For me, I will never be pain free because I have a significate amount of nerve damage in both legs. Its still early for you and it can take up to 2yrs for you to see a real difference.I am surpised that your doc has you doing so much right after surgery? Im 1 yr out and my doc is only letting me walk and ride a stationary bike.Doc says he doesnt want me doing anything than requires weights over 5 lbs. If your doing a lot of exercise try scaling back to see if it reduces your pain. When I push and do something extra, I pay. Your talking to the step-arobic queen so Im use to pushing boundries. I dont like it when people say I cant do things! Doc argues with me and says its not that you cant, you shouldnt!!!!!
  • Boy, I sure wish you could've avoided the nerve damage and been able to feel the true benefits of the surgery. How come it took so long (7 yrs) to finally have surgery to correct the nerve compression?

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  • sc7891 said:

    I was just wondering if anyone has had this surgery and how they found the recovery? I am 10 weeks post-op and still in a lot of pain.

    I'm new here, have written on the newbies part of the forum but just as a recap- chronic pain for 6 years, nothing in particular happened to start the back pain such as an accident or anything. Had numerous amount of physio, MRI revealed tear in L4-L5 underwent IDET- unsuccessful. A year after that had Wallis Stabilization Implant at that level, seemed to work- stopped all sciatica at least, although still in pain every day. Last year pain worsened again, sciatica returned. MRI revealed problems with L5-S1 disc. Discogram to determine origin of pain whether l4-l5 or l5-s1. Doctors said it was l5-s1, became a candidate for total disc replacement, which I had 10 weeks ago. Taking regular pain killers and in constant pain, on a physiotherapy regime.

    Just wondered what other people's experiences were post-op of disc replacement? And how you are getting on now?

  • I am 4 weeks post-op of pro dic L total disc replacement to L5-S1. This is my 2nd back surgery w/in 7 months. My insurance company denied me 3 times to have a spinal fusion done due to having DDD (dengerative disc disease). However, it was approved to have microdiscectomy - removing bone spurs that were pressing on nerve roots. After that surgery, my condition never got better, I was still in a lot of pain. My L5-S1 disc were pressed on top of one another (no cushioning left in between), therefore, it was causing a lot of inflammation & discomfort whenever I would sit long periods of time, stand, bend, twist, squat, and even walk. No matter what, shooting pain was an issue and I was desperate to get it to stop. I went to a different surgeon who stated I was the perfect candidate to having an artifical disc replacement. It all sounded good to me. The medical office said that my insurance company approved it. I was amazed, after having such a difficult time before getting the spinal fusion approved, I couldn't believe it was going this smoothly. The ball was finally rolling to my favor. I was immediately scheduled for the surgery within the next week! The night before my surgery, July 4, 2011, I was notified that there was a mistake and my insurance company was denying the pro-disc L implant due to having DDD and there was not enough studies to prove that this type of surgery works. I was left with the decision to have the surgery anyway & appeal it afterwards or try to appeal it first & re-schedule the surgery. I had already been approved for FMLA, taken off work, got my short-term disablility started and was anxious to have a surgery that was supposed to cure/put to ease all of my chronic back pain. I opted to continue w/surgery & deal w/insurance company afterwards. "One day" after my operation, as I was high as a kite on morphine injections, laying in my hospital bed when in walks into my room adminstrations telling me that my insurance company has denied paying anything that was related to the back surgery and they were changing my account to self-pay. They asked me if I could pay them anything right then. My husband became furious with them for asking me this while I was medicated & laying/recovering in the hospital. He told the guy that he knew he was only trying to do his job but we will wait until the bill comes in & begin the appeal process. I will be 4 weeks post-op tomorrow (8/2/11) and will have my first follow up appointment with my surgeon this week. I am anxious to speak to him about my recovery. I would have thought, by now, I would feel 110% better than what I do. I am still in lots of pain & popping pain killers like tic tacs. I can't help but wonder if I am ever going to get better & ontime for me to return to work. I am afraid that I will end up losing my office job if I don't re-cooperate soon. I am running out of time & ideas of how to speed this process up. What is the average time that it takes to recover from this type of surgery? People react strangely to me when they ask how I feel and ask if the surgery worked...I respond that I am still having a lot of pain and still not sure if it worked yet...that I don't feel like I have improved much at all. Please give me some insight on when to expect positive results from this.



    P.S. I got one bill in from the surgery, itself, and it was $3,000. I dread seeing the rest of the bills.
  • First, I like to say, thanks to all of you who have posted here. I'm 15 month post surgery, I, like all of you am still in pain, exact same symptoms, still on pain meds and muscle relaxers. The biggest benefit post surgery for myself is that I no longer experience the sharp shooting pain that made me see white, and dropping me to me to all fours. I had the L5-S1 disc replaced, however, I have issues with L4-L5, L3-L4, and C7. So I'm not sure if I should look at getting the other repaired (not that I can afford it, sticker shocked from the 1st surgery, still paying for that, even though my insurance did cover 90%).

    After reading your comments here, at least I can say to people when they ask, that what I'm going through seems to be par for course.
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