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iSpine Discuss Freaked out, cervical surgery inevitable..... in the Main forums forums; Hello all, I'm new and well, a little freaked out. I have always been very healthy and last year ...

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Old 07-09-2016, 04:02 AM
Kes Kes is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 4
Default Freaked out, cervical surgery inevitable.....

Hello all, I'm new and well, a little freaked out. I have always been very healthy and last year my thyroid decided to take a permanent vacation and then one day I went for my usual run and dang my shoulder hurt. Within a week my left arm was numb and very painful. I thought it was thyroid and it disappeared after 6 months only to come back with a vengeance this Jan.
So much for the thyroid theory. I've struggled all year and the pain keeps me from my beloved running, cycling, I can hike but no pack. Even hiking hurts after awhile. I am still it the headlight about all of this, I never saw it coming, no injury etc.

The verdict is I have bulging asymptomatic C4/5, broad based herniations C5/6 and C6/7, these 2 vertebrae also have some impressive hook like osteophytes which have to go as my spine appears to want to "self fuse". Left side only pain, tingling back, shoulder and arm. 4 consults, mostly orthopedic surgeons agree I am looking at 2 level ADR or hybrid but any fusion scares me...they say I still have movement at my C6/7.

So that is where I am at just found out this week the insurance debacle here in the US...my insurance may not pay for any of this. Apparently I am paying $700 a month for what again? This would be the first time in my life I've ever had to use my insurance so to speak.

I seem to have found a good doc who is working on the insurance verdict and I have submitted my info to Germany too. I'm going through the motions and dealing with the $ issue when I have some real numbers.

I feel like I am out of my league, any advice is appreciated.

Thus my feeling a bit freaked out. Thanks for listening.

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Old 07-10-2016, 02:49 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,405
Default re freaked out

Hi Kes and welcome~
Well who wouldn't be freaked out about spine surgery of any degree! Those of us that have ever considered it, gone thru it, and/or have contemplated more spine surgery know that feeling!

I'm glad you have gotten a number of consults and they all seem to agree on what's going on and what the answer/treatment plan would be even though it involves surgery. Also glad you have a surgeon that's trying to work on the insurance angle re the surgery. Always good to know what you're going to have authorized and what isn't going to be authorized/covered as best able.

Also good that you've reached out to surgeons in Germany.. I did that as well as did a number of other persons that have been on this forum and a number had their surgeries done in Germany or other non USA countries where cost was out of pocket maybe but less than in USA, expertise and experience was there re ADRs and there wasn't the limiting factor of what could be done here in this country.

I would make one more suggestion and that would be to contact mmglobal (Mark Mintzer) here and the contact information is on the site at "contact us" I believe. He has worked as a Spine Patient Advocate with a number of leading spine surgeons here in the USA and in Germany and abroad. He has also had cervical and lumbar ADRs done in Germany. I think he's your best source re information and assistance.

Hope you will keep us informed here re your progress in this endeavor and I wish you all the best with whatever will be done.


Last edited by Maria; 07-10-2016 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 07-12-2016, 04:36 PM
Kes Kes is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 4

Thank you for the welcome!

Originally Posted by Maria View Post
Well who wouldn't be freaked out about spine surgery of any degree!
Yes, I know you/folks here understand. I've been reading old posts and I deeply appreciate folks posting their experiences for newbies like myself to learn and likely benefit from. I will post my saga as well for hopefully others benefit in some form or fashion.

Another consult today and I will look into your contact, thank you.

Best, Kes
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Old 09-04-2016, 06:49 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 14
Default Beware

Make sure you review the doctor n if you get ADR make sure your not his Guinea pig! Asked my American dr how many ADRs he had done n he said he did a few a few years ago. It's a complicated surgery and placement is critical more than the device or anything else and there's no textbook on placement. Only knowledge of the spine in question n experience matters. I chose to pay out of pocket n go to Germany. I'm not fixed yet so maybe I'm wrong, but there r too many bad outcomes. Even the best have them but the inexperienced has many more. Look for a peer reviewed doctor w a 90 percent success rate. That seems to give the best chances. Plus read read read. .gov has many peer reviewed papers on discs. It's sad to say but there's only seems to be a handful of doctors in USA worthy but their prices r triple of Germany. Seems in Germany it's bout 20 k for one level n 40 k for two. I was quoted 41 k for two lumbar. I figured if I can buy a car for 34 k I can try to fix my back. Tell u the truth I rather be homeless n not have food than have pain like I do. God bless you n good luck brother. I have been reading 24/7 for a few years n my head is spinning.

One thing I learned is don't let emotions or opinion guide you n don't believe everything you read unless it's peer reviewed. Peer reviewed means a sanctioned outside agency approves of results published with no financial involvement!
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