How did your procedure go??? I have heard of the doctor you are referring to, he comes highly recommended. Please let me know how you are doing now.
I am wondering if you had a fusion or ADR after all. I see that you mentioned Dr.Bertagnoli in Germany. My husband and I happened to work in Germany (transfer from AZ in 2005) and we lived one hour drive from his office. I am not sure if it is acceptable here to post links to other forums, so you can just google "Job13 Prodisc" for my devastating story with one level Prodsic ("One Year Hell ADR in Germany. Revision of Prodisc to fusion.")
I hope it will be helpful for people to read good AND "not so good" outcomes and make more informed decisions. Of course, no one doctor will even post on his testimonial page a bad outcome. I hope we have forums so that all outcomes can be heard.
Gee, maybe I saw the same neurosurgeon you did - he called ACDF the gold standard. The second neurosurgeon I consulted said if I were older and less active the ADR would be an option. (I'm 50, ride a bicycle, lift weights, etc) But I wonder if the ADR is not an option mainly because blue cross would not approve it !
I’ll start off with the disclaimer, I’m not a doctor, nor am I certified, licensed, etc. to recommend medical treatment, etc; now that I’m past what our society has turned into, here is what I know from my own research, do with it as you wish.
The FDA only approved 1-level ADR this is why I feel our lovely health care INS co's only accepts 1- level; if that. Multi-Level Surgery is possible for those who meet the criteria; they just need to pay for it themselves. Here is the hypocrisy, the FDA allowed several multi-level adr's to be performed during their clinical trials and even though the results were equivalent if not better to multi-level fusion, the FDA only approved 1-level. From what I’ve read, multi-level ADR’s were performed during the clinical trials due to, what is commonly referred as, compassionate use; yet the FDA does not seam to care about the compassion of others in need of multi-level ADR, outside of their trials. Maybe this is an attempt to minimize health care cost by not approving multi-level ADR and forcing those that can benefit from the multi-level ADR procedure to pay for it; if you want it you buy it and still pay your INS premiums that don’t cover it. Think about it, a doctor is allowed to perform multi-level ADR legally, yet the FDA won't approve Multi-Level use, even though they allowed it in their (Single Level) trials and doctors can perform it thereafter the trials. Unless the FDA approves multi-level ADR, the Insurance co's most likely will not approve.
I'm 36 and may be in need for 2-level ADR cervical as well. I consulted with a top surgeon at NY (Hospital for Special Surgery), CA (Dr. Delamater, Santa Monica) and Germany (Dr. Bertagnoli), all recommending surgery. NY recommends fusion, for they called this the Gold Standard and know this is what the INS will cover. Germany - recommended ADR and CA wanted to perform a few more test and felt ADR was a better choice than fusion. Since you’re in Oregon, you may want to visit CA for a consultation. If I need to have surgery I'm doing ADR, if my Dexoscan (Bone Density permits. To put things in perspective my primary care doctor informed me that the “Gold Standard” for heart surgery is “Opening your chest”, yet many advanced minimal invasive procedures are available that are equally, if not more effective for certain procedures.
I’m doing my research, consulting with many doctors that perform both types of procedures ADR and Fusion. I write down many questions and many answers so I have consistency and can make a sound decision.
Best of Luck
I just had the pro disc replacement surgery for c5-c6 last friday. I am still in pain post surgical but my numbness and burning in my right arm is completely gone. I do however still have the center area pain in my spine. If you decide to have the surgery post- make sure you only eat soft foods after for at least 5 days. The surgery makes you feel as though you have a knot in your throat from the swelling and gets very uncomfortable on post day 4-5. ICe it on the outside as well as eating ice and popcycles. This helped me tremdously. I have Aetna and your right they pay for one replacement- also there are surgeons that do multi replacements mine does--depending on case to case basis relating to the discs above and below the bad discs to see if they can compensate. Hope this info is helpful. Good luck to you all...
Thanks everyone for your responses. I am fortunate right now to have 2 insurance companies. Blue Cross will not pay for a disc replacement at all, fusion only. Aenta will pay for 1 disc replacement. So I will have to pay for the second out of pocket. I have already seen 2 other specialists. I first went to Laser Spine Center. The procedure they did caused my disc to rupture so I would not recommend them at all. One doctor told me I would need a fusion but that he said it probably wouldn't relieve my pain?!? So Dr. Tatsumi in Portland says he has done this before and said that he will give me my life back. I am scared and have not scheduled yet. Still researching and seeing family and friends (without telling them I think I might be my last time). I am in pain all the time and now at night my neck is having light cramps which wake me and take my breath awa they are so painful. I would still like any info on double disc replacement and plan on talking to the doct. again several times before I have this done. Vic.
Artificial disc replacement (ADR) is an accepted procedure and the FDA has determined that the ProDisc is safe and able to be utilized. ADR has been done more frequently in Europe and has only recently been done in the U.S. It is usually favored over a fusion procedure if the goal is to maintain movement and function similar to the normal disc at other levels of the spine.
There are contraindications for this procedure and include spondylolisthesis (the slipping of one vertebra over another) and if there are other identified problems such as facet joint changes.(hinges located at the back of the spine connecting the vertebrae).
Some insurance companies are not authorizing the procedure at more than one level or are denying the procedure based on the individual's age and activity level.
It would be appropriate to contact your insurance provider to determine their position on this type of surgery.
It would be beneficial if your doctor has done this surgery frequently to enhance his skill level and provide positive outcomes. You will always have the option of a second opinion and see if other surgeons agree with this option for treatment.
Keep us posted ----
they can do disc replacement in your neck just not more than one, My surgeon does it.
hiya after reading your posts i saw my surgeon last week i have had the fusion of c5 and c6 they dall it microdisectory they can not replace discs it is way to dangerous my c6 and c7 are now totally worn out basically it is put up with the pain sort out some good pain relief that is all that can be done although i had the mciro disectory had worked as im not in a wheelchair now im stil not sure now long i am going to live a normal life i didn not ask sillly me but as far as i know they can NOT replace a disc in your neck way too dangerous even for them to try
I am not an md, but I have 2 herniated disks in my neck as well C5/6 and C6/7. I just had an appointment with my second orthopedic surgeon who was the first doctor in NY to do the artficial disk replacement. He told me when I asked if I could have 2 ADR ( I really already knew the answer because I had been told by my chiro that you can only have one) that I could not, only one. He said if I had surgery it would have to be fusion.
I dont know the reason, whether it is medical or due to insurance. I will ask that myself next time I see him. You could also ask your insurance company or ask your md himself.