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Old 03-07-2007, 12:01 PM
rob_zzz rob_zzz is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 34
Default cervical ADR in Australia

As some may know, cervical ADR used to be available in Australia but it seems that since some time late last year it is no longer offered. I'm not quite sure if the reason is that it is not 'allowed' (i.e. not a legal procedure) or if it is because it is not covered by health insurance.

I've done a bit more hunting around on this and found the following:

This is an excerpt from an explanatory statement issued by minister for health, private health insurance branch, in Aug 06:

artificial intervertebral discs have also been removed from the Prostheses List following the Minister for Health and Ageing’s endorsement of a recent Medical Services Advisory Committee’s recommendation that states “In the absence of evidence of effectiveness, MSAC recommends that public funding for AIDR in the cervical spine should not be supported.” Cervical intervertebral discs removed from the Prostheses List include:
MC541, Medtronic Australasia, Brian Cervical Disc System;
MC588, Medtronic Australasia, Prestige Artificial Cervical Disc; and
SY330, Synthes Australia Pty Ltd, Prodisc L Artificial Cervical Disc.

I think I also found the full medical services advisory committee article on the topic:

My interpretation of the above (could be completely wrong) - there isn't clear evidence in current studies/literature to show that cervical ADR is more effective, and the cost of it is considerably higher than cervical fusion, and that seems to be the main reason its not been funded. I can't see any horror stories about ADR - seems that it could be about cost, and as the cost is considerably higher but no clear evidence of a significant advantage the decision was made not to fund it. There is nothing in there that seems to imply there are problems as such with cervical ADR when compared to fusion.

I believe it *may* be as simple as that.

If anyone knows more (i.e. is it not allowed or is it just not funded?) I'd be curious to know. As far as I can tell it seems that its about funding (i.e. you theoretically could still have it done if the surgeon agreed and you were willing to pay the full cost) but I'm not sure.

snowboarding injury 1997 landed on head, some subluxation of cervical vertebrae no surgery, some ongoing neck and shoulder pain but bearable.

surfing injury 2004 - transient paralysis from neck down for 15 seconds, resolved fully - herniated c5/c6 disc plus some bulging at c3/4/5. Initially had dermatome pain after injury which resolved - general parasthesia in arms/legs was fairly mild after injury but has been worsening.

Last edited by rob_zzz; 03-07-2007 at 12:05 PM.
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