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Has anyone had cervical disc replacement surgery?
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Has anyone had cervical disc replacement surgery?

Hi.  I've been diagnosed with multilevel degenerative disc disease c-4 through c-7.  I'm now 43 years old.  I've been waiting 3 years for disc replacement surgery to be a little more mainstream treatment.  I'm interested in hearing anything about this procedure for the C-spine.  I'm considered a surgery candidtate for c-5/6 and c-6/7 levels.  Thanks, Jolene
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I have had 2 steroid spinal injections and considering back surgery. I am a diabetic therefore at higher risk. Back problems for 16 months now. Retrolisthesis @ L3 & L4, degenerative disk disease with bulging disk. I am 56 years old. My question to you is your history of back problems that now brings you to this point. My neurosurgeon said from my MRI results my surgery would require going in from the front and back and 3-4 month recovery. I continue to gain weight because on my inability to be more mobile and am wits end what to do next.
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My husband just had this surgery on Jan. 2. they went in from the front, replaced 2 discs with synthetic or cadaver bone and secured them. He will wear a soft collar for about a month. He can't drive for a month. He has some shoulder pain , b ut otherwise is doing very well. He's been up and around since the evening of the surgery, but he isn't allowed to bend or lift anything over 10 pounds. This is a relatively common surgery that apparently usually has good results.  Good luck if you hav it done.
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zodiac4:  Did your husband have a cervical disc replacement or was it a discectomy and fusion?  There are now replacement discs approved for the cervical spine, though I don't think many doctors are doing them yet.  These are what I'm trying to get info on.  The one I've heard good things about is the ProDisc-C, but information sources are limited, so I thought I'd ask on this site.  Hope your husband recovers quickly.  Jolene
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just had c5-6 c6-7 removed and fused.  suceess. was better that day.  i had pain for 1 day was in surgery the following week and am running again six weeks after.
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After having 2 cervical disk surgeries, I thought your answer about using your brains to be very nonchalant about a very serious surgery.  Yes, many people do have success with their surgery but others do not.  My pain was relieved after both of mine but returned the first time after a year and a month and the second time after 6 months.  I thought I was perfectly fine after my surgery too.  If I were you, I wouldn't be quite as confident about my feeling well.  I too felt wonderful and was able to run, exercise, etc. for a short while and then the incredible pain returned.  Beware of taking this surgery too lightly.  It is worth it for the time that you have without pain, but be careful of speaking too soon about how great you feel.
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My uncle had 3 on C level fusion back in the mid 80's. He came through just fine after a long healing process. He was in his late 50's then.  I believe they went through the front and he had to wear a collar for awhile.  I believe the surgeries done now come out much better and the "tools" and "substances" used have come a long way.  On his they used some of his hip bone for the fusion.  He complained more about hip pain than neck pain. Good Luck with your surgery and don't take it as lightly as other poster did. Everyone is different in the way they heal and some push themselves through the pain when they should not.
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I just had an artificial disc inserted C5/C6 on January 25.  There are no artificial discs approved by the FDA yet, you have to get into a clinical study.   The clinical study I'm in compares the Kineflex C artificial disc with standard discectomy and fusion.  There are a few studies out there comparing two different discs.  I was lucky to randomize into the study group, but was in so much pain I would have been happy with a fusion.

I was in hospital overnight, came home with oral pain meds which I had cut the dosage in half by day 4. I'm not taking any now. On Feb 2 I saw my doc and we dumped the neck brace.  I can do pretty much what I want to, but am a little stiff and sore in my shoulders and the back of my neck.  The incision is in the front, about 1" long.  I still need to take it easy for several more weeks, but can drive, work, and do non-jarring exercise at will.  

Go to http://clinicaltrials.gov/ to learn more.   Good luck!

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I had C5 and C6 done 9-13-06. They put in a titanium disc and steal cage (plate) It worked great. No coller and was walking six miles on my third week. Some stiffness not bad. If I overdo it I hurt some but manage the pain.
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Hi, I am 29 year old. For no apparent reason, I have moderate disc herniations at 3 levels, C4-C5, C5-C6, and C6-C7. Currently, I have slight pain/tingling in my left arm. I am feeling depressed having this problem at such an young age. I live in DC. Both Neuro and spine surgeons recommeded Cervical disc surgery. So I might have the surgery in about a month or two. Someone, please let me know the longterm impact of the surgery. Please post any more info, I may need to know.
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I had the Kineflex disc inserted C5/C6 also - On April 10. I am still in a lot of pain in neck and shoulders and taking vicodin and valium. Experiencing severe headaches again and some symptoms in arms and hands as well.
How are you doing now? Have you had any problems? Dr. is recommending biofeedback for me.
Thanks.
Carol218
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I am searching for multilevel artificial cervical disc surgery. Where did you have surgery done?
Thanks,
Elizabeth
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I had c4-7 fused and had titanium plating and bone grafting. The surgery went well, but I am experiencing bilateral arm pain and pain in my shoulder blades. i know the surgery had to be done , It was done at Akron general medical center by a neurosurgoeon
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Check out the Prestige Artificial Cervical Disc Replacement.  It was approved late summer.  I heard from Tammylin that she was in the trial and has pain again, possibly because doc did not remove all spurs when he did the surgery.  I am having it done soon, my doc happened to be one doing it, or I would not have known about it!  If your doc doesn't do it, he will probably recommend what he is familiar with.  Also, the same company is now working on multiple levels.  I did not want fusion, was willing to wait and deal with it like you, but am excited that motion is kept and also adjacent discs are not under more pressure as with fusion.  The web site lists surgeons that have the training.  Good luck to you and to me also.
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i just had artificial cervical disc replacement done on c5\c6 on nov 12, it has now been a week.  I am doing well so far, pain in shoulders and back of neck and incision area but that is to be expected.  I am hopeful this will work for me, my doctor only does this on patients in good health otherwise and having good bone structure.   She said the day of surgery that there is also a chance that when she gets in there the disk might not fit and she would have to do fusion instead.  These disks only come in a few sizes.   I had my surgery done by Dr Joan O'Shay in Marlton, NJ.   I will answer any questions that you have.
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Hi Jolene

I have just had c4/c5 disc replacement & c5/c6 acdf  and I cannot really say how i am feeling at the moment other than in real discomfort.but its only 3 days since surgery I have noticed that my burning sensation in my legs has disappeared but I still seem to getting alot of nerve pain  so I will have to update further in a couple of days to see if any further changes.I know something I wouldnt wish this on anyone .

spk agan soon michelle
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I am about to have CDR on my C5-C6 on Feb 5th. I already had a Posterior Lamino Framenotomy on my C6. With my Profesion, I am at much higher risk for re injury than most people, and well yeah I reinjured it, and my nuero surgeon gave this as an option and it sounds decent, my question is what is the rehab like, because he said i would be back to functional in 6 weeks with no rehab, but with this I'm not so sure about "no rehab" so i was just wondering.
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I had artificial disc replacement but in lumbar L4/5....done by one of the "best" doctors in the world...so advertised.. I spent entire year after ADR in bed, couldnt sit or stand, in horrific pain. My surgeon (in Germany, Straubing) said that he doesnt see any problem...while all other doctors from USA, France, Netherlands, UK and even Germany-clearly could see that the disc that was put in me is almost 2X too tall and prior to the surgery I had a collapsed disc (bone on bone) and degenerated hyperthrophied facets-which are absolute contraindications to the ADR. I had a revision done 3 months ago and it was the most horrid surgery that anyone could imagine...Having hard time recovering.
Before going for ADR, please, research as much as possible about contraindications and you conditions. I am posting on a different forum and there are number of people who either had a revision after ADR or are still searching for answers there...My username there Job13 and the topic name 'One year hell ADR in Germany. Revision Prodisc to fusion'.
http://spinesupport.org/simplemachinesforum/index.php
I found a lot of very useful info there about ADRs and fusions...prons and cons. Check it out-it might be useful to learn more before going into the surgery! I dont want anyone ending up like me, at 33 y.o....
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I too am having pain months later after my two surgeries.  What are you going to do about your pain?  Another surgery?
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I actually have found a wonderful pain management doctor who has done radio frequency and cauterized the nerve endings in my neck.  For a while, I had no pain at all but it has returned and I plan to have this procedure done again.  You may want to check this out.  It may not work for everyone but has been a lifesaver for me.
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I have never heard of radio frequency and cauterizing the nerve endings.  How do they do that and how long will it be effective?
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The doctor goes in your neck like having an epidural and uses a fluroscope to cauterize the nerve endings using radio frequency.  I am not sure how many doctors do this, but for me it has been a lifesaver.  Check out the pain management doctors in your area to see if any of them do this.  If so, it might be worth your time to meet with them and discuss the possibilites of this helping you.
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The Prestige is the only one at this point that is FDA approved and just recently.   It can also only be used on one level as it is too bulky.  I am having this surgery done on 2/21 so can't tell you what it's like after.... yet.  But I have multiple problems C4/5 C5/6 C6/7 - mostly suffer from chronic headaches and neck pain for the last 8 years.  Waited for this as fusing all three discs would have left me unable to move my neck and I am only 43 and didn't want to go there.  If you have other questions, I would be happy to help if I can.  
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I am having disc repacement surgery c5/c6, shitting myself 38 years old, really do not want to go through with it but can not stand the pain.
anybody had this treatment done?
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don't worry,Make sure you know the facts synthic cervical discs are out
there pro disc c find a doctor that does them. if you get fusion doctors using tebeckar steel for bone graph has a high fusion rate.

if you got the money go to germany. In the US the fda will not use studies/results form the other
countries even though most of the synthic discs are made here in US(Medtronics) for onelevel.Single level fusion pro disk c has been approve call the company and see who doing it nearest you I wish
it woud have been available to me. I have had c5/c6 fuse and as above statements this has gone south after a year and now c4 disc isnow going. What we have going for us is an inefficent FDA
where there is help out there but we cannot get it.

hop u do well
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I'm messed up from C2-C7.  Some levels worse than others.  Plus the wonderful osteophytes.  I'm having a discogram next week to see if my screwy discs are what's causing my grief.  If it's discs, my surgeon will be using the ProDisc-C...which was FDA approved last year.  Even though they are now approved, the trouble lies with insurance coverage.  Not too many carriers are covering it yet.  
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a lot of insurance co's will do it upon recieving a letter from your surgeon that this is the best procedure for u ck with your surgeon
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anyone experiencing leg sensations from the neck herniations?
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I have disc degen. at C3-4,a congenital fused C4-5, degen. disc and left sided herniation at C5-6 and bulging disc at C6-7.  Neurosurgeon is recommending ant. discectomy and fusion at C3-4 and C5-6. I'm looking at the Spinal Kinetics M6 ADR as an alternative (this is a German product).  Any experience out there with this disc replacement?
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Badneck: Just would like to correct you that the M6 by spinal Kinectics is a Sunnyvale, California based company and not a German one.  The installation is in Germany at this time, but I beleive that M6 is being installed in teh U.S. now on a clinical trials.  This M6 is so new so I don't know how its going to hol dup, but sometimes people have no other options.  I wish yuou best of luck.
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How come the Lamino-Forominatomy didn't work? Did it hurt alot after surgery? Plaese tell me something about the lamino foraminatomy since I am thinking of doing this first before ADR.  Thanks
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I'm also supposed to have disc replacement c5-c6-also scared-but I did the physical therapy-the chiropractors-spinal epidurals-all the meds-very sick of morphine-loosing lots of weight from pain-so there is no other choice.My surgeon is having me get cat scans and X-rays tomorrow-already have MRI-if he says -no surgery-which I doubt I know I can't live with this pain.--Good-Luck to you all-we are all in the same way -we will be O.K.
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under the right conditions and ACDF is the gold standard of care.  For the most part they are a slamdunk for the surgeon.  What it comes down to is personal preference, donor bone, hip graft, or now ADR.  Their is a greater benefit from a CERVICAL ADR, than a Lumbar ADR, the revision procedure.  It is more complicated to revise a lumbar ADR, and as for right now, there is not a great implant out there.  As for a cervical ADR if anything goes wrong there is always the "gold standard" as a bail out, an ACDF.  However, there is only one implant that has proved not only equality, but in some cases superority to a fusion if the Medtronic Prestige.  However, getting your insurance provider to pay for it is another story.  If it were uo to me.  ADR is the way to go, and I would fight my insurance company to pay for it, or pay out of pocket
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The Framinotomy did relieve the symptoms I was having. The pain and weakness I was having in my neck and right arm were no longer constant and maybe would flare up after a really hard workout. To be perfectly honest about what I do, I am in the military right now, and my training definitely consists of boots runs, kevlar/FLAK runs, humps with on average 80 pounds of weight, and then even Endurance runs of over an hour with about 30-40 pounds of weight. So all of that was actually doing ok for me. I was able to actually re-start my training and get back to it. After about a  month into a 6 month training cycle I was doing really well, however one PT session involving a "fire-mans carry" with another person my size with gear across my neck/shoulders re injured myself.

I think I read on this site that there is still a 10-15% chance of re injury in normal every day life with these procedures, I think that factor goes up considerably with my profession, depending on what we do. With that said, I know plenty of guys, with fusions and even ADR that are doing bang up jobs right now.

I just got mine done on 2/5 and I will say this the initial recovery form surgery was a lot better than the framinotomy, but I haven't seen any improvement. So that is a big fat dagger........... in the neck. I would say go for the Framinotomy first, the initial recovery will suck more, but you won't have a peice of steel in your neck, no matter how miraculous people say the prestige or whatever that thing is. If you want to know about my rehab type stuff, I was doing all of that stuff I mentioned above, plus "Cross-Fit" type workouts. I did not however do any of the  actual "Fire-man" carries during rehab that did injure me. SO I would say stay away from major back squats in the gym once you get back to that. Good luck, I know I will need some.  
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My husband is currently trying to decide between a fusion and a ADR surgery.  Right now he has a ruptured disc at the L4-5 and has been diagnosed with DDD for 7 years.  He has tried PT, medications, and 3 steriod injections in 2 months.  The doctor finally recommended surgery but we are having trouble getting the ADR approved - now with reading different stories we are scared about either surgery.  He is only 29 years old and is worried about the shelf life the of ADR or the complications of the fusion.  Any helpful ideas on how to choose?
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37 yr old I had spinal kinetic M6 done at C5-C6 in Germanay,2/22/08. doctors here unable to offer any treatment b/c of multilevel disease and they thought I need 3 level ADR no one recommended ACDF
I did had 3 level DDD C3-C7 by Discogram but  doctors at stenum who did the surgery recommended one level ,they did  intraoperative testing  other levels looked fine so  only replaced my herniated DISC C5-C6  now 4 wk out still going through neck and shoulder pain , shooting pain at the hand level better, even emptying the dishwasher aggrevate the pain for me. like to know who had the Cervical ADR 's how long it take them not to feel any pain at all.  

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Just as an overview,
1.  Artificial Disc Replacement is new and as such doesn't have a lot of known long-term outcomes. Some longterm studies exist, but the styles of hardware keep changing so it's hard to judge. Most in the US seem to do very well. The upside is: the neck has to move a lot and if you fuse it (especially at multiple levels) is less favorable for young people because it causes adjacent levels to degenerate (wear) faster, so you avoid those early arthritis problems (at least in theory) with disc replacement. There are stricter criteria for who can have a disc replacement. It should be done by spine surgeons experienced in disc replacements.
2. ACDF (fusion) is the gold standard and has very good outcomes for the vast majority of middle age and older folks, but if you're highly active or young, it is less favorable because it can lead to early breakdown of adjacent parts of the spine.
3. ALWAYS insist on having physical therapy after surgery, whether fusion or disc replacement. Some doctors are fishy about this, and it seems silly. There may be a period you need to wait after surgery for therapy, but disc/spinal degeneration ALWAYS has a postural component, and if you fixate the neck or replace the disc without retraining posture and movement, you will certainly develop early degeneration of the spine and increase risk of wearing out replacement discs. This will lead to poor long-term satisfaction and new problems which may not easily be fixed with surgery...you may not even be a candidate for repeat surgery. Always request physical therapy following spinal surgery.
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I am having cervical disc replacement in two weeks.C5/6-6/7.I am really scared.I have had four surgery's in the past but the whole cutting my neck and altering the spine is scaring me.I have been through it all physical therapy,chiropractors,spinal epidurals,went off morphine after three months was making me crazy.I 'm in so much pain mostly because of my job.I am a woman who has always worked heavy (so called mens )jobs for 22 years.Now I know that was a big mistake.Plus I suppose I smoked in the past (11 years ago)and my Mom is 83 crippled in a wheel chair.(spinal stenosis)she had a bad back surgery in Arizona.This all adds to why I have degenerative discs and bone spurs.Please anyone who had this for severe neck pain,headaches,numbness in hands but mostly severe pain after lifting or over doing things at work -please write back-thanks-----
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anyone heard of BLACKSTONE Discs?  My doc said I qualify for the trial in May.  From what I hear, insurance is a ***** about replacements. c5-c6.  Scared but in pain!
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My doctor wants me to have the Prestige Disc Replacement Fusion.
I am 53 and pretty active.  He has only done 3 before.  You said
you had yours done in Nov, 2007, how are you doing.  Would you
do it again.  My is the cervical 6-7 disc.  I am going to try more physical
therapy first
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Had the surgery two months ago two discs replaced C5/6-6/7-still sore and achy,but not the kind of pain I had before the surgery.Most of the numbness in my hands has gone away.its still hard to sleep.I go to physical therapy 3x a week.I'm still out of work.I was real scared to have the surgery.If you have tried everything,like I did its the only answer.my doctor said I won't be 100%.But it takes a long time for the discs to fuse together.Good Luck to you all!!!
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I had a medtronic prestige cervical C5/C6 disc replacement. I have alot of pain in my neck. I had the operation on the 4th and it is now the 7th. I had to go to the urgent care center about 12 hours(4am) after my one night hospital stay. Histericly crying and screaming in pain due to swelling in my neck and it was almost imposible to swallow. A steriod for inflamation (inflammation) and some valum was perscribed.
I had classic pain symptoms since I slipped at work and twisted in a forceful maner I dont think i could do again if i tried a freak accident. I have been in agressive and passive therapy for 9 months 3 days a week and light dutie. I tried to keep pain meds as low as possible but as symptoms wordned after agressive treatment i saw a new doctor. That was a pain specialist. He was the one the discoverd that my pain was refered from c5/c6. We did an mri and discogram showing a level 5 tear in my disc.
24 hours after surgery symptoms of pain/numbness in hands gone. Refered pain in middleback and between shoulderblades much better but still there defainatly better than before.

I have heard from doctors and many medical journals that a disk replacement will last 10 years. I am 30 so this was a big worry. However looking at the medical advacment in the past 50 years is amazing even in the last 10 years. Robotic arms to do brain surgery, stem cells growing new teath, and posibly a new disc of my own cells could be mine. I took a leap of faith that this replacement will get me to my 40's and we will see what happens maybe it lasts 20 years or 30. Only time will tell. I bookmarked this page and I am willing to continue my progress and tribulations.

I would say aside from whereing a Aspen neck collar that feels as if im being slightly choked I am quite optimistic. My advice to you is get a doctor that will listen to you needs and manage your pain. You will have a longer recovery in my opinion if your heading to the ER every other day for screaming pain.

Thanks for listening,

Eric

p.s. My spelling and english as an art is lost in translation for me so i hope it still makes sence. perhaps you may get a chuckle or two off the new spelling of many words.
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i had the prestige 2 cervical disk replacement done in november 2007 on c5 and c6. surgery went verry well and i was working again in a month as a truck driver. i still have pain in my neck and shoulders and still take lortab and soma when not at work. even though i still have pain it's much better than how it was before. i would recomend this surgery to anyone as i have kept the mobility in my neck and thats verry important in my job. the only probem is they can only do this on one level so i'm looking at having fusions done on other levels. i hope this will help anyone thinking of having this done.
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i had repair of C4-5. the disks were laying on my spinal cord.i had surgery on april 1, 20008.i was feeling pretty good until i accidently put a dish of water down on my front porch for my dog and stood up and hit the back of my head on a hanging basket.now my neck aches and my head feels heavy.i called the Dr and the nurse told me to take an antiinflammatory and vicodin.i'm hoping that my symptoms will ease up.it's only been a week since i did this,  thanks for listening  Den
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i had 2 operationson the disk in my neck c4 and c5 three weeks apart, the first surgery left me jerking and shaking all over the pain in my head, neck shoulder and arm was hell living hell, the second surgery with a different Dr was better. the first DR is DR Yanzie he has been thrown out of our hospital in toledo, oh. please check you nero surg out throughly. I am now still having electric shock feeling and pain in same areas, i have been on perks for 2 years now and anti depressants what a life. every thinks this is a simple surgery but the wrong Dr will leave your life a mess, Can anyone tell me if they know what I mean by electrical shock feeling? makes me feel like I am going crazy, my Dr tells me the first Dr screwed a screw into my nerve, HELP me with ANY advice.. delilah.servoss@yahoo
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It's been 3 and 1/2 months since my surgery C5/6 6/7 replaced.Still out of work,still going to physical therapy(over 2 months) My muscles are very sore.The left side of my neck hurts and is stiff.Also I have the pins and needles(electric shock) feeling all down the left side of my back.Oh,I'd rather have all this then what I felt before the surgery,but my surgeon says my muscles took on bad habits,over all the years of  my pain.He warned me I would'nt be 100%,but now says work at being the best I can.I am trying.So I understand all your comments about electric shocks and aches,I think most important is to keep moving.I take Klonopin at night.It's not an easy surgery but if you have no choice--------
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I have spinal cord compression & disc degeneration at C4/C5.  My neurosurgeon just recommended ADR with the ProDisc C.  I also have lumbar degeneration but he is saying not to touch that yet, since the spinal cord itself is not affected by that.  He says he's done 12 surgeries in the past year (since the device was approved).  Waiting to hear about insurance coverage.  Right now I have moderate pain and nerve symptoms (numbness, tingling, etc.).  I'm  not so nervous about the surgery itself, but am wondering about how the device has worked out for others.  I am otherwise in good health, strong, I exercise regularly.  Any thoughts?  Thanks...
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I have already had an ACDF in c5-6 and doctor is recommending a cervical disc replacement between c6-7 due to another moderate herniation.  My symptoms include rolling neck/shoulder pain, numbness in both left and right arms/hands, numbness and tingling in left leg and "hot flashes" in right leg. Also minor lower back pain. Obviously I am past all conservative treatment such as physical therapy, injections, and decompression. Currently on a regimen of lyrica, celebrex, zanaflex and percocet to control nerve pain. I'm wondering if there is anyone who has already had a fusion and then done the disc replacement as well. If so, what were the results?

Thank you,

saphire88
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Hi all!  

I had my c6-7 disk replaced with a ProDisc C device on August 8, 2008.  Initially I had relief of my pain.  I went home after 23 hours in the hospital and felt better than I had in months.  Mr Dr suggested that I take Advil for a few weeks to try and offset the spontaneous fusion that sometimes occurs.  Yes folks...  even if you have disk replacement the disks can still spontaneously fuse together.  Even though my Dr told me to stop after 2 weeks I have been taking Advil regularly because I am so frightened that the disks will fuse.  Lately when I skip a dose of Advil I notice stiffness in the back of my neck.  My last set of x-ray looked good so I will see what he says about the stiffness at my one month appointment.  

To all of you thinking about disk replacement: I have had a good experience.  I am happy with the results.  However, there is not a lot of known information about the procedure.  I have heard some "I just cannot answer that" and "nobody really knows that for sure" from my doctor (who I add is the most arrogant man I have ever met.)  Yes it has been done in Europe for longer than the US.  However there have not been extensive studies anywhere.  I am 37 years old and I need for this device to last for 50 years or so.  There is much more theory than proven fact.  It took me a long time to come at peace with the fact that theoretically I will be OK in the long term.  This is something I will be reminded of for the rest of my life.  Even if this stiffness goes away and I never again have any pain in my neck, I will still never make it through a metal detector.  Think, chose your doctor carefully, do lots of research and make sure you see a great physical therapist first.
Feel good. 
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I had ADR surgery  C6 C7 in April 2008 Results are very Good I had 5 months of work to recover, back working offshore no problems no pain or numbness so far, started working out again and swimming thing are looking a lot brighter.
Good luck to all
"Nobody likes a pain in the neck"
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there

I'm Shelly and I have had surgery twice now on my neck so in total Ive had 3 cervical discs replaced and now they  have been fused, the first time round one of the dics slipped forward and I have felt terrible.since surgery this time I havent felt too good i have terrible neck pain and the base of my head hurts My legs are terrible {I get a burning sensation going through them all the time this drives me mad} Also as soon as I start doing anything my fingers are black and my hand is looking a bit like a claw as my fingers turn in.Does anyone else suffer with bad legs/hands.look forward to comparing notes spk agan soon

Bye for now Shelly
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Avatar_n_tn
I am curious if you were in a study or has FDA finally granted approval for multi level ADR?  If not in a study, who did your surgery? I'm having trouble finding anyone that has done multilevel surgery thats not affiliated with a trial?
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Avatar_n_tn
I had 2 discs replaced c4 and c5 about a year ago.
I was off work 8 weeks, maintenance work in a factory.
I have had NO problems with the neck since apart from what i call cramp in muscle near my left shoulder blade.
I have Photos of the discs if you are interested.
Best thing i have ever done , NO PAIN.
Regards Jeff
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Avatar_n_tn
I've had a fusion at C3/4, C4/5 in 1990. Great op, no pain until I had a fall in 1999. Had arm, shoulder, neck pain and headaches. Scans showed ruptured 5/6 and 6/7 discs. Dr talked me into having Bryan Disc replacements. Felt great at first then after 10 months of more pain, headaches etc discovered the f.......g nuero had replaced a wrong disc!! He took out 6/7 and C7/T1! My neck has shortened, swollen at the front, really bad headaches, mostly 4days each week, neck, arm & shoulder pain worse. On lots of pain meds. Please stop and think a long time before having this you beaut new surgery. Great on one level I've heard but for more???? I've done a lot of research and internet searching. And I'm going to Germany next year to see a brilliant surgeon and the one that has pioneered this type of surgery all over the world. His name is Dr Rudolph Bertagnoli. You can look him up on his Pro Spine site. Just google his name. His team has also had a lot of success with endoscopic and laser surgery. You can send all of your stuff to him for evaluation before having to make the trip. I've seen some spectacular cases he's operated on. One guy had no discs in his neck, just one long rod!  You only have one neck and that connects to your back which makes up your whole spine..... make the right decision when it comes to who you let cut it open. Another great site is GPN, Global Patient Network.com Good Luck All of You
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I had a Prodisc-C C5/C6 ADR done in Sept 2008, (30 days ago) I am in worst pain then I was before the surgery. Still on vicodin & musle relaxers. I have not been back for a follow up since my doc is on vacation. Hopefully the pain will subside with time.  Since this is a new product, I believe most doc don't have the experience & are using us for thier "lessons learned".
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Avatar_f_tn
On 9/24/08 I had cervical disc replacement between C5 & C6 with a fusion.   I was told that because of my age (60) that a fusion,along with disc replacement, was best.  

During surgery, I had to be "stretched" to make room for the replacement disc.   We were told that because the neck was stretched, I would have pain on both shoulders after surgery.   The pain could last up to 3 months.   Well, I've had pain alright.   I used to have pain in just the left shoulder.  Now I have pain in both shoulders.  I'm really upset about this.   It's hard to imagine that over time the pain will go away.    Sometimes, the pain goes away for a few hours, then, like always before, the pain comes back.   Just about any arm action will set it off.  

This whole thing, the surgery, the pain, the uncomfortable neck brace, etc. has been a lot for me.   I'm glad I wasn't a day older.   I don't think I would do this again.   However, if, in a few months, if I do lose the pain, then, I'll be glad.   But, right now, I'm pretty upset about the whole deal.   Before, if I took muscle relaxants, I could operate without too much difficulty.   Now I live on muscle relaxants.    That was the point of the surgery, to eliminate the pain and get off the medicines!
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Avatar_n_tn
Where & who did your surgery. I am scheduled for next month with Dr. Smith and after reading some of these posts am wondering if I should do it.
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Avatar_m_tn
I just had a full C5 disk replacement.  I had nerve pain in my right arm that was pretty severe, caused by a piece of my disk that had fragmented into my spinal chord.  At the moment all the nerve pain is gone.  I have muscle soreness, mostly in my left shoulder.  My biggest problem so far is getting comfortable in bed or on the couch.  Any suggestions?
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I have just been told that I need full C6 disk replacement due to a fragmented disk piece.  I have pain in my right arm as well and my doc is more concerned about the muscle in that arm atrophying.  I am extremely nervous to have this surgery but am being told that is all that can be done when a piece fragments.  Can you tell me more about the surgery, if you had a cadaver piece inserted (as I am told would be the case for me), and if you needed to wear a brace or collar.  I haven't read many total success stories and am fearful I will end up worse off.
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Avatar_m_tn
The surgery for me was about 2 hours.  I was completely sedated.  The went in through the front of my throat in an incision about an inch long.  I was not given a cadaver piece because I opted to become part of a study.  I was given a titanium disk to replace the damaged disk.  There was no fusion.  I had the surgery on the 14th of Nov and the only pain I have had is soreness in my shoulders from the surgery and in my throat where a breathing tube was inserted.  I wear a soft collar/neck brace for now and was told i will have to wear it for about 3 weeks.  I was told by my surgeon that it seems with a single level disk fusion would not have been bad if I would have had it.  If you have other questions let me know.
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Well I bit the bullet and had the disc replacement a week ago. This was at the C5-6, I had a fusion at C6-7 4 years ago and have been in pain ever since. It had gotten so bad that I was willing to do anything except another fusion My Dr. recommended the replacment, but didn't think insurance would cover it. But his office worked with them and they agreed. I can honestly say this was the easiest surgery I have EVER had. I was up eating within an hour of returning to my room. Going to the bathroom soon thereafter. I stayed in the hospital a total of 22 hours, only because my insurance allowed it. And I was afraid it was too good to be true that i felt so good. The Dr used no external stitches. I have not had to wear any kind of brace, no PT, and he told me to do anythig I wanted, but use my common sense.He wants me turning my head and using the disc as much as possible, but not strain it just yet. Told me I can drive as soon as I stop taking pain meds. Which I could do now.
There was quite a bit of swelling in the front of my throat, and the back was sore for several days. But compared to life before this has been a walk in the park.  So if you are considering this procedure, check with your nuerosurgeon. See how many he has done and what his results have been.
Oh I did have a scare today, I tripped over some wrapping paper & boxes in the floor, and twisted my neck and back,, but scared me more than anything. My neck has a little soreness but that would be expected.
BTW my surgeon is in OKC, OK  Dr. Stewart Smith.  Please feel free to email me with any questions.
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So how are you feeling now?  I am 55 and have had herniated discs at c 4/5 and c 6/7 for over five years now.  My arms and hands have the shocking feelings so went to the dr. and my mri looks really scary.  But fusion stories seem scarier.  I want to get replacement discs and don't know anything about them.  What are they made from?  I do not want the fusion if it makes me less mobile than I am now.  I am in Palmer Alaska, near Anchorage.  I am from Texas and have been here 9 years.  I have no idea of who is a butcher or a good dr. here like I did back home.  I am miserable, am scared to exercise because don't know what will happen to me if I move "wrong" or something.  I am scheduled for 01/19 for a fusion between c 4, 5, 6 and 7, so three discs which sounds very restricting to me.  I am not doing it at that time, because I want to research more.  The last thing I want is to have fusion.  I need help and advice.  After years of no pain meds, as I am allergic to all NSAIDS, and hate pain meds, I am now taking norco (?) and zanaflex, which render me stupid and don't work much now after a week of taking them.  I do not want the roller coaster of pain meds again.  I was taking so many before that I could barely walk without my knees wiggling.  This sux big time.
Thanks.
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Who did a multilevel disc replacement on you?  I am in Alaska but for this I would certainly travel to avoid fusion.  I see car1955 also had two levels.  I need to know!
Thanks,
Kathy
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Avatar_m_tn
I am 26 years old and compete in mixed martial arts. I began with neck pain 7 wks ago, which has progressed to complete atrophy in my right pectoral, tricep, and lat. Seen a few neurosurgeons and seems like the Prestige disc at c6-7 is my answer. Notice how I don't sound completely sure. That is because this has become so stressful I'm not sure about ANYTHING anymore! I hope to be the success story we are all looking for...right now I am battling with insurance companies about the procedure, and am actually looking forward to the surgery not because of the pain , but because I fear permanent muscle disability. However once I do get my treatment I am still unsure if I will ever be able to compete(work) again! This is scary stuff and I want everyone to know that u are not alone with this! Everyone I know is sick of listening to me complain, but they don't understand that it is almost impossible to think about anything else when u are in pain every second.
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I'm a 44 year old female who is scheduled for a 2-level Artificial Disc Replacement in March.  After reading some of these posts, I'm getting a little nervous.  I am told I will have to wear a neck brace (for how long, I don't know)  I see that some of you said you didn't even need a brace.  I also heard that you get a feeling of not being able to swallow after this surgery because they move your wind pipe and esophogus.  Did anyone experience this and if so, how long did it last.  I am getting really nervous about going ahead with this surgery.
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My name is Brad Coons (42 yrs old now) and I had a KinefexC ADR at C-5/6 in June of 2006 due to a ruptured and fragmented disc.  The surgery was done here in San Diego and was uneventful, meaning no complications.  I got lucky and the Dr. told me ahead of time that I was getting the ADR as opposed to the fusion (it was a blind study and I wasn't supposed to know what I was getting until AFTER the surgery).  I had a lot of pain in the front of my neck from the Dr. accessing the disc and a sore throat b/c of the breathing tube, but my neck pain associated with the ruptured disc was gone immediately.  All follow up appts showed the disc was in the correct position and working as planned.  I still have a little stiffness after physical exersion (sp) but no other issues.  My Dr. told me after 2 months that I was free to do whatever I want.  There are no activities I've been afraid to do - I went to D-Land 3 months after surgery and rode all rides without fear or pain.  I rode dirt bikes in the desert 6 months after surgery and had no fear or pain.  My only fear at this point is how long the devise willl last.  I do not want to go thru the surgery again as it was very painful.  I hope this helps and I will answer any questions I can.      
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had surgery on c5/c6 31st jan had no problems with swallowing in fact didnt feel too bad numbed with morphine.Now home physio said only wear collar when up and about,but 15 days after pain in shoulder and  arm at times unbearable, still is havent slept 3 nights dont know what to do.
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Sorry I am just now getting back on the board. I am doing great. I have residual pain from the nerve damage caused by waiting so long. After having both procedures I would definately recommend the replacement, but NOT the fusion. The fusion WILL limit your range of motion. With the replacement I wore no brace and was immediately allowed to do anything I wanted, within reason. I was back to work in 2 weeks. Only needed pain medication for a few days during recovery.  I do still occasionally need pain meds (Norco) but that is from other lower disc problems.
Again I would recommend the replacement to anyone looking for relief, just don't wait. Your Dr. should be able to get you approved through your insurnace. It took a several weeks to get my approval. But I don't regret it. Just realize that all of your pain may not be related to just that area so surgery may not fix all your problems. But I feel so much better now, I feel like I have my life back.  
Good luck.
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been trying to get my insurance to approve artificial disc - have had fusion at C4-5 in past - insurance company stating that there is no evidence to have artificial disc adjacent to a fusion.  How did you swing it?  What insurance do you have - I have BCBS.
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I'm stunned I found this sight.  And just in time.  My life has become small and shut down.  I've live w/chronic pain for almost 40 yrs but many friends don't know it.  I left Colo (where the entire town knew) and had to come to San Diego to care for a parent.  Now I can't even care for me.  Have had 2 lumbar fusions.  Use all the tricks.. yoga, acupuncture, mssg, pt, walking (PRAYING & BEGGING) and I've hit the skids.  My neck now has 5 levels of bone on bone. No discs left, lots of stenosis and spurs; both arms and legs on fire...  little sleep..   lots of crazy.  Very med sensitive.  Suboxone is the only med that helps some.   Drs at Steadman-Hawkin's Clinic in Colo say I need a 4 level ACDF that would leave the rest of my neck at risk... & this will take care of maybe 50-60% of pain, maybe.  Then need to be re-done in another 6-8 yrs???  Plus, now I've also kicked into an inflamatory disorder as a side problem from non stop pain.   So, I was starting to plan this ACDF, wondering how as a single person I'd care for myself.  Now, I've come across the info for the hospital in Germany that does many ADRs and am starting to feel some hope.  Finances are another issue.  Can we spell broke in a r-e-c-e-s-s-i-o-n   with no work?   When we have chronic pain, we either lose it, or develop a pretty quirky sense of humor.  Please, Please.... anyone who's had the work done in Europe, let me know your thoughts.
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I have battled disc disease, torn discs and bulging discs for years.  Last year my lumbar finally gave out and I had a two level artificial disc replacement done on L4-L5 and L5-S1.  I have been 100% pain free with no limitations since.  I have the Prestige Discs.

I am going in on Monday March 2, 2009 to have my C4-C5 and C5-C6 replaced with the pro-discs.  These two discs are bulging and torn.  I have no concerns about getting this done after my lumbar surgery a year ago.  

My best friend had an artifical disc replacement done over a year ago on L5-S1 with the same success.  We are both long distance runners and pain free.  We can do whatever we want with no pain and no medication.  I can go on all roller coasters rides for the first time in my sons life.  He is eight.  NO PAIN!!!

I have lived with back and neck pain for the past 20 years, I am no 40 years old.  I went through Doctor after Doctor, years of Physical Therpay, medications, chiropractor, massage, etc.  I had been on pain medications for so long that I had to go through detox last year after my surgery to get off of it all and I am not an addictive person.

I researched on-line, got multiple opinions and then found the best surgeon in my opinion.  Dr.Todd Lanman in Beverly Hills, California.  He has been in the forefront of this surgery, does trials and teaches all over the Country.

I understand being scared of the surgery but I finally just decided that I couldn't live with the daily pain any longer.

Hope this helps at least one person on here.
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Blue Cross doesn't approve the discs.  Cigna and Aetna do.  I don't know where you live but many places are doing studies and you can get the surgery free.  My best friend did her lumbar last year this way through Dr. Todd Lanman in Beverly Hills, CA.  Most of the studies are one level only.

Fusion is something you want to avoid at all costs.  Once you fuse bone together then the disc above the fusion will go.  I know people that go years without that happening and I know people who are back in 6 months later to get the next disc fused.  Mobility becomes limited.  I personally would only do artificial discs.

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I had a two level done on L4-L5 and L5-S1 March 2008 and both are Prestige.  I am going in on March 2, 2009 for C4-C5 and C5-C6 and they are using Pro Disc because the Prestige are too big for the neck.
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I had a ADR done in Oct 09 and didnt have hardly any pain.  But 5 months later I have started experience pain in my lower back in down my left leg.  And sometimes into my feet.  Then my left leg will go sleep.  Is this normal.  I have got another appointment to go back to my doctor next week.  Mine was done in Germany also and he is in the top of his work class.  Very good doctor.  But I think maybe something else is going on???
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I am 39 y/o, had cervical disc fusion in C5-6 almost two years ago and cry most days with my choice.  I should NEVER have done it.  I should have waited for cervical replacement.  I am an athlete by heart.  I bike, exercise, own 4 jet skis and used to love running.   After my cervical fusion and very little rehab, then the official release from the neurosurgeon I went back to my usual fitness.  I now have adjacent segmental disease on above and below, I stay in chronic pain almost all days.  I can do very little upper body.  DO NOT fuse!!!!  I am a nurse and my husband is an OR nurse.  I did it because my pain was SOO bad.  I should have backed off then with physical activity and waited for actual disc replacement.  The stress on the C6-7 and C4-5 would not have occurred.  It is a guarantee that it will happen, look at the statistics of adjacent segmental dz.  It is greater than 90% with a return of future fusions.  I now sit DYING to have disc replacement and the loss of my pain and can't.  So my prayer is that in 5 years they will do it on populations like me.   I am getting out of bedside nursing, (300 to 500 lb patients are killing me!)

So take my advice, investigate manual and physical therapy as well as cervical disc REPLACEMENT!  Not fusion!
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I am 40 years old and had C6-C7 disc replacement surgery at Walter Reed Hospital on 19 March 2009.  The replacement of the disc went well.  With in two days my pain subsidded in the neck, shoulder, and hand area of the body.  Still have full motion of my neck.  One complication occurred from the surgery was that they either stretched  or tore a nerve to the right side of my vocal cord.  I am only able to talk at a whisper.  Prognosis is that it might return between 2 weeks and six months.  If it is torn(paralzyed), then they will have to do a surgery to repair my vocal cords.  Reports that less than 2% have this problem.  The rest of the surgery went great.  
I have also had T7-T8 fusion 3 years prior.  
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I had an anterior discectomys c4,5,6 on 1/15/08 and was quite well afterward, about 3 months ago I started developing severe exhaustion and began to display posture which was only seen before the original surgery.  I just had an MRI done with " no surgical targets at this point"  However I know something is not right< i can feel a popping in my neck with a bone on bone grinding feel.  The neurosurgeon thinks it may be scar tissue, but why would that propagate after almost 12 months post op?
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I had a ruptured disc c5/c6 and bulging disc c6/c7.  I had articifial disc replacement  done in 2003 on C/5 C/6.  It was a Bryon disc made of titanium.  Had a wonderful doctor out of Indianapolis, with the  Indiana Spine Group.  I would recommend this surgery and this specific doctor to anyone.  My results were instant.  Had the surgery done at age 43. Hope to be able to get surgery done on bulging disc c6/c7 at some point. Anyone wanting more info about my experience just let me know.
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I had my C4&5  C6&7 removed replaced and fused 11/10/08 Up until about a month ago,I thought it was the wrong choice.Then someone asked me if they should have the surgery done...hummm I really had to think,then before I reliezed what I was saying,I asked "Do you need your arms?" He replied YES I then told him,to get the surgery. WOW that blew my mind. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.The recovery is Hard & Long. I remember cring for weeks after,but now I almost am forgeting the pain I endored.  GOOD LUCK TO YOU !!!
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I have just had c-7 titanium disc replacement 4 weeks prior, JUST seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, the pain i was enduring in my back, neck and arm were gone instantly the wound at the front of my neck where they went in was my major problem just felt like i was choking all the time, now it gets really uncomfortable when i bend down to pick something up but getting better all the time. I take mild pain killers for the pain across my shoulder blades which just feels like i could do with a gental massage. If anyone had asked me two weeks ago if i would go through it again i would have said no because recoverey and tramadol was taking its toll and also trying to look after a family of 5 youngest nearly 3 wasnt ideal! But know on the mend I would say go for it.
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I HAVE A QUESTION....I HAD MY C 5&6 AND C 6&7 REPLACED AND FUSED.BECAUSE I LOST USE OF MY LEFT ARM AFTER SURGERY THE USE IS BACK NOT FULLY BUT MUCH BETTER NOW 6 MONTHS LATER I AM HAVING THE SAME PAIN AND LOSS OF USE OF MY RIGHT ARM............HELP............PLEASE ........DONT WANT TO DO THIS SURGERY AGAIN.........ONCE YOU HAD FUSED WONT THAT MEAN THAT LEVEL DISK THAT CONTROLS ARMS IS FIXED????????????  WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME????????
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I'm only 26 years old and was diagnosed with a leaking disc in C3-4, c4-5, c5-6. I had this problem since I was 17 years old. My doctor said those disc wont be bulging anymore and the worst case senario is that it would just collapse. He recomended the CDR surgery since the pain is intolerrable that most of the time it would affect my work. He also gave me Oxycontin as pain management. I went to another doctor for a second opinion and i was told that surgery should not be an option because I'm too young and recomended theraphy instead. My question is, since I am in pain for almost 10 years now, should I get the surgery considering I'm only 26?
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Avatar_f_tn
Degenerative changes occur more as we age -- it is just a normal process of the wear and tear on your spine.  Since you are relatively young, your doctors are probably trying to alleviate your pain symptoms with less invasive procedures.  
If conservative treatment fails and there is specific evidence of disc herniations and/or  degenerative changes compromising the nerve roots and/or spinal cord, surgery may be indicated.
If necessary, you may need to seek a second opinion from a neurosurgeon who can discuss your options in greater detail.
Best wishes ----
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I had the Cervical Disc Replacement Surgery on C5-6 and C6-7 (Prodisc-C) in March.  Before the surgery, I thought as soon as I woke up I would feel 100% better.  I was wrong.  It is a very painful and long healing process.  I couldn't eat for weeks because I felt like I was choking. (I lost 20 lbs. though) I am still in Physical Therapy twice a week and although the pain is not as bad as before surgery, there are still days when I have to take Percocet for pain.  I am also on Lyrica for on-going radicular numbness and tingling in my arms/hands, and Cymbalta because of Chronic Pain.  I was told by my doctor and his PA that it might be as long as a year before I feel better.  There were two girls that had the cervical fusion done the same day and they were able to eat right away and had minimal pain.  I also know other people that had the fusion who said post op they had very little to no pain.  However, the fusion is the last resort.  Once that's done, you've burned all your bridges!  
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HELLO AGAIN,WELL ITS NOW BEEN 8 MONTHS FOR ME HAVING MY FUSION. I ALSO COULD NOT EAT, CRIED FROM THE HORRIBLE PAIN I WAS IN,I ALSO THOUGHT I WOULD HAVE RELIEF DIRECTLY AFTER SURGERY.  NEVER BEEN MORE WRONG....BUT I DO NOW HAVE USE OF THAT LEFT ARM AGAIN AND THAT I GUESS MADE IT WORTH IT...AND THERE STILL ARE BAD DAYS...I NOW AM HAVING PROBLEMS WITH MY RIGHT ARM.. THE DOCTOR NOW SAYS IT IS MY c4-5   THEY ALREADY DID c5-6 & c6-7  
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Have you had you surgery yet?  If so, how are feeling now?
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Hi You sound so nonchalant about fusion to the cervical vertebrae and you say c6-c7 is next on your list. I would like to ask a few general questions and hope others have a view. I am a fit 64 year old that have looked after himself carefully all my life, never had any contact sport such as football that does cause neck problems especially in the c6-c7 joint. Have heard that a prolapse in a footballers neck is very common simply because of the terrible strain they put their necks under. Notwithstanding the fact that we all suffer wear and tear and some of us have arthritic degenerative conditions that lead to the problems, though mine is just wear and tear, One thing has struck me in that no one has said so far that they have a prolapsed disc due to an accident. As for me as I have said I'm 64 and was 61 at the time and stationary in a middle lane when a vehicle after hitting another literally took off and came at me through the air, I remember seeing it in slow motion, coming at me from the side hitting my van and shoving it sideways in to the left hand lane, had a seat belt on but was thrown viciously left and right hitting my head on the door post and bending my neck like a banana and ouch did that hurt. Within a couple of days the headache was still bad the neck hurt and now pins and needles in my left arm. Before the accident there was no indication that I had neck problems at all and I was working normally now it has settled to some extent but was very painful in the first 6 months and within 24 months I have learnt to readjust what I do but can not do what plumbers are expected to do and am relegated to the office where I get in the way. An MRI shows that there is a prolapsed disc at c6-c7 to the left pressing on the nerve root to the left arm, which causes the normal pins and needles and worse if I sleep the wrong way and pinch the nerve for a long time. The surgeon has suggested a decompression which I suspect is what you have said is your next procedure. However no one here has mentioned the unmentionable. My own doctor had a knee to knee bit of advice which he gave me and told me of his earlier works as a doctor in that surgeons are not gods and in fact he didn't seem to trust them much following his experience in Stoke Mandeville Hospital that specialises in spine surgery here in the UK when he was given the task of following up past similar operations that went wrong. He made a point that people in the same situation that are walking talking and doing all what is expected of them albeit with pain ans sleepless nights and they then regret it when it all goes wrong. What happens patients are sent to outlaying establishments that look after them. His bottom line was live with the pain or risk having a machine breath for you for the rest of your life.
Now kizzz675 what is it? a mere de-compression procedure as my surgeon says or is it one of the most dangerous procedures that a surgeon can perform?
I would like to hear from others if they have sustained a prolapsed disc because of an accident or undue pressure to the head or neck. And what are the risks?

I had a double hernia operation a couple of years ago so it is not a matter of me being afraid of an operation its the fear that I wake up and cant move my fingers and toes and there is a tube stuck in my throat and the words of my doctor ringing in my ears.
despite of all that I don't think I can stand the pain that comes with this disc problem and am on the verge of going against my GP's advice.

Any advise out there?
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Concerns regarding cervical spine surgery are common due to the need to be operating so close to the spinal cord.  However, most cervical spine surgeries done by board certified neurosurgeons have very successful outcomes with minimal complications.

I had anterior cervical fusion C4-C7 done six months ago for multi-level degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis.  Prior to surgery I had neck and shoulder pain, numbness and tingling in my arms and difficulty doing daily activities.  After surgery most of my preop symptoms were totally relieved and I no longer have any significant problems and have resumed all of my prior activities without limitations or restrictions.

Postop recovery for me was not difficult and only minimal incisional pain and sore throat (due to the intubation tube and manipulation of the tissues) which resolved within two weeks.

Deciding on surgery to correct a prolapsed disc is a very personal decision and needs to be evaluated based on the severity of your current symptoms and how your activity level may be affected.  If there is nerve root involvement (the prolapsed disc is causing pressure on the spinal nerve root), surgery may be the only option to obtain optimal nerve recovery.  The longer the nerve is compromised the greater the risk of permanent impairment.

Have you had a recent MRI to assess whether there have been interval changes since your last exam?  An orthopedic or neuro spine specialist would be able to provide updated information on the need for surgery.  Basing a decision on past experiences of your primary care doctor may not be reflective of current medical practice.

There is risk involved with any invasive procedure and even from the administration of anesthesia.   In my case, the risks were explained thoroughly and I am very glad I proceeded with the surgery.  I have no pain!  The results have been well worth the minor postop symptoms and I would not hesitate to have the surgery again if needed.

Hope you are able to get a consultation with a spine specialist and have your concerns addressed.  
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Hi Gemini64,
Sorry to hear about your experience. I am presently also having the same problem as your and also the same location, i.e. C5-C6 & C6-C7.
2 years ago, my condition were not so good, and was seeing a specialist at the hospital. Then the surgeon have gone thru my MRI scan and confirm that I have good reason for surgery. He have recommend to do an Artificial Disc replacement. But the option for surgery was open for and it is a personal decision and the surgeon did not force me to opt for it. Only advice he gave during that time was that if ever the pain at my arm and finger tip does stop, I could drop the idea for surgery. It actually stop after 2 months of medication and I also get the idea out of my mind.
But this year, 3 months ago, the prolapsed disc suffer a relapse and the pain was increasingly unbearable. I had started my hospital appointment again, and being scheduled for MRI scan this saturday1st Aug 2009. The doctor will review with me on the MRI outcome on 12th Aug. By then will decide on the need of surgery. I am here actually to findd out more from those are also having multiple level prolapsed disc. I actually have discussion with another surgeon friend of mine that artificial disc insertion is better than the fusion method and movement can still be maintain whereas the fusion method(traditional) does offer relieve of pain but not on movement.
I am quite about the surgery not because of the removal of damage disc or the insertion of artifiicial disc, but more the bone spur that is protruding out and facing toward the spinal cord. It could be this bone spur that is still causing pain and the removal of this bone spur is very dangerous to remove as it is very near to the spinal cord. I am now hoping that the new MRI scan would show something more promising.
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I had my c4/5 and c5/6 disc replacement with the second generation prosthesis called "disco-serve" on july1, 2009 in London. The surgeon says the operation went well and discharged  from hospital after 3 nights. Prescribed  heavy medication for pain. I developed a pain in my left shoulder blade in-spite of the pain medicines. Surgeon immediately stopped all medication and prescribed "gabapentin 300mg*3=900mg per day saying that the pain is from the ‘facet joints’ trying to synchronise with the new location of the neck. Increased the medicine to 3*600mg=1800mg per day. Up-to now no relief. If I lie down or put a cushion behind my back I am ok. If I stand up and walk etc the pain comes back.I am not going to work and my voice after 28 days is still funny. Did anyone else also suffer from pain in the shoulder blades I would appreciate if you could tell me what sort of pain you had and how much time it took to recover.
regards
ellahi
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Just had Artificial Disc Replacement surgery July 12, 09  with the prestige disc, C5-6, and it totally eliminated my presurgery symptoms of pain well, more tingling really and numbness radiating down my right side of my neck, shoulderblade, bicep, forearm and thumb and forefinger.  Woke up from surgery, instantly gone.  Less than three weeks after the surgery I am pain med free, driving, performing normal household chores and trying to remember the restrictions my neurosurgeon gave me as I have no pain to tell me not to over do it.  My follow up is next week, I only hope I am alright, but I highly recommend having the artificial disc replacement surgery for cervical issues, as my experience was amazing.  (Assuming your neurosurgeon is as great as I am thinking mine was!) I was up the same day in the hospital dragging my IV pole around the floor, and home by noon the next day.  I would hope we could get some of the newer discs like the M6 Artificial Disc which they are using elsewhere since it has some shock absorby stuff in it, but I am grateful to no longer be worrying about losing function in my right arm.  Good luck to all...

By Aikidoka
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Just wanted to add my two cents worth. I just had C3-C4, C4-C5, and C5-C6 disk replacement over the Labor Day weekend. I had thought about it for almost two months prior but the increasing pain and numbness in my left arm and shoulder made me realize I really had no other choice.
This was my first surgery ever and I was scared out of my mind. Fortunately, I was in an excellent hospital, Scripps Memorial La Jolla, San Diego, CA, with great doctors. The operation lasted 5 1/2 hours, was in surgical ICU for 24 hours, and a hospital room for two more days after that. I was up and walking (somewhat unsteadily) a day-and-a-half after the surgery, although I was also on heavy meds. It has now been three weeks. My swallowing is still difficult, throat still feels "loose" and swollen, and I have an occasional tight feeling in my upper back and shoulders. Also, my neck gets tired easily and have to rest my head often. But, I am now up and around, back on my own, driving and doing chores. The primary constraint is that I have to wear a cervical collar for a few months. I still have some follow ups as well as possible therapy. The doctors and surgeons I had were outstanding and they are being very conservative, hence the collar requirement. Pain throughout the entire process has been minimal, although I can now start to feel the the 8" incision in my neck as the nerve endings begin to heal and regroup. Of course, the most obvious benefit is the fact that the previous pain and numbness in my left arm and shoulder is now totally gone. So, after three weeks, so far so good. I'm 52 but look young for my age and have always stayed in fairly good shape. I'm 5'11' and weigh 170 lbs.
I will keep posting for awhile and for anyone who is interested, my e-mail is ***@****.
Good luck to all!
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I have heard of this but did not know too many details about the same. This thread has given me a lot of details and info
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So you had artificial cervical disks at 3 levels?  Was your surgery part of a research study?  I live in the Milwaukee, WI area and my surgeon told me only single level artificial disks are available.  A year ago she was hoping I could wait until multi-level's were approved, but I haven't found anything that says this has happened yet.  Now things have gotten much worse.  I'll need a new MRI but based on the one a year ago she would do one artificial disk and fuse the rest 2 or 3 levels.

Thanks,
Tammy16
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I live in Southern California and my doctor told me he had placed inserts at three levels, along with the backing plate and retaining screws. I don't know if my surgery was part of a research study. The hospital where I was, Scripps Memorial in La Jolla, CA, is world-renowned for their research study, but I really don't know if mine was at this point. I will have more info when I have follow-up x-rays done next week and will get back to you.

By the way, I grew up in the Milwaukee area on South 27th.  
:-)
- Jesse4sd
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Thanks for replying so quickly!  From what you said I don't think you had the artificial disks...maybe fusion???  Please let me know what your doc says.  I hope you're healing is going well!

Wow!  What a small world!  I'm 47, grew up in Racine, moved to Waterford in Western Racine County in '94 and now live in Rochester nearl Burlington.  Hope you're enjoying your California sunshine while we're just starting our Fall season here'!

I'll look forward to your future posts!

Tammy16
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Has anyone had artificial cervical disc replacement surgery done at Kaiser Hospital? I just want to know how good the surgeons in this hospital for this kind of procedure.
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I ve had my c5/6 level disc replaced with a Mobi C implant. This procedure was carried out on 13th October ( around 6 weeks ago). Im 28.

This is a major operation (so there are severe risks although the likelehood of said risks is relatively small), but if your in pain, its worth it! You will have a scar on your neck, with such a major operation it will take several months to recover properly, although 6 weeks into my recovery I feel completely fine, I avoid any heavy lifting or strenous effort, although I can drive and I have full pain free movement in my neck.

Depending on how fit you are you will probably be up and walking on the same day of the op (all be it in a fair bit of pain!) I chose to stay in bed for the first day and make good use of the morphine given!

Cant wait to get back into the gym now though as Im starting to get fat!!! Other than that recovery is pretty straightforward.

I hope the op goes well for all those waiting it!
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I have C4 screw broke and fusion broke between C5 - C6. Anyone know of a Neuro Specialist Spine Center in the U.S. willing to travel.I've been researching for two weeks
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I had my first surgery in 2001,C4-5-6 w/plate.The fusion didn't fuse and the 2 screws broke.2003 had second surgery, fragments removed but tips left in C4 and C6. Three more screws added in C4-C5-C6,it was successful but in my many falls over the years since my balance is off since my very first surgery. I moved to a new state and PCP asked for a myelogram it showed C4 screw broke again and the fusion broke between C5-C6. I don't want another surgery but have no choice, any good Doctor or Spine Center recommendation. I know the risk of having surgery but what are the risk of not having it?
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I am 26 years old and have been having neck problems for 5 years now.  I was always very healthy until I started having neck pain.  Unfortunately, degenerative disc disease runs in my family.

After trying just about everything to help my neck pain, with it only getting worse, I decided to do the ADR at c5-c6.  Post surgery, the numbness and tingling were gone, but I was still having severe neck pain.  The pain was different from before the surgery.  The pain was mostly in the right side of my neck and shoulder.  I had some x-rays done that showed the disc was tilted entirely to the left side.

A year and a half later, the doctors had no solutions except to live with it or try a fusion surgery.  They were really skeptical going into the surgery, but they found that the Prestige disc in my neck was way too big!  They fused the area and concluded that it was absolutely the right thing to do.

A year later, I am now in the same pain as before the fusion, which is very puzzling.  I don't know if its just phantom pain or what, but I blame my current situation on that failed ADR.  I wish I would've just done the fusion.
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For herniations, I would recommend seeking a chiropractor who practices the Pettibon System which is a full spinal rejuvenation program before I would even consider a surgery such as yours!!!!
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In europe the saying is "refuse to fuse".
I have a friend that had laser surgery on cervical spine and is doing great.I'm now considering it myself. If you are relatively young and do fusion chances are you will be back in a few years with a herniation in the adjacent segment!
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I was injured in a bus v. semi trailor accident that occured on 17 Nov 09. The collision caused the drive to be thrown out of the bus, I got into the drivers seat and brought the bus to a stop and saved the other 40 soldiers from possible injury. As a result of the accident I have had shoulder sugery and now I am due to have ADR on 27 April. The pain is crazy, tingling, numbness and how can I forget the 7 to 10 pain level daily from the time I wake up to the time I am supposed to be sleeping. I pray to God that this will help with some if not all of my pain.
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hi :( i am having surgery in june and i am supposed to have a fusion w/replacment discs above and below it  on c456, so ive been in pain for about seven yrs. im kinda freakin out to as if im in enough pain or not im talking myself outta it ughh now hey said possible bone graph oh no!! has ne one had this done?? any tips i would love to hear from u!!
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sorry if this has been asked before...

neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon? there seems to be a turf war going on.
I have 50% of my spinal cord compromised (seen on the MRI) but thankfully in no real pain (yet). I was told not to do anything risky...including tennis.
I am going this week for my second opinion. the first neurosurgeon didn't even mention ADR. I'm 47 and in good health and very active. I live in the Philadelphia area
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Personally, I really don't have a preference between types of Surgeons. I had a Orthopedic Spine Surgeon do my low back and a Neurosurgeon do my neck, both were competent. Some people say Neurosurgeon's are better with nerves and if I was going to have brain surgery, I'd definitely want one. But Orthopedic Spine Surgeons have to do a Spine fellowship in addition to their other training so their definitely qualified too. I think the best recommendations you can get come for former satisfied patients.

They haven't been doing ADR's in the U.S. that long, so I'm sure there are a lot of Surgeons out there that aren't completely sold on them. If your going to have one, make sure you spend sometime researching it.
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Hi, I had a disc replacement at c5/6 on 17th March.  and now feel great pain-wise just a bit stiff around my neck but am hoping the physio will sort that out which I'm due to start tomorrow. I just wondered if anyone has experienced a tight gripping sensation at the back of the head which seem to round right around the top of the head and into the sinuses giving a light headed feeling? My neuro - surgeon says this could be due to swelling pushing on blood vessels. I'd like to know if anyone else has had this experience after disc replacement and how long for.
Thanks
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My heart goes out to all of you in pain.                                                            I am trying to find awsome Dr's. that have done more than 1 level disc replacements NOT fusion . My current Dr. is willing to do 5/6 and 6/7 with Prestige. I havnt gotten the cost yet. Will find out what out of pocket ( cash) will be this week. Looking for other American Dr.s and over seas Dr.'s because of experience in doing them and cost savings.
      I like the Bryan Disk and the Pro Disc more because they mimmmick the original more closely.  I am in desperate need of some contacts regarding multi level disc replacement. I cannot get fused do to my job.  I am self employed with 3 young children and extremely active and healthy.
    I am also a professional drummer so any leads would be sooooo apreciated. Thank you and I am also from Milwaukee. Todd
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I had fusion of C5-6 way back in 2000. I didnt like the idea of metal plates staying inside of me for all eternity when the only reason they are in place is to ensure a good healing. Once healed they serve no purpose. So my surgeon agreed not to use a plate. My surgery was a complete and total success. My pain was completely gone for almost 10 years. Then I was dumb and proceeded to move a pile of boulders on my property during some renovations. Wrong thing to do! I now have bulging C4-5 and ruptured C6-7. Need to do the surgery again but dread it. Will need plates this time. However, I do want to say to any of you, if you are in such horrid pain, be sure to find a GOOD surgeon. Do not smoke and if you do, QUIT. You will heal tons better and the fusion will have much more of a successful outcome if you do not smoke!!!  I am extremely glad I had the surgery. I was pain-free for 10 years! There is the risk though of injuring the one above and/or below, as I have done. So keep that in mind. Some of you say you go running, etc. That is just taking things too lightly and will shorten your time before you injure another disc. My surgeon told me that I could run if it was on a treadmill which is springy and like a shock absorber, but not to run outside on asphalt or cement. So while you do not need to stop living a full life, I feel you need to also exercise some common sense!! Good luck to all....
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I am curious with all the information out here. Which is better disc replacement or disc fusion? Is disc replacement approved by workers comp. I was told I needed my fused at C3, C5.
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  I,am 51 years old, i had multi level fusion with plate from c3 thru c6 on o4/o2/2010, so it,s been almost 8 weeks, i still have shoulder and neck pain but not real bad, it,s my left arm that has nerve pain now but was numb before the surgery, so my nerves are coming back to life, at least thats what my doc tells me,i had numbness and tingling from my left leg all the way to the back of my neck and head, it drove me crazy, i still have some the tingling in my arms and neck but nothing like it was although i,am in some pain and discomfort i was told by nuerosurgon that this should get better, but i was also told even before the surgery that all people are not same when it comes to this type of surgery, i dont think 8 weeks is enough time to tell how it will be down the road,
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I just on June 11 had an emergancy C5-6 titanium wedge disc repalaicemnet and fusion, herniation pinching my spinal cord with thcal sac flattened. It anyone of you felt half the pan I did get it done. Three months down is SOO much better than being paralized for life. I could feel my fingers again within several hours , full of pain meds. Still having painfull times, but i'm not completely bedridden. The WORST part is no driving 6-8weeks, and you have to wear the Miami J collar, I feel like a dog with a cone. I have known several Drs and then all have experience with our new hardware, they all have great things to say. I'll just wish for the best and
prepaire for the worst. The financial strain of not being able to provide is hard on my EGO. At the moment I am being eyeballed for not having the collar of shame on.P.S. If possible have anternaiting care persons for first two days you return home(one may get tired of quicklly)
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Hi I am 28 years old and I have to have 2 artificial disc removed c4-c5 and c6-c7.  Currently I am in alot of pain, lack of movement in my neck and not getting much sleep.
I have tried quite alot of tablets to ease the pain but don't seem to work.
I am an active person and really worried about the operation.
Could you please me know the longterm impact of the surgery?  Please post any more information
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Hi I am 28 years old and I have to have 2 artificial disc removed c4-c5 and c6-c7.  Currently I am in alot of pain, lack of movement in my neck and not getting much sleep.
I have tried quite alot of tablets to ease the pain but don't seem to work.
I am an active person and really worried about the operation.
Could you please me know the longterm impact of the surgery?  Please post any more information
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Has anyone had luck getting insurance to pay for the prestige disk?  I have had no luck at all and am now fuse c4-c5 & c5-c6 and am starting to have symptoms again...  Any help concerning insurance would be greatly appreciated!

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I had c4,5,6,7 disk replacement almost 4 weeks ago and am miserable.worse now than before.4 hr surgery,came home nest day.used to have left shoulder pain,weakness in left hand and last 2 fingers on left hand tingling and partially numb.now.lower neck pain.right shoulder,upper and lower arm pain,wrist pain and  tingling in right hand.my arms are killing me,especially from wrist to elbow...
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Greetings,
I was reading all the comments about disk surgery.  I just had disk C 6 & 7 fusion (from the front) in April of 2010.  The results were not what I was expecting.  It is now worse.  I have severe pain on a daily basis which includes neck, shoulders, in between shoulder blades, headaches and sometimes I hurt so bad that I cannot pin-point where the pain is coming from.  My pain is now worse than it was before the surgery. in February of 2007 I also had part of my disk that was bulging and pressing against my on C 5 & 6 cut away (from the back).  That turned out very well.  Before the surgery on C 5 & 6 I had lost almost all the use of my left arm.
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Anyone with experience to total disc replacement at C6-C7 and fusion at C5-C6?  I was in a pretty bad car accident which resulted in 4 level cervical herniations.  Fortunately only two of the levels (those listed above) are impacting the nerve root and require surgery.  Unfortunately, there is too much damage at the C5-C6 level to do the TDR at the upper level.  Any feedback is appreciated.
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Greetings to all! I am 38 years old and reside in San Diego, CA. I was diagnosed with a herniation at C3-4 and my neurosurgeon is recommending one level fusion using the cage. I am scared like everyone else on here but mainly because I have never been put under for anything ever!!!  I am otherwise extremely healthy so my neurosurgeon believes I am a good candidate for the surgery. I have complete trust in him, he is the Head of Neurosurgery for Scripps La Jolla and teaches local doctors how to perform the procedure.  I am wondering how long before I can go back to work (desk job)?

I was told that although I can have the bone graft (cadavear) or ADR he doesn't suggest either because C5-6 are slowly degenerating and this would put more pressure on them and possibly cause another herniation sooner than later.  As of now my doctor is predicting a 25% chance that I will need to repeat the procedure at the C5-6 in about 10 years which is another reason he is recommending the cage, he says it will be easier to work around instead of fusing and adding bone which will need to be chiseled and removed if future surgery is needed.

I must admit, I am not as scared anymore because of blogs like this, although I wouldn't wish this on anyone, it's nice to know there are many people out there dealing with this, it makes me stronger.  May God continue to bless ALL of us, I wish everyone well!

Jay
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I saw many of the comments on insurance paying for the pro-c disc...I am scheduled for surgery on 11/11/10 and have been told by my dr's office that my aetna insurance DOES COVER pro-c.....I received authorization from them -- so, I know it to be true....My doc's office did tell me that many insurances don't cover the discs because it's a new technology..which is interesting because the Europeans have been doing the replacement discs for 30 years --- it's only a new procedure in the U.S.

Question- I am struggling with the amount of time to take off from work...I am very healthy and the doc's office thinks I could be back to work as early as 2 weeks ...but I have kids and a house to take care of after working full time....the disability nurse at the doc's office and my dear husband suggested that I tell work that I will be out for up to 6 weeks, but could be back as early as 2 weeks.....I agree with my husband, who suggested that I go on-line and see if there is an 'average recovery time', but I can't find anything.....

What was everyone's average recovery time? When did you go back to work?
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I have a friend who recently had a single level lumbar ADR in Germany.  I am seriously considering going over to have a 2 level cervical ADR at this hospital.  

Feel free to check it out and PLEASE, if you have any personal experience with this hospital or doctor, please do tell!

http://stenumspine.com/
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well i had c-4&5&c-5&c6-&7  cervical  surgery   and i have numbness tingglin headaches sleepless nights burning of the incision down the neck into my shoulder blades the surgery               was to cure my neck pain i was having i went to the doctor for a pinch nerve in the neck thene i neede sergury i was told i will turn back to normal but i have not seen it yet but i can say the pain is mot as bad now thene befor i had shootin pain down my neck down my shoulder blades down my arm into my finger some te pain has subside but not all after surgery my range of motion my neck becomes tierd when i bend forward i have pain i have been on all kind of meds but for now tylonel and pain killers i go for my myelo/ct scan on jan 22 2011 to c if the fuse has fused properly i will b back to let you know it went for me to whom ever respone to my post i will b glade to anwser any question you may have for me @my visit til next time shine dlove
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Hi. I'm considering having a artificial cervical disk replacement, the c5-c6 level, one level replacement. I seldom get back or neck pain, but get thumb pain both hands that limits my computer use, and restricts my activities at work. I'm a nurse at the mercy of my co-workers to help me perform my duties at work. Sometimes, I just can't rely on their mercy and aggravate my injury. A neurologist has recommended an artificial cervical disk,but I'm terrified of surgery in the neck area. I fear that I will be in extreme pain afterwards, and that I will have a severe sore throat. I fear, that I will accidently hurt myself after surgery, because I'm a restless sleeper. I would like to hear from anyone that has experienced artificial disk replacement surgery with the prodisc cervical implant or similar device.  Thanks, Marisette
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I had a disc replacement with a titanium disc back in 2005. I'm an active person and have been literally drug and pain free since a day after the operation. In the last 3 weeks I've had numb fingers and some neck pain... I'm worried and sn seeing the doctor today and will insist on an MRI. I'm interested in anyone that has had reoccurring pain after there operation.. Where to next?
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I had C1-C2 fuson in 2007, now I have c5-c6 issues...x-ray shows no disc in area, bone on bone...some major headaches weekly, slight headache everyday and sometimes in arms it feels like burning sensation for a few minutes and occasional shooting pain....The headaches usually start in the neck and work around to front...no vomiting yet...Sometimes it feels like I try to relax my neck and it just isn't happening....This proably has been this way for a while..I looked at post op xray and it shows very little space in area...I use to be able to work on cars etc holding wrenches with no problem, no after a couple minutes I am in pain from holding a wrench and have to work at getting cramps out of arms etc....I don't feel numb as most other posts describe....is it normal?
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July of 2009 I had a 3 level disc replacement at C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 levels at Stenum Hospital in Germany. (With the titanium M6 discs) It was honestly a very awesome experience. I have no complaints (other than having to go so far to have it done) and have done wonderfully! The surgery took only a few hours and I was up walking slowly the day after. I did not have to wear any kind of neck brace afterwards and my recovery went well I felt. After having such nerve pain in my neck and arm, the pain of recovery was nothing!! I was not allowed to do any heavy lifting or do any driving for 6 weeks afterwards, but was able to do most anything else as long as I refrained from any sudden neck jerking motions. If you would like any other information about my experience, I would be more than happy to tell you more!! Good Luck to you-I feel your pain!!
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Hello,
Been looking at this blog for quite some time now.  Finally had the surgery done 5 weeks ago.  Excellent Dr Struggar in ct.  Did a level 3 discectomy and fusion all at the same time. Long operation but was very succesful and am healing well.  2 were replaced and 1 fused with cadavar bone and plate with screws.  
Level 3's aren't done to often, all at once.  But my Dr. is excellent.  Was very scary to go through. I had a dis. rating of 33% before the operation, will get a new one apx. 6 months in.  
I am glad I did it but I was in a lot of pain right after surgery. 6 weeks out and still taking some meds for the pain, not as much but I do still need them.. Will be off work for at least 2 months yet. I have a very physical job. I am not actually sure I will be able to continue this career when all said and done.  
Getting comfortable at home after surgery was the WORST!  I was able to drive again at my 1 month check up. Started PT now too.  I have very limited mobility at this point. I can not look up at all , very little down, left to right is getting better but still needs lots of improvement. Still need to watch the sudden turns of the head , (found that out the hard way last night, LOL)
Thanks to everyone posting on here. It is the best forum I have seen so far.  
Good luck to all,
MIke

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I just had C-5/C-6 herniated disc removed and fusion surgery done on January 4, 2011.  Immediately my intense pain in my right hand/arm was gone.  I only spent the night at the hospital and did not have any problems once I got home.  The surgery definitely wears you down so you do need rest.  Wearing the collar is probably the most aggrevating part of this surgery.  Its just in tthe way and annoying.  My doctor is having me wear it for 3 months total.  The first 6 weeks for 24/7 and the second 6 weeks only during the day.  Otherwise, I've only experienced minor pain and discomfort which I attribute to my neck healing.  I've been very pleased with the surgery and credit my surgeron for doing such a great job.  I am still off of work but am going back next week part-time to slowly get use to sitting in an office chair for multiple hours.  If you have the luxury of slowly going back to work, I recommend taking advantage of it.  In my case, this whole injury/surgery came up very quickly.  When the doctor discovered my problem after an MRI, the disc was pressing into my spine.  The danger was that if I fell or got into an accident, I could have damaged my spine permanently.  After doing a lot of research, I am glad that I went ahead with the surgery and did so quickly.  It seems the longer you wait, the worse the nerve damage and other pain seem to be.  Good luck to everyone.
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I had artificial disc replacement on 11/16/10.  I had the Pro disc C inserted. I had an 8 mm herniation pressing against the nerves and spinal column. I would highly recommend it! My Doctor was very honest of the pro and cons!! He told me that this would be the best, but if I had damaged  the nerves, this could take months to possibly never because nerves don't regenerate. I had severe pain in my left shoulder, left tricep, down to to my thumb which had no feeling in it. The surgey went well and now 3 months post I am back at work feeling good. The longer time off was due to my Job, (I am a Firefighter). I still have mild pain in left tricep, which the Dr. told me before and after that was possible. This pain is so manageable compared to before. My Dr. has been doing these since the beginning( He was in the trial study). I am so thankful to have the ADR instead of Fusion because my mobility of the neck is as good as before!  
I went to Texas Back Instute in Denton, TX.
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I have severe right foraminal stenosis at c6/7 and c5/6 left sided disc protrusion flattening the left anterior theca.

My injuries were originated from a whiplash sustained in a car accident 12 years ago. I also have lower back injuries from a fell 4 years before that. For the past 16 years till present I have been having regular massage therapy, physiotherapy and tried many acupunctures treatments, tunai (Chinese traditional massage and chiropractics), yoga  etc. I also learnt Pilates, Alexandra technique, TaiChi etc.. I have tried many different treatments and pain managements methods including neural myotomy on my lower back.

However my cervical injuries seem to have got worst over the years. My radiculopathy conditions are getting worst despite my regular massage and physiotherapy. My Neurosurgeons have commented that pain management clinic may help to relief some of my pain and discomfort but not necessary help with the impinged nerve which has affected my right hand functions. Thus ACDF was suggested ASAP to avoid permanent nerve damage.

I was introduced to 3 different techniques, 1.P.E.E.K with own bone graft; 2. Trabecular metal (TM) with tricalcium phosphate; 3. Artificial disc replacement.

I knew that PEEK and auto bone graft is the golden technique for these condition but I am hesitating because of my lower back conditions. And artificial disc replacement history is still too young to shown all its benefits or any long term outcome or complications.

I would like to get some advice or hear some experience from people who had undergone ACDF with trabecular metal or artificial cervical disc replacement. Does trabecular metal affect future MRI reporting? Which artificial disc did you have and how was your outcome?
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I truly wish i had read this site prior to my ordeal. On 6/18/10 I was at work (nursing field) and another co-worker and I where lifting a patient out of the wheelchair to assist her to her bed, at which time the co-worker tripped over the wheelchair jolting me forward while holding the patient mainly myself to protect her (patient) from a fall. I immediatly felt the pain in my neck and lower back but just assumend that I pulled a muscle, continued on with my duties, went home and tried to comfort myself the best I could. By the next night, I could not lift my left arm at all without severe pain. The next morning I finally could not take the pain and went to the emergency room. Told them what I was feeling and they only did an x-ray on my neck, not my lower back, said I had a muscle strain and had me follow up with an orthopedic. He too thought i had a muscle strain and took me out of work for 2 weeks. I went back in two weeks with severe pain, numbness, tingling, jolting (shocking) sensations going down my legs, so he sent me for an MRI which again, was only done on the cervical area. The results where large protution of the C3, C4 and C4,C5 with massive protution of C5,C6. C3,C4 was just starting to go towards my spinal cord and C5, C6 was pinching it. I was told I needed emergency surgery and was referred to a neurosurgeon. I went to see him and he like the others never bothered to look at my lower back pain and stated he will not deal with that until my cervial issue is back to 100%. Finally on 9/7/10 I had C5,C6 fusion and was told that my pain and symptoms would be gone after that. I had no voice for 3 weeks, was on mainly a liquid diet due to not being able to swallow very well due to choking. I went for my 4 wk and 8 wk checkup which he would only do a side view x-ray to make sure the screws where still intact. He then sent me to physical therapy and after a month the surgeon stated for me to start normal activity again to strengthen the muscles. I explained that not only nursing, I do have a farm and on a normal basis, lift hay bales that weigh and avg of 40-50 lbs, he stated that was fine to do. so I went back to normal activity and lifted my first hay bale sense the before the surgery and i was done for. had appt with pt 3 days later and the pt doc stated he would not touch me because there is something wrong. I went back to the surgeon who stated "look at it like I do, if there isnt anything growing outward, why worry about it"...I again stated the pain i am in, the symptoms I am having and he then said "try getting off your couch" I was completely floored. My mother who was with me was dumb founded and came unglued and stated the fact that I am BY FAR a lazy person. This surgeon has yet taken anything seriously. My lawyer (smart idea) advised me to find a new surgeon who I have sense seen, took x-rays from FRONT view and the titanium plate is tilted, and is also wondering why he did not do surgery on all 3 bad disc and connected the plate to one of those bad disc. Everyone has wondered this. Thank god, this new surgeon is taking my situation seriously. As I sit in my computer chair trying to write this long note, I have the most severe pain between my shoulders blades as if an ice pick is being stabbed into me over and over and over. I still have to be careful how I eat due to choking, I am limited on most everything and the biggest is not being able to hold my grandbaby. I am only 39 yrs old who should be out living life to the fullest, however finds it too difficult now to even wash dishes. I can not drive more than a couple of miles due to immediate flare ups of pain. I can not say I would not recommend the fusion, however I am DEFINITLY wanting everyone and anyone who reads this, to FULLY research the surgeon and get that second opinion from another surgeon before even having the surgery because Im telling you now, its a diffult process to find another surgeon to look at another surgeons work and be honest about it. I finally found one but it was not easy at all. I had another MRI with contrast this past week and see the new surgeon again on the 14th to discuss "options" that i was not provided with before. Again, thoroughly check out the doctor and the procedure he wants to perform. Good luck to those who have this issue.
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Hi.  I just thought I'd share my experience with the Prodisc-C operation.  I was the 2nd person in the US to receive the implant over 7 years ago.  I was part of the original FDA clinical trial.  The first trial consisted of only 22 patients receiving the Prodisc-C.  Dr Philip Weinstein performed the surgery at UCSF. (amazing neurosurgeon) I've been told that my scope video was part of the FDA approval process.  I was 34 years old at the time of surgery and it was put in between C5/C6.  The operation was flawless.  I was discharged 12 hours after the surgery without wearing a neck brace.  While tender from the cut in my neck and shaking off general sedation, I was back to work 2 days later completely free of pain.  I golfed 10 days after the operation.  I went every year for followup xrays per my clinical trial request.  I just did my 7 year follow up two weeks ago.  I have complete mobility in my neck and have never had a single problem.     With that said, I do recognize that everyone has different experiences.  I'm the poster child for this disc.  Every year I would ask Dr. Weinstein how my results compared to the others in the trial.  He answered honestly by saying 90% are doing just as good but there were a few that had difficulties but still manageable.  I'll take those odds any day.  Fusion in the neck is way worse than fusion in the lumbar.  The neck isn't as forgiving and doesn't handle stress as well above / below the fusion.  It's weird to see this technology play out over the last 7 years.  While the FDA approved the procedure, it will still take insurances companies several more years to catch up and pay for the operation on a regular basis.  So, I'm patient number 2 with the Prodisc-C.  7 years later I'm still going strong.  Am I worried about parts wearing out???  Sure, but I have to be realistic.  It's only surgical steel and heavy duty plastic.  With all the movement in the neck it's bound to wear out sometime.  But for now I couldn't be happier.  Don't do fusion but realize there is a chance you may be in the small percentage of "not so good" outcomes.  Lastly, research the hell out of your surgeon.  It's still considered a very new procedure.  Get the best doctor with the most ADR experience.  I'm lucky that I live in San Francisco and had easy access to one of the most cutting edge hospitals in the country.
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I know this is old but I thought I'd share my story if it might help someone. I'm 29 years old, about two months ago I woke up with really bad pain in my right shoulder and arm. I went to the doctors and after a MRI they found a problem in C6 C7. They wanted to do surgery ASAP do to my extreme loss of strength in the right arm. If you are suffering from this you know how bad the pain can be, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't sit, I could only stand for some reason and even then I had to put my arm over my head. I went for the prestige disc replacement, the surgery took 4.5 hours and when I woke up.... No pain, my hand was still numb like before the surgery but there was no pain. The next day I was walking around and two weeks later I was back to work on lite duty. It's been about 6 weeks since the surgery, the numbness is gone and the strength is coming back, I've had no pain. I wake up every day with no pain, at this point I'm 100% happy, but only time will tell  
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first of all i am sending a HUGE hug to everyone out there in pain like i am! i was 23 when injured on the job suffered from severe whiplash type of injury as i was truck in the head from underneath by a childs head(the child was in a rage). This happened in 1999 and its 2011 now so it has been 11 years for me. Many years of depression/anxiety and constant pain but there is hope and mine didnt come from surgery either! there are other options out there you have to find a doctor that is willing to do other things besides CUT YOU! i have seen some say they have tried a few nerve blocks/epidurals here and there but you really have to do these often as a maintenance program along with excercise and many other things that help you specifically. In 2007 i had a NERVE STIMULATOR implanted as a pain management solution. Not a fun surgery at all but i have some relief now. Mine is placed at the occipital area 4 leads most docs use only 2 leads but my problems are worse. Trial is done before the permanent surgery as well so it is worth looking into you wear the device for 2 weeks before they make it permanent. I was soooo scared about having my neck cut on period i couldnt imagine going for a fusion or replacement and i think some of you that are looking to that for a "fix" may be really sorry once you do it. I have heard so many horror stories from failed surgeries and i would get several different opinions and do a lot of research before you undergo one of these. Hope you all are well and semi pain free....im off to rest so sore from my nerve block i had today but it means less headaches in the long run :) take care
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I had cervical disc replacement on 2/24/2011, that was 5 days ago from this post, my doctor replaced the disc between C5 & C6, I was released the following day and instructed to go about my usual activities, I'm very sore in back of my neck and top of shoulders, I believe this soreness will fade with time, sometimes I feel off kilter a bit, that could be a result of some muscle tissue that is cut and the recent surgery, I believe time is needed to completely heal all that was done, my doctor used the Prestige Cervical Disc , FDA approved, some insurance companies will not pay for disc replacement but only for fusion, I was fortunate, my workmans comp paid for replacement, I will to comment in months to come......
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I had cervical disc replacement on 2/24/2011, that was 5 days ago from this post, my doctor replaced the disc between C5 & C6, I was released the following day and instructed to go about my usual activities, I'm very sore in back of my neck and top of shoulders, I believe this soreness will fade with time, sometimes I feel off kilter a bit, that could be a result of some muscle tissue that is cut and the recent surgery, I believe time is needed to completely heal all that was done, my doctor used the Prestige Cervical Disc , FDA approved, some insurance companies will not pay for disc replacement but only for fusion, I was fortunate, my workmans comp paid for replacement, I will to comment in months to come......
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Just be told that I am in for an disc replacement Op on the 29th of March....
Its C6-C7. I'm normally a brave bloke but I'm worried about this.....
Just thought I'd share my feelings.... ***@****
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The worst part of the surgery was when they took the catheter out shortly after I was in my hosp. room, the attractive nurse said take a deep breath and she slipped it out along with my dignity, It only hurt for a minute or two, but seriously I understand what you're going through, but don't worry, the surgical staff will take very good care of you, You will fall asleep in the prep area and when you wake it will all be done, the technology here is incredible, I was released the next morning and told by my doc. to resume my normal activities, I will be on sick leave for 6 weeks ( catch up on honey do's ), I go in for my first checkup on 3-9-11 , don't worry......
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Hi Frankfrenett,
I am an orthopedic spine surgeon in NJ, and I have been performing cervical total disc replacement surgeries for appropriately selected patients dating back to 2008.  I prefer the ProDisc-C over the Prestige and typically send my patients home from surgery the same day.  When comparing my patients who underwent total disk replacement to those who underwent anterior cervical fusions, from my observations so far and in my opinion, total disk replacement patients have a higher level of satisfaction.  Also, I have found that my patients who underwent total cervical disk replacement were able to return back to full activity more quickly, and I have also observed that they reported less postoperative neck and shoulder blade pain as compared to other prior patients who had undergone anterior cervical discectomy and fusion.  However, I still do fuse patients who are not candidates for disc replacement.  Proper patient selection for total disc arthroplasty is important, however, even with proper patient selection and excellent surgical technique, there is a chance that the operation will not result in a successful outcome.
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I had disc replacement surgery Jan 20th/11 @ C5/C6 for a pinched nerve - titanium cage/bone graft/plated & screwed. The surgeon says the surgery was 'picture perfect'... I was not one of the lucky ones to be pain-free afterwards. At this point, my pain level (arm/shoulder/hand) is still the same. I would like to hear from anyone who is maybe a year or so post-op, that was in this situation, but is now doing better. I have suffered for 18 yrs, the last 5 yrs, have been almost unbearable. This surgery was my last hope, as I have exhausted all other treatment options. I am trying to remain positive, as the surgeon said it could take up to 18 mths for the nerve to re-program itself, but it is hard not to be discouraged. (acute pain from the actual surgery went away, no problem) Any comments or input would be greatly appreciated. Thx.
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Hi

7 days ago I had a disc replacement c5/c6 in the UK. Still in quite a lot of pain but sort of expected that.  What I did not expect was the clicking sensation, creaking and what feels like plastic rubbing on plastic  I have at times when i move my neck.

Has anyone else experienced this? If so how long did it go on for?

Any help would be greatly appreciated
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I had multilevel ACDF levels c6/7 and c5/6 on Jan 19th. I have had pretty good results but lately have been experiencing the same arm and shoulder pain. I also was told that it would take up to 18 months for the fusion to be complete and the nerves to regrow. Trust me I know how you feel. Back at work, still in pain, wearing my brace on occassion and I still sleep in it. Yesterday I had to go home because the pain was so bad.
I am still taking pain meds when I get home. Yesterday we had a really bad storm and I was wondering if you had experienced worse pain with bad weather. Today my boss was out because of her neck and she had this surgery 3 years ago.
I have spoken to several people who had the surgery years ago, before I mad my decision to have the surgery and they all said I would be very happy with the results. I am still having mixed feelings. I know I don't have the same pain every day like before, but I am really anxious to the point when pain is a memory.
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Hi Marisette! I am currently 5 days post surgery. I had an artificial disc replacement at C5-C6 and a fusion at C4-C5. I had a one night stay after surgery and continue my recovery at home. The swelling in the throat is an adjustment and you must be cautious. Ensure that someone is home with you, especially when you are eating or swallowing medication. The swelling does subside, so don't let that be your focus. I am a restless sleeper as well, and can tell you that its almost impossible to 'injure' yourself or your incision. (mine is anterior) My surgery seems to be successful, as I suffered from left sided nerve pain for nearly ten years and now I have none. My only complaint now is that my neck is very sore and I know that will ease in time as well. Overall, I am completely pleased with my decision. My surgery was done at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and my care was top notch!
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Update: I am now 10 days post surgery. I had an artificial disc replacement at C5-C6 and a fusion at C4-C5. Feeling great! Being weaned from morphine and starting to feel like myself again. Some spasms in the shoulder blades (what they have labeled 'settling' pain) but tolerable. Incision is healing nicely and is cosmetically pleasing. Zero numbness/ tingling or nerve pain in upper extremeties and this makes me rejoice as I had experienced that pain for ten years! Returning to work in three days. Swelling in throat subsided after a week and its now possible to eat most anything in small amounts. My only suggestion would be to practice patience during the healing process. In my case, I saw immediate results from this surgery and found it hard to take it easy, which is so very necessary.  I would definitely recommend this surgery.
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Hello, My mother 63 y/o has compacting wornout with no cartledge left on her C4-7 discs.  The docs are going to check her overall health to see if she is even healthly enough for surgery.  The docs are out of Dakota Dunes, SD and I have googled him but have not found much about his work.  She said that they want to place a rod in her neck?  That sounds wierd compaired to what I was reading on here no one ever mentioned a rod.  I read that fusion is best for elderly but there is also a lot of complaints of no pain relief with fusion.  Can an elderly person receive disc replacment?  Anyone please help....
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just had c4-c5 andc6-c7 total disc replacement on jan. 31 2011. was hoping to here from others who have had multi replacements.ive been in phys-ther  for 6 wks felling better by the day. still have alot of soreness across back of neck and shoulders. as far as my nerve pain and hand numbness, 4 days out of surgery it was all gone. hope to here from someone. goodluck to all who are having surgery.
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Be very, very careful with the vicodin. I become addicted to them...akin to Dr House on the television series, and it cost me 12 k to go to a horrible rehab. Was a nightmare.
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I have "extreme disk degeneration and spurring in my neck and lower spine. I have constant headaches and burning in my butt and back of legs.

I have only seen a chiropractor about this. He says he can't do anything to improve the condition, but can prevent it from getting worse.

I asked him about disk replacement and he said..."they always fail".

Is there any treatment for spurring in the neck and lower spine....my disks are basically gone. I don't have private insurance but do have VA benefits.

I am in central Texas.

Thanks

INB
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Hi everyone. I had disc replacement at c6-c7 on May 18th. I love my surgeon, but I was scared to death. I'm not sure if my expectations were out of line, but I am three weeks post op and I am still in a considerable amount of pain. The numbness and tingling that I had in my middle finger and hand was done immediately after surgery, but the pain from my neck down to my elbow is still there. I am SOOOO tired of being dependent on pain meds. I have followed post-op directions to the best of my ability. I have a two year old so I could not simply lay around and heal, but I am not picking her up or pushing myself. Please tell me this may be normal and I am just being impatient. :)
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I'm 39yrs old and am scheduled for C-5 / C-6 Disc replacement using ProDisc.  I would like to hear from any of you who have had the same procedure both recent and older surgery times.  I'm in the military and was very active until about a month and a half ago.  Started having the numbness all the way down my left arm from shoulder to finger tips.  I haven't lost all of the strength but some.  I was diagnosed after receiving an MRI.  The disc is pressing up against my nerve causing my pain.  I was told the only way is surgery.  If anyone knows, I would like to know if the procedure is a HUGE DIFFERENCE from fusion.  The reason I ask is my Doctor said this will be her third time!!  Kind of scary, but she has been doing fusions for just under 20 yrs., so she definitely has experience, just not with ProDisc.  I've searched many websites that will show each procedure, but none talk about the degree of difficulty between the two.  Thank you for your much needed information!
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If you let a surgeon operate on you who has done only 3 such operations before, you are crazy as a bed bug....and will probably suffer for the rest of your life. DON"T take such a chance...go to the best...don't rush.
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I had titanium Disc replacement at Hamilton Health Science center after breaking my neck in a car accident where we were hit by a careless driver T-boned spun us twice and hit a curb and light pole i have had a successful surgery as far as i can walk where i couldn't in December i am not great yet but my neck is not my issue its neuropathy pain and burning in my hands and my entire legs from the knee and down i have little feeling on my right side and my left side was also affected but i had a blood clot at the base of my skull and other complications but all in all i would definitely have it done it is not fused so you have movement of your neck with little to no pain
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You're right she has only done this artificial disc replacement three times, however has been doing fusions for just under 20 years.  What I'd really like to know is how different are the two surgery procedures?  Do you know if it's different, the procedures?  
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I have just completed my Surgery, Cervical disc replacement with a prosthetic disc called PsoDisc, and feel much better as far as the numbness and tingling in my left arm all the way down to my fingers.  The surgery was yesterday morning.  I will give updates as time goes on to tell all about my range of motion.  My Doctor, Jodie Levitt, was pleased with the surgery epecially the plcement and sizing of the device in my C5-C-6 Vertebrae.  I, of course, am in the normal pain caused from the surgery but otherwise feel good.  I'm still curious about others out htere and how they feel since this type of surgery.  
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I Was in a MVA in July of last year....with my husband ...Although my husband was left unconcious following the accident the hospital failed to notice our injuries...My husband has 4 bones broken in his thoracic spine and paralysis...but nobody noticed until December for either of us after 47 Doctors appointments and several trips to the hospitals....to no avail ... then on Dec 12, 2010 i woke up couldn't walk my husband got me to the hospital and again they wanted to send me home and wait for an MRI opening i flipped out crying and scared and the Doctor says Mam i can't deal with you if your going to be emotional ...I refused to leave without at least a neck xray....then the fun began there were 4 broken bones in my neck c3-4-5-6 which were impinging on my spinal cord and i also had a blood clot the size of a  baseball on the base of my skull which i had accupuncture in for 5 months not knowing it was a clot but believing the doctors when they said its an inflammed muscle...hmmmm..I ended up in a trauma hospital and underwent disk replacement surgery after a 5 day wait and went home the next day...I will say i am happy to walk again though not very well my right side of my body is terrible i have no balance i fall i have the worst burning pain on the skin of my arms and hands but alot of paralysis and general weakness throughout my extremeties.....of course to the insurance company i am perfect and should be able to go back to nursing and taking blood and IV's you know but they won't let me take there blood.....i am being so screwed by not only our Doctor but the insurance company as well i had my surgery through the front of my throat and have some brain injury as well with memory loss due to the clot but i just want to know will the pain be this bad forever or is this a temporary thing?  The burning pain is so bad in arms and legs feet and hands being the worst my spinal cord injury caused the spinal cord to smack to the right causing stroke like symptoms ...and the lady that hit us was elderly went through 2 red lights in town and in the second intersection T-boned our Lexus LS a big car and she was in a small car and she totalled our car spun it twice and it finally stopped when the rear drivers side hit the curb and a light pole....She was charged with Careless driving and we were sentenced to life in pain and no relief in site
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Im currently considering this option - I have bulging disks from C2 - C7 and its being proposed that I have disk replacement surgery on two and fusing the middle disks and replacing C3/4 and C5/6.
I've had numbness in both hands and up my left arm, and contstantly drop stuff.  If I move my arms and nect suddenly then the pain in my hands is almost enough to make me pass out and will linger for days (imagine dropping a breeze block on your hands, and the pain staying for at least a day - not good).  My surgeon has left the decision up to me and I can go back to him at any time.  Question is should I?  Worried that I might end up in permanent pain - did anyone suffer additional long term pain after surgery?
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I just wanted to let you know that I had c4-5 ACDF and c5-6 anteror cervial withy arthroplasty Pro Disc C on March 1st...long story short i was in an auto accident 9 years ago and have been in severe pain since...I looked at orthopedic docts and neuro docts...i finally found an awesome doct at Hershey med Center in PA...Neuro Surgen Dr.G. Timothy Riter(717) 531-3828...i was in dying pain and i mean dying pain all the way up to the day of my 5 hour surgery....I expected to be in alot of pain and a bit of recovery...well...i was pain free the minute i woke up!!! im telling you that i didnt have ANY pain at all in my neck anywhere and the neck pain arm pain numbness and tingling was all gone!! now i did have bad shoulder pain for about 3 days well just at night when sleeping nothing a vicoden couldnt take care of...but that was all the pain i have oh and i only used 3 of my pain pills..yes only 3...i couldnt believe how good i felt and am still feeling...yes my arms are still a little weak and i do have some perm. nerve damage which i had before the surgery...Am I worried about my disc wearing out in 5 to 10 years  HELL NO!!! Ill just get a new on lol...i hope this info helps somone....good luck- Deb from PA
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I had replacement disc with titanium plate and screws on June 22,2011.
The pain relief was immediately better than before surgery. Here it is almost a month out since surgery and i have noticed some swelling on the right side of my face from my chin up to almost my ear. It does not hurt and do not think it is infected, waiting to hear back from Dr.
Anyone else have this problem?

Barb
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i am currently considering having disc fusion on c-3 c-4 c-5  due to ddd in the cervical spine. I am recently noticing that i am dropping stuff with my left hand. I have constant pain in my neck 24/7. my doc recommends this procedure asap. I do have a disc 20mm lng x 6mm wide lodged in my spinal cord. I am so scared of the thought of paralysis!!! I have DDD in all the disc , wondering if this will affect the other disc?
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i am currently considering having disc fusion on c-3 c-4 c-5  due to ddd in the cervical spine. I am recently noticing that i am dropping stuff with my left hand. I have constant pain in my neck 24/7. my doc recommends this procedure asap. I do have a disc 20mm lng x 6mm wide lodged in my spinal cord. I am so scared of the thought of paralysis!!! I have DDD in all the disc , wondering if this will affect the other disc?
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Hi-I can understand your fear of paralysis and the sense of urgency. I was told if I didn't do something ASAP that I may also have been paralyzed. All they could offer me here in the US was fusion of 3 levels of my cervical spine also, but I knew of others who had done that who needed more and more fusions down the road due to the stress on the discs above and below the fusion levels. I did my research, prayed and ended up in Germany at Stenum Hospital where they were able to put Artificial Discs in to allow me to keep the movement in my neck.  (C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 levels with the titanium M6 discs) Being only 46 at the time, I was not ready to give that up. I just passed the 2 year anniversary of the surgery and as of right now anyway-I feel it was SO worth it. Although expensive, it was worth it to maintain my quality of life and movement. Obviously nobody can tell you what to do-I would just seriously consider all of your options before having a surgery like that.
If you have any questions about my experience-feel free to ask. I still subscribe to this site in case I can be of any help to someone as I certainly understand the fear and uncertainty of it all. I wish you all the best in your decision.
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TBone,
Would you mind telling us what your procedure cost? I doubt my provider (United) will cover this.
Thanks,
P
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I'm sorry...I meant to ask vrob the previous question.
Thanks
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The cost of the procedure was @ $45,000 which included everything but airfare. The hospital stay itself was only a few days, but we had to stay in Germany for several days (we were gone for about 3 weeks) afterwards to make sure everything was ok before they released me to go home. (We were moved to a larger city where the hotel we stayed in was included for my husband and myself.)  After a little rest, we were able to get around and go sight seeing so it was kind of a vacation at the same time. Unfortunately at the time I had my surgery it was not covered by insurance, but things can change-definitely worth checking out.
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Thanks for sharing your personal cost info. Wow. I applaud your conviction to do what you know is the right procedure. I'm in the same mindset. I'll have to cash in the 401k to assure my future mobility. We can't let insurance companies dictate our health choices. Sad that we have to jump the pond to have this kind of access to ADR.
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I totally agree with you on that-imagine my surprise when I found out that the very discs I had to go across the ocean to have put in were actually made here in the US-In California!
I have told MANY medical personnel (any and all that will listen) about my procedure and SO many cannot believe we can't/won't do it here. The really sad part is that after returning here, my neurologist would have nothing to do with me to follow up on my care. I had to find a doctor that was at least willing to take x-rays to send to Germany as a follow up a year later. I would think that they would be interested in any information that would help bring the procedure over here-but I guess NOT!!
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Hi Suresh, Based on the forum I believe you had Cervical surgery and hope you are doing well now. I will be going for surgery in next few weeks and would like to know if you can share some details. My name is sekhar and if you can provide your contact that would be great. Thanks
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I'm only 30, but after years of pain, PT, injections, meds, and numerous ER and doctor visits, I decided to have surgery.  I had artificial cervical disc replacement in March 2011.  Originally, I felt a lot of relief.  However, my shoulder and right next pain has been flaring up recently.  I'm sure my surgeon will suggest using muscle relaxers or trying PT, but I'm upset that surgery didn't totally fix me!  I'm almost embarrassed that I went through all the pain and recovery of surgery without feeling "fixed".  Anyone else who has had surgery had some of the pain return?
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If you have degenerative disc disease, they cannot just cut it out and have it go away; it is a disease that continues in the body.  If you had surgery and expected to be "cured", you need to speak to either your Neurologist or Rheumatologist about degenerative disc disease, and what the real expectations should be before and after surgery.

Had my first fusion at C4/5 in 1995; second one at C5/6 in 1997 with instrumentation; both surgeries in the front; after those, I decided I would work through my pain rather than have another surgery.  I lasted 13 years before considering another surgery, mainly because I did not want the bone spurs that were pressing against my spinal cord to do permanent nerve damage.  So, I had my 3rd surgery with fusion and instrumentation (titanium plate and screws) from C3 through C7, in December of 2010.

Now, the reason I'm on this topic page, is because I have a bony cyst between my C2/C3 that is causing a lot of head pain.  My doctor does not want to do a fusion at that level because it would forever change my life, as I would no longer be able to move my neck/head up, down, or sideways.  So, we are doing facet injections into the cyst, along with a large ball of arthritis at the base of my skull, to try to reduce them both, and help relieve the pain.  I had my second facet injection treatment yesterday morning; the first one in July.  

Now, the doctor that does the injections is talking to be about cauterizing the nerves in my neck that are causing the pain.  I'm looking for information on that particular treatment, so if anyone here has feedback on that, it would be appreciated.  Thank you!
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I am 65 and was assaulted in '09 causing multiple, displaced disks in mid- to upper back and neck.  I have a severe herniation at C6-7, but my entire neck is unstable because of the bulging disks above and below this area.  I have been wiped out by exorbitant medical insurance premiums and medical care costs (in this most wonderful country on the planet); and I am waiting for a settlement (hopefully) from the person who assaulted me.  You have given me pause...I have tried PT three times and could not tolerate it, but I think I am going to try decompression. I cannot see spending the rest of my life having disk replacements at adjoining disks....I have already been through hell.  I think I will wait until, maybe, the artificial disk replacement is considered more plausible.  
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hi. i just had cervical neck surgery done on levels c3-c4,c4-c5,c5-c6,c6-c7.ihad a cage and titum plate and fusion and a bone graff done as well.ihave to wear a collar for 3 months and also a bone graff stimilator to wear also.the stimulator helps the bone graff in side me heal better.i still have some pain...but it is not like it was.i am 45.after surgery i was in icu for 5 days then they put me in rehap.now i am ok.my head before surgery was so bad it had been tilted to the left.it would not say straight up.now it is normale and stays up straight.though my fingers still are affected .but i am glad to say the harsh pain is gone.in a few months i have to go in for lumbar surgery.for i have 4 levels of messed up bulging disc there too.i have had 4 low back surgeries sence 1992.it is not fun. i was dignosed with d.d.d. back in 1993.i hope this can help you.take care
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I just had 2 artificial disk placed at c5/c6 and c6/c7 and have had nothing but problems, but test after test they have no answer if why,12 trigger point shots in one week, a mylogram that I ended up haveing bad reactions to, now I'm having shots in my neck, if this does not work then my dr will take out the artificial disk and try a fusion....
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Did you have a blood test to check for sensitivity to the metals used in your implants? If not then check out http://www.melisa.org - it is the only test that picks up everything that normal blood tests do not.

I had C4/5 and C5/6 replaced nearly two years ago with Spinal Kinetics M6 discs - I have recently been experiencing very similar pain symptoms to what I experienced prior to the surgery. I have now had an MRI of my whole spine and it is showing a stenosis in the same place again plus a disc bulge at L4. I am yet to read the radiologists report to find out what has happened (he had my previous MRI's for comparison). I did have nearly two years with a massively reduced pain level after the surgery and lots of accupuncture.

I cannot say at this time if there is a problem with the replacements or if something else is happening....

Good luck to everyone on here!!
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My husband had c2 through c7 replaced with synthetic (***.) disc replacement last Tuesday.  He stayed in the hospital for 1 day and released.  He is not wearing a neck brace.  It has been one week since the surgery and he is in major pain throughout his shoulders and upper arms.  However, the ringing in his ear, chronic neck, headache and upper neck and back pain, numbness in his lower arms and numbness and weakness in arms and fingers are gone.

But wow, even with pain meds, muscle relaxers, he is still having major pain in shoulder blades.  Does anyone have this experience after the surgery and how long?  Please respond, as I am home taking care of him and its difficult to watch him walk around and pace in pain.
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I had artificial cervical disc replacement at 3 levels a little over 2 years ago. I know of the pain in the shoulder blades-I was told that it was from the muscles stretching because of the added heighth in the cervical spine. (Since the artificial discs are separating the vertebrae that have likely been "squished" together for some time.) A lot of ice at first and then Ben Gay and heating pads helped me out (along with pain meds) to get through it. It was only for a couple weeks and got better as time went on and (for me at least) I found that the pain I went through during that time was worth it for the pain relief in my arm and hand I received from having the replacement. Hang in there....but if it doesn't lessen with time in a couple weeks I would definitely have it checked out just in case. Good Luck to You!!
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Thanks for the words of encouragement.  Mike is having a very difficult time right now, just got sick on his stomach, lost his dinner.  Mike is 56, 6'4 and weights 220.  He is in good shape except for this recovery.  I have scheduled him to go in tomorrow am for appt.  

Mike had a swimming pool accident 24 yrs ago, the hotel we had gone to for over 6 yrs added a ft of concrete in the 8' ft end and did not post it.  Needless to say, when Mike dove in he nearly lost his life.  Was in the hospital for over 4 weeks and never really recovered from the neck and spine damage.  This surgery was the only hope for his quality of life to improve.  

Say a prayer and hopefully he will feel better soon.

Thanks   Beth
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Wow-how horrifying that must have been.... I will definitely keep him (and you) in my prayers for a speedy and complete recovery and a return to a normal life. Keep me posted!!
  Take Care and God Bless!!
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   I was 39 in 2002 when I herniated c4/5, c5/6, c6/7. Have both nerve root and spinal cord compression ( at c4/5 it looks the worst as the disc is actually flattening my cord). I was advised and treated by an orthopedic surgeon originally, then a neurosurgeon. After 6 months of physical therapy and epidurals, and pills galore, I was able to reduce some of the pain and weakness to usually tolerable levels. I have some right side nerve damage that is preventing innervation of muscles in 2 of 3 Triceps, shoulder, partial Bicep, and some back muscles. Constant muscle spasm throughout my upper back and shoulder, and right arm and hand pain.
   The original Neurosurgeon suggested 3 options back in 2002. 1) Fusion at 3 levels in one shot, with my understanding that in time the degeneration would most likely progress to adjacent levels and more surgery would be necessary. 2) Trying a series of arthroscopic procedures in the hope that the fusion would not be necessary, with my understanding that there would be no guarantees that resulting scar tissue could cause other issues and that ultimately fusion at least at one level might be unavoidable, and that once I was on the table and he opened me up and actually saw what it looked like first hand he would need to do what he thought necessary at the time, which could be 3 level fusion. 3) Do nothing surgical for now. That eventually I would need some surgery, but because of my age (39 then) if I could buy myself 10 years or more managing my pain, that there may be newer medicine and techniques would be available, that fusion then may preempt me from taking advantage of. I was concerned about the nerve damage and asked if surgery then would help that? He wasn't certain but it was unlikely. That they may repair themselves, but unlikely. I was also advised that if my condition worsened to numbness or spasticity, surgery would be necessary immediately. I sought advise from 2 additional Neurosurgeons, one saying immediate surgery was necessary, the other recommending surgery within a year. I opted to follow the advise of the waiting as long as possible. I had seen a disc replacement Neuro in NYC in 2006, and he had told me I was a surgical candidate for an FDA study ( not certain what disc)  but he again suggested that if I could wait longer I should.
   Fast forward to today. Low and behold I have made it almost 10 years. Not without sacrifice, and much endured pain and discomfort, and the c 3/4 level now affected, but there are seeming to be other options becoming available and accepted.  Mainly stem cell use for nerve regeneration and disc replacement surgeries. In 2002 the internet was only a blip compared to today, and the availability of information allows us all to keep informed about what is important to us in ways that were not even imagined prior. I have been keeping my eye on things and read about disc replacements for some years now, that have been being used in Europe for many years. In my course of treatment in 2009, I came across an Anesthesiologist that was a doctor in Germany before the US. I asked his thoughts on the differences in what was available medically in Europe and The US, and why if certain things have been proven to work (namely disc replacements) in England, France, Germany and elsewhere, why they were not being adopted here. He told me it came down to culture and money. Money because companies protect their existing income streams, even if it means battling against the implementation of better alternatives.That manufacturers of medical devices, tools, equipment fight against upsetting their own apple cart. They do their fighting by controlling the FDA approval of newer things that would replace theirs. Basically anything medically used needs to be approved by the FDA, and this includes studies to use new devices and procedures that in themselves go through several levels of necessary approval. They control the FDA they control their profits. It is more complex but that our system of medicine allows it and so companies use it to protect their profits. If another company or person has a patent on a device it can't be used without their consent. But they also can't use it in the US without the consent of the FDA. So it is a culture that has allowed the interest of money to overcome the interest of delivering the better medicine. Or at least giving the alternative a chance, or letting people decide for themselves. Now contrast that to Europe. The system is not about allowing the protecting of profits, but of advancement and bettering the lives of people first. I'm not trying to be political here, but I found it interesting to get his take. He didn't elaborate on the European mechanism of testing devices and procedures, but he was confident of his reasoning.  
   So, anyway, apologies for getting off subject, but I'm wondering if it's time to reconsider disc replacement surgery. I've read about Stenum in Germany, and believe there are actually FDA studies that were started in the US a couple of years ago with the M6 disc.
I would love to hear from anyone who has had the disc replacement surgery at multiple levels. Wondering also if they had nerve damage prior and experienced any reversal in actual damage or reversal of atrophy, or improvement in innervation? Has anyone undergone disc replacement with the M6 in the US? Any stem cell information?
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i had lots of pain for a good 12mths i was back and forward to the doctors, lots of different medication, then sent for Physio, injections, then finally went for an MRI scan which showed up that my 4/5 5/6 6/7 discs where damaged but my 5/6 was the worse so that is what they were going to operate on, so i went into hospital and had a 4hr operation where they removed my disk and put a carbon fibre plate in and fused two together, For about 2wks after the op i thought it was brilliant, less pain etc but then it hit me, i have had really bad pain in my neck, shoulders, back, arms and really bad headaches, i had been off work for 12mths, going backwards and forwards again to doctors, pain management clinic, Physio, having accupuncture, heat treatment, exercises etc, i suffer really bad pain and headaches i'm on 18 tablets a day and morphine patches, i have now been finished from work as its impossible for me to do my job, i have never been out of work in my life so you can imagine how i feel!! i wish i had not had the operation as i am   alot worse now than before, in alot more pain and struggle with everyday things, i cant carry heavy shopping, change beds, hoover etc, and now i'm doing the rounds again, doctors, pain clinic, physio. It might work for some but i will say it certainly did not for me!!        
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AMEN to all of your comments! You have hit the nail on the head.
I went through some of the same issues here in the US, but had to do something fast or would likely have had paralysis from the neck down as I was told here. I don't know anything new about current stem cell  therapy but I DO know about the M6 replacements done in Germany at Stenum Hospital. I had the surgery there in July of 2009. I had 3 levels replaced in my neck (I told some of my story earlier on this page-so I won't repeat it all) and thankfully have been great ever since. The progressive nerve damage has resolved as I have full use and no nerve pain anymore and WITHOUT fusion, I have full use of my neck. As far as this ever happening in the US-I have serious doubts-as all of your comments about the FDA and companies keeping their profits I believe to be true. The M-6 discs are actually made here in the US, but the replacements at 3 levels are not performed here to this date as far as I know. The surgery there was expensive and of course not covered by insurance, but when you think of your health and all you have been through so far, I would say it is definitely worth the consideration. They have great people to work with there (good English speaking people-since I unfortunately do not speak German!) and it is of no cost to you to send your MRI reports there to see if they can help you. One of the levels in my neck was so bad that I was told before surgery that it was possible that fusion may still be necessary and they wouldn't know until they went in, but they were able to put in the artificial disc without problems after all. I was very impressed with the whole experience. If you ever have any questions regarding my experience there-I would be very happy to help. Good Luck to you!!!!
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I am reading your postings with my heart beating so fast...the reason? I am now 61 yrs old. and ever since 1990 (first C3-4) surgery I have had a second one in 2002  C4-5-6 or who knows...then on 02/02/2002 again...this time FUSION (titanium plates & screws)and ever since my left arm, shoulder, hands, fingers are "dying"...the pain is so intense that I am now relying on Clonazepam (drug for epilepsy) to help "relax" the muscles on my left side so I can function/sleep...SO HAPPY for you that could find a good result!!! Yes, if I win the lottery you bet I am flying to Germany....
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so much time has passed since original question.. how are you doing? In 9/98, I had fusions on 5/6 and 6/7. Both were done anteriorally. One did not fuse, so on 7/99. I had it fused posteriorally. Have had pain ever since, being they cut through muscle when done posteriorally. The 9/09, I had 4/5 fused anteriorly. Still with pain . Feels like my head has been jammed on. If could be pulled up, feels like might help with pain. Yep, tried traction.. made pain worse. I feel like I coould be a walking ad for any type spray, cream or gel for pain. Those with and without the smell. Was somewhat if just some offended by reference to using brains.... I don't think that has anything to with pain and it's relief. I am RN and have been nursing since 1975. To relieve the pain, I think I would have allowed a monkey do my surgery if any relief of pain was mentioned. Not promised, just mentioned. That's how bad the pain was. Now have been sent to pain doc by my neurosurgeon. MRI of entire spine show bulging discs and osteophytes along spine. Not bad enough for surgery (for me) at present, but duragesic patches and roxicodone aren't relieving, but pain is almost tolerable. My opinion... find a surgeon you trust and carefully weigh his recommendations. Seek 2nd opinion if makes you feel better. If surgeon offended... not one for me. At present, I am having total right knee replacement on 11/21/11. The walking on cement floors as a nurse really helped to ruin my body. I also didn't take care of it either. Best of wishes to all and whatever your choices/decisions may be.     Madlyn
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I have my follow up in 8 hours after the trigger point injections didnt seem to work. My damage is c4-c-7, I am really nervous. Within the last 6 weeks I had Labrum Surgery, Rotator Cuff surgery, Tommy John surgery and nerve replacement surgery ( as well as all the cleaning out of the joints that comes with it) . The above surgeries were done at one time and lasted about 7 1/2 hours. i'm really nervous about the options on my neck and back. ( this is all due to over 25 years of Rodeo, Football, Baseball, working on a ranch, and sleeping on bad mattresses and too many nights in the bed of a pickup truck). Not quite sure where to go from here? Have any of you had the headaches and numbness in the right arm, hand and wrist? What about Sleep, I dont want to do Ambien and all the happy sleep drugs, any suggestions?
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I have the same problems im 39 and hve problems with C4-C7. Im option is a cage installed. the pain will still be there. My Question is why have another surgery if the pain will still be there. I live on pain med. an muscle relaxer. Im still trying to work everyday but there is days I hurt so bad I  really just want to be left alone. Did you have a cage put in?
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Please tell me your doctors name? I am considering this treatment rather than double fusion.

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I have had cervial neck surgery they have fused it and put a small plate in and yes they went through the front of my neck, its not a great surgery because you can't talk for awhile i think it took me like 3 weeks till i could talk good without it hurting, i am not sorry i did it and would do it all over again if i had to because i have no more pain i also have degenerated disk disease BUT.......make sure you have the best doctor around and that you trust him because you are putting your life in the doctors hands..
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To Suresh1:

I first found out that I had a herniated disc at c5/c6 in 2008. I was 27 at the time. A recent episode of pain and consequent MRI revealed a herniation at c6/c7. I am 30 and now have two herniated discs for no apparent reason. I understand the depression your feeling with encountering this at this age. I have found some relief from more conservative treatments including traction, ultrasound, etc. A couple of neurosurgeons told me yes on surgery, a couple said wait and do therapy. I am glad I have waited as the therapy does help me. Have you explored this? My goal is stay as comfortable and without limits for as long as I can, hopefully until disc replacement is mainstream. Good luck!
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Jolene:  I had an ADR in my low back 3 years ago in Stenum Germany with Dr. Ritter Lang.  It was a great experience and I am pain free.  I am now scheduled to have a double ADR surgery at the same facility Feb. 10.  After researching all the hospitals and skills of the doctors, it is the best place to get it done.  They now use the M6 which is not yet approved in the USA.  I have the option of going through Dr. Pettine in Boulder, CO who uses either the Prestige or the Pro Disc C.  My insurance, Blue Cross, after months of appeals, has finally approved the procedure.  They had wanted me to have a fusion, which I will NOT consider.  Stenum is awsome.  The cost is just under 30,000 Euro for my double, which amounts to 38K at present exchange rates.  FYI, Ritter Lang has put in over 5,000 ADRs and Pettine has done over 400.  Your body will tell you when it is time.
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Here I am,Got C6-C7 spine **** oprated on 13 Jan 2012 at Lahore, Pakistan.

Iam 50 years old. I was feeling numbness in feet , legs and belly.I was told by GP to get my blood sugar checked . But it was ok. Then I told that I might have GB Sydrome problem. So treatment was done.but no relief. Meanwhile I was told to get MRI.
Doctores found that my C6-C7 spine **** was pressing spinal cord. They advised that to avoid serious damage I must get surgery.
I contected 5 Neurosurgen and 2 orthopedics. They confirmed that opration was necessary.
So I decided to get opration on 13 Jan 2012. one day before necessary test were conducted. Opration done by neurosurgen. Opration took 4.5 hrs. After opration i had injury at two places. One cut in front side of neck and other at upper bone of legs( stomach area.) .
I had bad throat for next 7 days. Could not speak well.Two weaks have passed , I am wearing hard collor for protection of neck.
I have been advised by doc to take care for 6 weeks. Then he will advise further.
As regards my numbness . It is almost same. Doctor says it might improve. It may even not get away. Opration was to stop further damage.

Let us see, what happens, I some one who has experience about numbess in legs and belly may post his/her experience.

I think it is serious opration but good doctor, with bless of GOD, should be able handle easily. One should go for opration if needed.
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My neurosurgeon wants to do a 2 level cervical disc replacement and is frustrated the FDA won't let him but says he can refer me to someone in Europe and I'm wondering who your surgeon was? Seeing if I can afford to have the surgery done overseas. Does your insurance company at least cover f/u now that you're home? He doesn't want to do a fusion as I'm only 39 and very active and wants to keep my motion. So how is your motion since the surgery?
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My surgery was performed by Dr. Ritter Lang at Stenum hospital in Germany. When I came home my neurologist would not see me for "follow up" since they did not perform the surgery but there wasn't a lot of follow up required. I did find someone to take x-rays and it was covered by my insurance. It sounds like you will be more fortunate in that respect since you have a neurologist willing to refer you over there! (Mine was no help in that situation at all-I did all the research and arrangements on my own.) Maybe (hopefully) attitudes are changing here in the US since my operation?! I saw in someones earlier post (pb14) that they were able to get their insurance to cover the surgery which I think is Awesome! I do admit that I didn't try too hard with that since I needed to have the surgery right away, but it was DEFINITELY worth it. I have absolutely normal movement in my neck-much better than before I had the surgery and (knock on wood) have not had any issues with it at all. (I am going on my 3rd year since the 3 level replacements now.) If at all possible, I would highly recommend the replacement vs fusion. I know someone my age who had fusion and has had to go back twice since the first one to have more fusions done above and below the first one. Keeping the mobility is worth the money and the trip to go over there and my experience at Stenum and in Germany was nothing short of spectacular. Good Luck to you-I am always willing to help others in any way I can as I know how scary it is but how important it is too. Any other questions-feel free to ask, and GOOD LUCK to YOU!! :0)
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