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Surgical Outcomes and Blogs Discuss L4/5 L5/S1 Mavericks in the Main forums forums; I'm 3 1/2 days post op. I left the nerve pain in the operating room at Stenum. I ...

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-31-2009, 02:46 PM
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Default L4/5 L5/S1 Mavericks

I'm 3 1/2 days post op. I left the nerve pain in the operating room at Stenum. I only have distraction pain and incision pain. Both are increased by the constipation which is normal for this type of surgery. Either that or my wife is right and I'm full of.....

The staff here is tremendous. They are very helpful, understanding and kind. The malicious stories we've all heard about Stenum are untrue. I'm in a group of 5 Americans all with lumbar issues. My roomate had a single level, two ladies down the hall had a single and a double and the last lady had 2 cervical done last week and this week had a repair of her botched lumbar ADR from a different surgeon (not affiliated with Stenum).

I had the twilight anesthesia. I was just barely under but couldn't feel a thing. One of the spouses ran into Dr. Ritter-Lang at the restaurant/ bar across the street. Apparently he drives here from Berlin after 8-10 hours of surgery there, eats dinner and has a beer or two to unwind before bed. After the surgery he and his assistant came to my bedside in the recovery room. My wife had been trying to get in touch with me as she was vey worried. Someone handed me a phone and he spoke to both of us about how the surgery was successful. Then I went back to sleep.

I'm walking pretty much as far and as much as I want with no great increase in muscular pain. As I said I have the distraction pain so my lower back gets tired (but livable).

There's not much more to say. I've had excellent treatment and care here at Stenum. I'd like to thank all of those that gave me actual facts to research that led me to this hospital. You all know who you are and I'm eternally grateful to you!

Bob
__________________
04/06 L5/S1 Rupture
05/06 MRI shows DDD @ L2-S1
06/06 Diskectomy/ Laminotomy L5/S1
04/07 Recurrent Disc Surgery L5/S1
3 Ortho and 1 Neuro Surgeon, 3 MRIs, 1 EGM, 1 Myleogram & 11 EDIs later:
03/27/09 Maverick ADR at L4/L5 & L5/S1
03/27/09 The Lord and Dr. Ritter-Lang returned my life to me.
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Old 03-31-2009, 03:46 PM
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I am very happy for what sounds like a successful surgery. Just remember to take it slow as it's easy to feel on top of the world and overdo it. There are many nice walks around the grounds and across the road from the hospital. I loved the area and was in awe with the German culture while we were there. If I remember right the food was not the greatest but was made up by the warm and caring staff. We had a pizza delivered one night as we did not want to eat the hospital food. Hang in there Bob and PM me if you would like to know all of the nice places to visit while there.

Terry Newton
__________________
1980 ruptured L4-L5
1988 ruptured SI-L5
1990 ruptured C5-C6
1994 ruptured C6-C7
1995 Hemi-Laminectomy C5-C6, C6-C7 Mayo Clinic
Bicycle Accident 2004
MRI, EMG, Facet Injections, Epidural Blocks, Lumbar Discogram.
Stenum Hospital Surgery November 4, 2006
Prestige Disc C5-C6, C6-C7
Maverick Disc S1-L5, L4-L5
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:08 PM
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I'm very happy to know that you are feeling great. I hope it continues to get better each day. Take it slow, get plenty of rest and let your body heal.

I look forward to hearing more about your recovery, and hope it continues to be good news.
__________________
Cathy

46 years old. 12-15 years of intermittent pain, 2 years with constant pain.

DDD, L4-5 and L5-S1, pain confirmed by discogram.
PT, ESI's, Facet injection and block, Acupuncture - all no help.

2-level (Prodisc-L) ADR surgery with Dr. Bertagnoli, May 26, 2009.

Currently taking Opana-ER (tapering off) and oxycodone
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:02 PM
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Default Great News!!!

Hey Bob,

Thanks for the update--this is fantastic news! So you really were full of ... I had a feeling. From one 2-level to another: take things slow and enjoy your time in Germany. I actually walked about 4.5 miles at 10 days post-op (doing a lot of sightseeing), but I was in no pain other than the surgery induced pain / incision site. Going to Germany/Austria was one of the best "vacations" I've had--surgery was icing on the cake!

Keep us posted and be well my friend.
__________________
-Justin
1994 Football Injury
1997 Snow Skiing Injury
Laminotomy L4/L5 (3.7.97--17 years old)
1999 & 2003 MVA (not at fault both times)
Grade V Tears L4/L5 & L5/L6
2-Level ProDisc® L4/L5 & L5/L6* *lumbosacral transitional vertebra (11.15.03--23 years old)
Dr. Rudolf Bertagnoli -- dr-bertagnoli.com
Pain-free for the last 4.5 yrs.
5.14.09 DSS with Dr. B.
I'm here to help. Only checking PMs currently.
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:07 PM
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Congratulations Bob,
It's good to hear that you are doing so well. Keep healing and keep us posted.
Phylly
__________________
Cervical fusion C4-6 March 2002
Fall on tailbone causing sciatica and back pain April 05
Conservative Treatment and PM for 2 years
Discogram concordant pain @L4-S1 Aug. 07
Prodisc ADR's at L4-S1 November 2007
Foraminotomy July 08 for Sciatica
Continued problems and back pain worsened
Prodiscs removed and discs fused at L4-S1 Feb. 09
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:20 PM
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Bob,

Great news!!

Thanks for the update......

Enjoy yourself ....

Is Hans still helping the patients?

Take things slow....

I'd love to see some pictures.....

Todd
__________________
Stenum Hospital * Germany

Surgery 10-19-07 ( L4-L5 Maverick disc )

For my true life story ...

go to -----> www.youtube.com

print -----> ADR surgery into the space bar

or ... http://www.maverick-disc.blogspot.com (my picture & movie updates)
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:30 PM
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Thanks so much for keeping us posted on your recovery. It really gives me hope that I can be on the other side soon too.

Do you have someone there to help with the trip and flight home?
__________________
DDD
Herniated discs C4/5 & 5/6, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1
Severe compression of spinal cord in two levels
All conventional therapy exhausted, including spinal injections, PT, massage, etc.
In appeal with Gov't Insurance for Out-of-country coverage for ADR hybrid surgery of above discs.
Recently discovered that I am severely allergic to all common metals used in surgical hardware except for Titanium.
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Old 03-31-2009, 10:55 PM
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Bob,
I am so glad that you had such a WONDERFUL experience! I am so glad that you went with your gut and chose the surgeon who you felt was best for you! I am glad to have a partner-in-healing! Are you 4 days post op? I am 14 days today! So happy to be on the road to recovery and am sure you are too!
God Bless,
Kathy
__________________
34 years old-
1/06- In wreck with 18 wheeler
Numerous MRI's, PT, chiropractic, accupuncture, TENS therapy, massage therapy, facet injections, epidural injections, Nerve study, Discogram, confirms pain in L4/5, IDET, decompression, Bi-lateral neurotomy L3/4/5, denied by insurance twice, in Active L clinical trial, had surgery March 17, 2009 in Miami, FL- received Active L disc
Had Baby #3 after ADR!
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Old 04-01-2009, 02:33 PM
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Hi Bob

Good news glad you are on the other side, looking forward to be there some day.

On Vacation in Florida I will send you an E mail

Take it slow and easy

Gil
__________________
L5-S1 lam 1994
L2 to L5 DDD
L3 -L4 hern Dec 2007.
L4-L5 Annular fissure with mild central stenosis and moderate facet hypertrophy.
L5-S1DDDDD
L2-L3 Right-sided neural foraminal narrowing at and L3-L4 related to posterolateral hypertrophic spurs and facet hypertrophy.
C3-C4 limited DDD
9 injections Depo. P.T. 13 months 5 dose packs,
Nerve Block Injections.4 ESI S1
L5-S1 foraminotomy 09
L4-L5 Microdiscectomy 09 Reherniate 4-2010
Coflex-L Implants L4 to S1
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:51 PM
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Glad to hear you're doing so well Bob. We'll have to meet up when you get back to Douglasville.
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:48 PM
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Thumbs up I hope things are going well!

Hey Bob,

You're probably traveling back home. I wanted to see how you were feeling. I'm not sure if you've had access to email, etc. I hope you are doing well and I look forward to an update.
__________________
-Justin
1994 Football Injury
1997 Snow Skiing Injury
Laminotomy L4/L5 (3.7.97--17 years old)
1999 & 2003 MVA (not at fault both times)
Grade V Tears L4/L5 & L5/L6
2-Level ProDisc® L4/L5 & L5/L6* *lumbosacral transitional vertebra (11.15.03--23 years old)
Dr. Rudolf Bertagnoli -- dr-bertagnoli.com
Pain-free for the last 4.5 yrs.
5.14.09 DSS with Dr. B.
I'm here to help. Only checking PMs currently.
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Old 04-07-2009, 05:32 AM
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I also can't wait to hear how you are doing. I hope and pray you have a great flight home. I'm sure you will be tired from traveling home. Amazing how flying and driving wear you out like they do. I am just exhausted after travel, takes me a a day to recover. Well, have a safe trip and post as soon as you can.
__________________
34 years old-
1/06- In wreck with 18 wheeler
Numerous MRI's, PT, chiropractic, accupuncture, TENS therapy, massage therapy, facet injections, epidural injections, Nerve study, Discogram, confirms pain in L4/5, IDET, decompression, Bi-lateral neurotomy L3/4/5, denied by insurance twice, in Active L clinical trial, had surgery March 17, 2009 in Miami, FL- received Active L disc
Had Baby #3 after ADR!
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:10 PM
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Bob, I hope your trip back home hasn't been too taxing on you.

How are you feeling now? I hope everything is going really well for you.
__________________
Cathy

46 years old. 12-15 years of intermittent pain, 2 years with constant pain.

DDD, L4-5 and L5-S1, pain confirmed by discogram.
PT, ESI's, Facet injection and block, Acupuncture - all no help.

2-level (Prodisc-L) ADR surgery with Dr. Bertagnoli, May 26, 2009.

Currently taking Opana-ER (tapering off) and oxycodone
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Old 04-08-2009, 03:09 PM
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Talking You have not lost your sense of humor along with your discs...

Bob,

Good to hear you are on the other side.
And home now?
Do take it easy and try not to climb Mt. Rushmore in one day.
keep us posted.

Kim
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:47 PM
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Although I've been back since Thursday night, I'm finally getting my clock close to normal.

Surgery went well. The morphine epidural was taken off one or two days after surgery. The left the epidural line in place in case I needed it. I was on minor pain meds (Targin 10/5 X2 daily) for the duration of my stay. I walked about a mile a day 3 days out until I went to the hotel, then bumped it up to 2 miles a day (slow, easy strolls). I had mild pain but a huge decrease from the pre-op pain. I walked to a nearby train station each day for lunch and dinner (one trip, the mini-bar had enough room to keep dinner cold until it was time to eat).

I had a huge setback on the journey home. The flight was overbooked so business class wasn't an option. There were 2 high school field trip groups, several children (2 infants that wouldn't sleep) and a seatmate that coughed the entire 10 hour flight home. I wasn't able to get up and move around much since there was an over-abundance of clumsy people on board.

Lufthansa forgot the wheelchair assistance at Bremen and Frankfurt so I had to take stairways to the bus and back to the terminal as well as walking to the various gates. I found a push cart at Frankfurt for the baggage so I was able to walk around some during the layover.

Once I got to Atlanta, a TSA employee told me to "tough it out" and refused to let me use a cart to roll my bags. So I got to move them through customs on my own. There was a lady that had her son help with them through one of the lines, that was a help. While trying to wait for an opportune time to pull one of my bags (the one with wheels) off of the carousel, a woman rushed over to see if it was hers and nearly knocked me to the ground. By the time I got to the curb where my ride was supposed to be, I was already getting high grade back spasms. I've pretty much been trying to get ahead of the pain and getting my clock back on schedule ever since.

The post surgical Xrays show good placement of both discs. L4/5 is a little further forward than ideal, but the top surface of L5 angles up at the rear. The surgeon was afraid to try to get it in further as he was concerned that part of the bone would fracture (causing additional problems). He was able to position the disc so it still has a posterior placement to reduce the stresses on the facet joints.

The best news is that aside from the travel, the trip was a success. I'm going to the walk in clinic later this week to get an Xray done to make sure the return trip didn't cause any problems other than muscular pulls/ strain.

Bob
__________________
04/06 L5/S1 Rupture
05/06 MRI shows DDD @ L2-S1
06/06 Diskectomy/ Laminotomy L5/S1
04/07 Recurrent Disc Surgery L5/S1
3 Ortho and 1 Neuro Surgeon, 3 MRIs, 1 EGM, 1 Myleogram & 11 EDIs later:
03/27/09 Maverick ADR at L4/L5 & L5/S1
03/27/09 The Lord and Dr. Ritter-Lang returned my life to me.
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Old 04-12-2009, 04:02 PM
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Default Twister

Hey Bob

Glad to hear you are doing better,Just got back from Florida the flight home killed my lower spine should be better in a couple of days,
I cant imagine being in a plane for 10 hours
Are you playing twister yet

Take Care

Gil
__________________
L5-S1 lam 1994
L2 to L5 DDD
L3 -L4 hern Dec 2007.
L4-L5 Annular fissure with mild central stenosis and moderate facet hypertrophy.
L5-S1DDDDD
L2-L3 Right-sided neural foraminal narrowing at and L3-L4 related to posterolateral hypertrophic spurs and facet hypertrophy.
C3-C4 limited DDD
9 injections Depo. P.T. 13 months 5 dose packs,
Nerve Block Injections.4 ESI S1
L5-S1 foraminotomy 09
L4-L5 Microdiscectomy 09 Reherniate 4-2010
Coflex-L Implants L4 to S1
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Old 04-12-2009, 04:33 PM
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Bob, I'm glad your back home and adjusting to the time change. Sorry about the TSA moron in Atlanta--that's absolutely ridiculous. The plane ride sounds like it was a great time. Talk about an absolute obstacle course on your way home.

I do hope your distraction pain is minimal and that you're healing well. Keep us posted and try and post a film when you get the chance.

Be well,
__________________
-Justin
1994 Football Injury
1997 Snow Skiing Injury
Laminotomy L4/L5 (3.7.97--17 years old)
1999 & 2003 MVA (not at fault both times)
Grade V Tears L4/L5 & L5/L6
2-Level ProDisc® L4/L5 & L5/L6* *lumbosacral transitional vertebra (11.15.03--23 years old)
Dr. Rudolf Bertagnoli -- dr-bertagnoli.com
Pain-free for the last 4.5 yrs.
5.14.09 DSS with Dr. B.
I'm here to help. Only checking PMs currently.
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Old 04-12-2009, 05:00 PM
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Thanks all.

I just wonder if over international waters, is it legal to whack a teenager with a cane? Food for thought for you Justin in case you run into a similar situation in May .

Gil, the twister game was called off. Some lame excuse about side bets........

Bob
__________________
04/06 L5/S1 Rupture
05/06 MRI shows DDD @ L2-S1
06/06 Diskectomy/ Laminotomy L5/S1
04/07 Recurrent Disc Surgery L5/S1
3 Ortho and 1 Neuro Surgeon, 3 MRIs, 1 EGM, 1 Myleogram & 11 EDIs later:
03/27/09 Maverick ADR at L4/L5 & L5/S1
03/27/09 The Lord and Dr. Ritter-Lang returned my life to me.
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:03 PM
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Bob,

Under the best of circumstances, the trip home is an ordeal. It may take a few days but hopefully, no damage was done, just some overworked muscles.

Take is slow and easy!!!!!

All my best, Dale
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3 level Prodisc adr S1-L3, Oct 12, 2005
Dr. B in Bogen, Germany
Severe nerve damage in left leg, still working on it
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:09 PM
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Bob,
What a nightmare. I think I would have lay down in the terminal and cried until they carried me away. I can't believe you did this all by yourself. You are one really brave guy. Take care, Don't overdo.
Phylly
__________________
Cervical fusion C4-6 March 2002
Fall on tailbone causing sciatica and back pain April 05
Conservative Treatment and PM for 2 years
Discogram concordant pain @L4-S1 Aug. 07
Prodisc ADR's at L4-S1 November 2007
Foraminotomy July 08 for Sciatica
Continued problems and back pain worsened
Prodiscs removed and discs fused at L4-S1 Feb. 09
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:22 AM
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Location: Harbor Springs, Michigan
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The way they treated you deserves a complaint. You needed to be in a wheelchair after such a major surgery. This is not excusable from their ignorance. I had 4 levels done and would not have been able to lift anything on the way back. It was hard enough on the way there. I am glad that you are back now and hope that you get the distraction pain under control.

Take care and I look forward to the return of the Good Humor Man

Terry Newton
__________________
1980 ruptured L4-L5
1988 ruptured SI-L5
1990 ruptured C5-C6
1994 ruptured C6-C7
1995 Hemi-Laminectomy C5-C6, C6-C7 Mayo Clinic
Bicycle Accident 2004
MRI, EMG, Facet Injections, Epidural Blocks, Lumbar Discogram.
Stenum Hospital Surgery November 4, 2006
Prestige Disc C5-C6, C6-C7
Maverick Disc S1-L5, L4-L5
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:24 PM
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Wow, Bob. The trip home does not sound like it was fun, at all. I do think you should complain, that just isn't right, the way they treated you. Both Lufthansa and TSA at Atlanta. I don't know how you did it, alone.

I hope that the distraction pain is manageable, and that you stay on top of it. Take it slow, let things calm down again, before you get back to longer walks.

I hope you can post an x-ray image, that would be cool. And better yet, I hope the x-ray shows everything still looking good.
__________________
Cathy

46 years old. 12-15 years of intermittent pain, 2 years with constant pain.

DDD, L4-5 and L5-S1, pain confirmed by discogram.
PT, ESI's, Facet injection and block, Acupuncture - all no help.

2-level (Prodisc-L) ADR surgery with Dr. Bertagnoli, May 26, 2009.

Currently taking Opana-ER (tapering off) and oxycodone
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:51 PM
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Default I will continue

To buy 3 plane tickets/seats wherever and whenever possible to travel as I cannot stand sitting for over an hour to fly (and even that's long for me) but the airport scene is something else.

I have sobbed my little *disabled* bad back heart out until a wheelchair was brought to me outside of the Tampa airport when I had to fly to move back to CA. as I had 3 cat carriers, one medium size suitcase, one carry on and a bag, and my purse..

I had been told that curb service could assist me with a w/c when I made my reservations including booking the cats but the curb guys refused and said that wasn't their job that morning and by that time because I had cleaned my house that we were selling the a.m. of leaving and finished packing and catching the cats I was DEAD freaking tired and my back was spasming up a storm (plus no ESI as the PM doc had refused because he wanted to do Facet injections instead)..

Thanks to some wonderfully caring women around me a wheelchair was obtained, I was pushed where I needed to go and helped with all else by strangers who felt some compassion (and yes, sorry for me which was OK).

I made sure to let Delta know how I felt about that incident! And I usually end up speaking to Supervisors about my flight arrangements as no matter how easy I think booking 3 seats together for myself should be and I don't think I'm the only person in the world that does that.. it seems there's often a snafu.

Anyway, I do hope you're OK and sorry about the set back. Please let us know how you're feeling in a bit~ meanwhile rest and treat the spasms.
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:45 AM
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Rest up, Bob.
In the early days, anything like that can tick your back off pretty good.
Make sure to ice, 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off and not directly on your back (please have towel or shirt or something between your back and the ice pack.

runner
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Old 04-14-2009, 10:24 AM
ans ans is offline
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Glad you made it home relatively intact; terribly harrowing.
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Old 04-14-2009, 02:50 PM
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Maybe let both companies know that your experience with their terrible attitude has been sent out on an international forum where many, if not most of the members are flying for surgery.

When it hits them in the pocketbook, that will help change their attitude

Usually a pool of tears helps me get assistance when I need it most I realize that isn't manly though

I cannot imagine what you went through so soon after surgery. I think we should all let the companies know that we will be avoiding them unless they issue you an apology and some reimbursement.
__________________
DDD
Herniated discs C4/5 & 5/6, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1
Severe compression of spinal cord in two levels
All conventional therapy exhausted, including spinal injections, PT, massage, etc.
In appeal with Gov't Insurance for Out-of-country coverage for ADR hybrid surgery of above discs.
Recently discovered that I am severely allergic to all common metals used in surgical hardware except for Titanium.
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Old 04-14-2009, 04:43 PM
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Bob,

I also think you should inform the airlines, I can't imagine they would approve of the treatment you received. Hopefully in the future they will do something about the treatment of surgery patients. But if they don't know about the terrible treatment, then we can't expect any changes.

However, with that behind you, I sure hope you will continue to improve and reach that day when you will be pain free. Keep us informed and God Bless.

Sandy
__________________
**Accidents, active life-style, always some back/neck pain controlled w/ibuphrofen
2004 excessive pain, x-ray, PT, MRI diagnosis cervical DDD
**PM recommended, meds, PT, massage therapy, chiropractor, injections
**Dec. 2007 numbness and weakness in left arm/thumb, x-rays, MRI, discs at C4-7 pushing on spinal cord, fusion or ADR out of country
**April 7, 2008, discogram at C3-4, surgery 4 levels, Prodisc-C, Dr. Bertagnoli, Germany
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Old 04-14-2009, 07:48 PM
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All,

Thanks for your kind words.

I let Lufthansa know what happened. The ticket agent at Bremen Airport had entered all of the right info into the computer. They're looking into the lapses that occurred in Frankfurt.

As for TSA, I failed to get the name of the guy that told me to tough it out. As you can imagine, TSA was about as helpful as any other government agency (we'll look into it) and I had to force my contact information onto them. I doubt I ever get a return call.

The travel discomfort appears to be behind me now. Although I have distraction type pain and minor spasms, I feel better today than I have for a while. There is no nerve pain. My pain levels are lower than the pre-op levels.

Now the pain is under control, I can concentrate on the really important things in life....daytime TV (kind of like mental sciatica).

Bob
__________________
04/06 L5/S1 Rupture
05/06 MRI shows DDD @ L2-S1
06/06 Diskectomy/ Laminotomy L5/S1
04/07 Recurrent Disc Surgery L5/S1
3 Ortho and 1 Neuro Surgeon, 3 MRIs, 1 EGM, 1 Myleogram & 11 EDIs later:
03/27/09 Maverick ADR at L4/L5 & L5/S1
03/27/09 The Lord and Dr. Ritter-Lang returned my life to me.
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:41 PM
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Bob,

It's good to hear that you contacted Lufthansa. I flew with them in 2003 for my surgery and I didn't understand the hype about it being such a great airline.

Anyway, I'm glad you are feeling better and the distraction pain will get better as time goes on.

So you're back to watching the Jerry Springer Show, eh?
__________________
-Justin
1994 Football Injury
1997 Snow Skiing Injury
Laminotomy L4/L5 (3.7.97--17 years old)
1999 & 2003 MVA (not at fault both times)
Grade V Tears L4/L5 & L5/L6
2-Level ProDisc® L4/L5 & L5/L6* *lumbosacral transitional vertebra (11.15.03--23 years old)
Dr. Rudolf Bertagnoli -- dr-bertagnoli.com
Pain-free for the last 4.5 yrs.
5.14.09 DSS with Dr. B.
I'm here to help. Only checking PMs currently.
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Old 04-15-2009, 02:44 PM
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Bob,
Glad you are feeling better. I'm sorry your flight home sucked. Mine wasn't so great either; but it wasn't because of TSA or the airline. We missed our first flight because I realized half way to the airport I left my walker in the hotel. Then, we get there and are almost gonna make it and my friend can't find her wallet. After running through the airport to the gate, while she ran to the rental car to see if it was in there, I find it in my purse (she put it in there). I had to go back to security, wait for her to return and get her id, so she could get through security. We finally get back to the gate and the plane left. We then spent 4 hours in the airport waiting for the next flight out (the airline didn't charge us anymore for missing our flight). We finally fly out, have a stop in Houston, bad weather hits, so we sit on the runway for an hour waiting for the storms to pass. We then have to take the long way to Dallas, 2 hours in the air versus 45 minutes. Anyway, I ended up not getting home until 11pm and I had arrived at the airport at 11am. I do have to say that I flew Southwest Airlines for the first time and I loved them. The flight attendants got me ice repeated times for my ice pack, brought me pillows and were very caring and sweet. When I arrived at curbside check in they got me a wheelchair, pushed me through the airport, let me go through the quick security line, and had a wheelchair waiting for me in Dallas (as soon as I got of the plane, they were waiting for me with a chair). The gentleman pushed me all the way to the curb outside and even offered to wait with me for my friend to get the car pulled around. I was very impressed with them and will fly with them whenever possible from now on.

Note to anyone flying: Take a cane or walker and tell them at the curb you are handicap and need a wheelchair. They will give you a special pass that lets you cut through the security quicker (you get to go in the line where the staff goes through). The pass also gives you pre-boarding and they will push you through the airport and get your bags. I didn't even know this service existed; but they offered when they saw my walker. It was nice to finally get a 'perk' out of this hell of pain I live in.

So glad you are doing so good Bob, I am jealous of your recovery! Were you on pain meds prior to surgery? What were you on? What are you on now? How is your son handling not being able to be carried by daddy? My 3 year old keeps asking, "mommy you back better, you carry me now?" You are in my prayers, Kathy
__________________
34 years old-
1/06- In wreck with 18 wheeler
Numerous MRI's, PT, chiropractic, accupuncture, TENS therapy, massage therapy, facet injections, epidural injections, Nerve study, Discogram, confirms pain in L4/5, IDET, decompression, Bi-lateral neurotomy L3/4/5, denied by insurance twice, in Active L clinical trial, had surgery March 17, 2009 in Miami, FL- received Active L disc
Had Baby #3 after ADR!
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Old 04-15-2009, 03:58 PM
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Kathy,

I'm beginning to think the travel miscues were beneficial in a way. I've gotten back on feet quicker than the other 4 patients in my group after the long flights. Maybe the exercise helped (even if it was painful at the time). I had a bad night last night but had a great day yesterday. During the day I had no more than a 2 or 3 pain level. After laying in bed for a while last night, I felt the pain increase to 7 or 8.

I was taking Percocet 5/325 up to 15 mg daily before surgery. I took it as necessary. After surgery I took a morning and evening dose of Targin. I stayed with that dosage until the trip home. Then I resumed the Percocet as needed.

As far as the cane or walker, I had a cane with me but the gate keeper at Frankfurt was more concerned with getting the small kids onboard first (even though they announced kids and disabled first). I got irritated and walked past her to her supervisor, showed her the cane and letter from Stenum. She waved me through to board.

Justin, I haven't had to watch Jerry yet. I bought a pay-per-view package of Paul Rubin movies that I'm only halfway through with.

Bob
__________________
04/06 L5/S1 Rupture
05/06 MRI shows DDD @ L2-S1
06/06 Diskectomy/ Laminotomy L5/S1
04/07 Recurrent Disc Surgery L5/S1
3 Ortho and 1 Neuro Surgeon, 3 MRIs, 1 EGM, 1 Myleogram & 11 EDIs later:
03/27/09 Maverick ADR at L4/L5 & L5/S1
03/27/09 The Lord and Dr. Ritter-Lang returned my life to me.
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Old 04-15-2009, 09:05 PM
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Over the years I have flown to europe a lot probably at least as often as Mark. A the years went by it got harder and harder to make the trip due to my back problems. I would be worse of every time due to all the ignorance of the various personal. In Germany Frankfurt I was forced to lay my case on an inspection belt for special inspection. even though I could hardly walk I was told to tough it out and no one would help me. That was very bad. Same thing happened on the US side where they send me to "agricultual inspection" line and the belt was 15 inches of the ground, to high for me to lift. After that I was flat for several weeks. So when it came time of surgery trip I was worried even with plenty of travel experience. To have the wheel chair service forgotten is unexcusable. Some people would not be able to do that (climb stairs). And the TSA folks seem not trained very well for handling people with special needs.

When I had my surgery I decided to stay 4 weeks to make sure I am in decent shape to travel and I am glad I was able to do that.

So I really feel with you as I know what you went through.


My advice for surgery travelers, no matter what airline.

NON STOP if at all possible.

BUSINESS Class!

You *need* to have travel companion (Mark!) DONT fly lone!!!!
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Last edited by fuzzy; 04-15-2009 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:28 PM
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Default 30 day follow up

Thanks to Jake222 and his wife's advice, I'm pretty much back to normal. Their advice was to eat Pringles Lite with Olean oil. It helped with the regularity issue the very next morning.

The pain levels are below what I experienced before surgery and I'm sleeping through the night. I am going a little stir crazy though.

One of the worst problems I have is the muscle tightness but my wife massages my lumbar area (staying away from the central area) and it helps calm them down. While she massages, I get faint leg and abdominal sensations in the same areas that there was pain prior to surgery. I'm guessing she's working the right muscles and releasing the tension on the nerves.

Other than that, I don't limp anymore. I'm consciously taking shorter, softer steps as a precaution but there's no shuffling of the feet. I do have minor aches in my legs until after the massages. Once I get active again, the aches return after a few hours.

Fuzzy's right to a point, take a companion (a family member) with you if you travel to a different area. The travel ordeal was the biggest setback I had throughout this experience.

Bob
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04/06 L5/S1 Rupture
05/06 MRI shows DDD @ L2-S1
06/06 Diskectomy/ Laminotomy L5/S1
04/07 Recurrent Disc Surgery L5/S1
3 Ortho and 1 Neuro Surgeon, 3 MRIs, 1 EGM, 1 Myleogram & 11 EDIs later:
03/27/09 Maverick ADR at L4/L5 & L5/S1
03/27/09 The Lord and Dr. Ritter-Lang returned my life to me.
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Old 05-02-2009, 06:20 PM
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Bob,

It sounds like you are making great progress! Slow and steady wins the race. Thanks for the update.
__________________
-Justin
1994 Football Injury
1997 Snow Skiing Injury
Laminotomy L4/L5 (3.7.97--17 years old)
1999 & 2003 MVA (not at fault both times)
Grade V Tears L4/L5 & L5/L6
2-Level ProDisc® L4/L5 & L5/L6* *lumbosacral transitional vertebra (11.15.03--23 years old)
Dr. Rudolf Bertagnoli -- dr-bertagnoli.com
Pain-free for the last 4.5 yrs.
5.14.09 DSS with Dr. B.
I'm here to help. Only checking PMs currently.
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Old 05-02-2009, 07:17 PM
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Bob,
It sounds like you are doing really good! I'm a bit jealous of your recovery, you are less post-op than I am, and are doing better than I am. Maybe I should have went to Stenum with you! Goes to show those horror stories were just that... stories. I am glad that you did what you felt was best, stuck to your guns and are doing wonderfully. Oh, I'm jealous of the massages too, hubby will do like 30 seconds and is done. I need to start going to my masseuse again. I was seeing her 3 times a week prior to surgery; but haven't been in awhile.

I am totally stir crazy too, gets old quick. My kids are loving all the walks. Maybe I should have got Netflix prior to surgery. I've been playing alot of solitare and sudoku on the computer, though my brain does not function near as well as it used to. I'm ready to be done with all of these 'mind altering drugs', gives me a fog.

Happy Recovery, Take it easy,
Kathy
__________________
34 years old-
1/06- In wreck with 18 wheeler
Numerous MRI's, PT, chiropractic, accupuncture, TENS therapy, massage therapy, facet injections, epidural injections, Nerve study, Discogram, confirms pain in L4/5, IDET, decompression, Bi-lateral neurotomy L3/4/5, denied by insurance twice, in Active L clinical trial, had surgery March 17, 2009 in Miami, FL- received Active L disc
Had Baby #3 after ADR!
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Old 05-03-2009, 12:36 AM
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Thanks Justin and Kathy. I had a little of a setback Tuesday though. My wife, son and I all came down with a fast moving virus around noon. It hit us that quickly. I had a dry throat and runny nose at noon and by 2 I had a fever, congested sinuses and very sore throat.

I hadn't posted anything about this until as I was concerned it would be transformed into one of those diabolical plots by the Stenum (you know, some sort of delayed bug they implanted during surgery).

As far as pain levels go, normally I'm at a 2 or 3 at worst but it went up this morning after a coughing session (end of the virus). I think I pulled some muscles as I was standing up when it hit. I overreacted and rushed for something to grab onto like I used to before surgery. I'm sure you all know the scenario. I took 5 mg Percocet around 11 AM and the effects have lasted 8 hours (so far).

Thanks again for your kind thoughts!

Bob
__________________
04/06 L5/S1 Rupture
05/06 MRI shows DDD @ L2-S1
06/06 Diskectomy/ Laminotomy L5/S1
04/07 Recurrent Disc Surgery L5/S1
3 Ortho and 1 Neuro Surgeon, 3 MRIs, 1 EGM, 1 Myleogram & 11 EDIs later:
03/27/09 Maverick ADR at L4/L5 & L5/S1
03/27/09 The Lord and Dr. Ritter-Lang returned my life to me.
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Old 05-03-2009, 05:18 AM
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Bob,
You are hilarious, I love reading your posts, make me laugh out loud everytime (husband thinks I'm a little kuko). I can not believe that you are not taking any pain meds, or just 5 mg. I am still taking either 40 mg of Percocet a day or 60 mg of Vicodin a day. That is amazing that you are doing so good.

I was sick last weekend and it didn't matter what I took, I hurt bad. I guess the healing of the surgery coupled with an illness, is just too much for the body to take. I layed and moaned in my chair for 4 days. I was taking a muscle relaxer every 4 hours, taking max pain meds and still felt like dying. I fortunately have a friend who had some medication for severe nausea and stomach upset (she has Crohns disease and suffers constantly from this). I took the medication and didn't even need pain medication for hours, my stomach had been upset and it was making my back hurt. I think my constipation has been making me hurt as well. The other day, I got out of the car to pick my daughter up from school, by the time I made it to her classroom, I was in a near run to the restroom. I spent 30 minutes in the classroom restroom (the bell had rang, my daughter is opening the door asking loudly "mommy are you pooping", the teacher is asking if I am ok, daughter keeps opening the door (so the everyone left in the room could see me and the door had no lock, since it is a kids bathroom), extremely embarassing ). I finally got to where I felt I could leave the restroom and make it home, then spent another 10-20 minutes in the restroom and finally felt better. Amazing how one little thing can affect the rest of the body so much.

Well, now that I have hijacked your thread with my crappy story, I'm gonna get. God Bless!
__________________
34 years old-
1/06- In wreck with 18 wheeler
Numerous MRI's, PT, chiropractic, accupuncture, TENS therapy, massage therapy, facet injections, epidural injections, Nerve study, Discogram, confirms pain in L4/5, IDET, decompression, Bi-lateral neurotomy L3/4/5, denied by insurance twice, in Active L clinical trial, had surgery March 17, 2009 in Miami, FL- received Active L disc
Had Baby #3 after ADR!
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:17 PM
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Heh, Kathy you are pretty funny yourself. Well, I know your story wasn't meant to be funny, and I can well imagine the pain and discomfort you felt. Constipation is the bane of back pain sufferers. I know exactly how you feel about the pain that the constipation elicits.

I lost 2 lbs in the past couple of days, and I am pretty sure it is because I started taking more Benefiber each day than I had been.

Anyway, Bob. I am glad that you are doing good, and your recovery is going well. How much are you walking? If you could give more details on your every day life, I'd appreciate it. I just want to know what I am in for, after my surgery.

Hope your recovery continues to go smoothly.
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Cathy

46 years old. 12-15 years of intermittent pain, 2 years with constant pain.

DDD, L4-5 and L5-S1, pain confirmed by discogram.
PT, ESI's, Facet injection and block, Acupuncture - all no help.

2-level (Prodisc-L) ADR surgery with Dr. Bertagnoli, May 26, 2009.

Currently taking Opana-ER (tapering off) and oxycodone
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:15 AM
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Default My everyday life

Cathy,

Well I can't do much walking on my street as it's too hilly. Walking to the addition entrance truly is uphill both ways. I've been walking around the perimeter of my yard several times a day (maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile).

I'm doing the low, low impact execises I was shown at Stenum (great hospital by the way) and my wife will massage my lower back if needed.

I won't climb the stairs of the house to put Sean to bed which is one of my favorite events. I can't pick him up (nothing over 5 lbs) either, that's been the worst of the whole operation.

Friday will be 6 weeks post-op. I'll start tackling the golf course cart paths behind the house. My energy level is at an all time low since I've gotten back. I was walking about 2-3 miles a day before I injured my back. That was 3 years ago so I'm going to pace myself to get there at 6 months post-op.

Cathy, this recovery is the perfect doctor's excuse if you were looking for that elusive "stay home, watch TV and drink beer" note for work. You'll want to take it easy. Do exactly what the doctor orders and don't over do it. Allow yourself the time and patience to let your body heal. I feel like I've been given a great opportunity to have a new back and I'm not doing anything to jeopordize this gift. Regardless of who you choose for your surgeon or which disc you settle on, I wish you only the speediest, easiest, most pain free and successful recovery.

Godspeed,

Bob
__________________
04/06 L5/S1 Rupture
05/06 MRI shows DDD @ L2-S1
06/06 Diskectomy/ Laminotomy L5/S1
04/07 Recurrent Disc Surgery L5/S1
3 Ortho and 1 Neuro Surgeon, 3 MRIs, 1 EGM, 1 Myleogram & 11 EDIs later:
03/27/09 Maverick ADR at L4/L5 & L5/S1
03/27/09 The Lord and Dr. Ritter-Lang returned my life to me.
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Old 05-04-2009, 03:56 PM
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Thanks for those kind wishes Bob.

I am in exactly the same situation at home. We live at the top of a hill. I tried walking some on the weekend, and coming back up the hill was difficult (even going down the steep part was hard), and I know it will be impossible for some time after surgery. I plan on starting with walking in the house. Then I will walk around the top of the hill, it's maybe a block or a little less (I live in a townhome community) when I am ready to start outside. If I could get someone to drive me somewhere to walk on a flat surface, that would be cool, but I'm not sure who would do it.

Thanks for the details. Keep them coming as your recovery progresses. I hope you make great strides, slowly of course.
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Cathy

46 years old. 12-15 years of intermittent pain, 2 years with constant pain.

DDD, L4-5 and L5-S1, pain confirmed by discogram.
PT, ESI's, Facet injection and block, Acupuncture - all no help.

2-level (Prodisc-L) ADR surgery with Dr. Bertagnoli, May 26, 2009.

Currently taking Opana-ER (tapering off) and oxycodone
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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 05-06-2009, 07:55 PM
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Bob,

Don't beat yourself up about how you are feeling. It took me months to get over that sluggish, low energy feeling post-op. Feel better.

K
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:22 PM
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Runner,

I feel great today. The bug has left the building. I've had only 25 mg of Percocet in the last 9 days. Once the cold/ virus symptoms abated, I feel noticably better (from the surgery) than I did before the cold hit.

I hope you're getting back to livable pain levels.

Godspeed,

Bob
__________________
04/06 L5/S1 Rupture
05/06 MRI shows DDD @ L2-S1
06/06 Diskectomy/ Laminotomy L5/S1
04/07 Recurrent Disc Surgery L5/S1
3 Ortho and 1 Neuro Surgeon, 3 MRIs, 1 EGM, 1 Myleogram & 11 EDIs later:
03/27/09 Maverick ADR at L4/L5 & L5/S1
03/27/09 The Lord and Dr. Ritter-Lang returned my life to me.
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Old 06-20-2010, 02:45 PM
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Default 14 months out

It's been 14+ months since the two level ADR at Stenum Hospital. The pain is gone. Completely. None. Nada. Zip.

Two weeks ago my wife, son and I flew to Phoenix to pick up my mother who is having health problems and drove back to Atlanta (2,000 miles) for her to stay for a while. We drove over 600 miles each day and got back at 1 A.M. Tuesday. Tuesday I did the grocery shopping for my wife then mowed, trimmed and edged the grass. No pain at all. None. Nada. Zip.

Bob
__________________
04/06 L5/S1 Rupture
05/06 MRI shows DDD @ L2-S1
06/06 Diskectomy/ Laminotomy L5/S1
04/07 Recurrent Disc Surgery L5/S1
3 Ortho and 1 Neuro Surgeon, 3 MRIs, 1 EGM, 1 Myleogram & 11 EDIs later:
03/27/09 Maverick ADR at L4/L5 & L5/S1
03/27/09 The Lord and Dr. Ritter-Lang returned my life to me.
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Old 06-20-2010, 08:17 PM
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Default congrats on your 14 mo. mark

I'm glad to hear that you had a wonderful experience at Stenum with the surgeon of your choice and that your recovery has been successful.

This is the perfect outcome everyone hopes for and you were fortunate enough to have! Congrats!!!
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:53 PM
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It's been 16 months since my successful two level ADR surgery by Dr. Ritter-Lang at Stenum Hospital.

Dr. John Burkus of the Hughston Clinic released me completely at the first of March.

I have nearly no lingering issues other than faint pain similar to the pre-operative pain I experienced. This only occurs after heavy exertion and doesn't last longer than a few hours.

I'm able to work the 10 hour days without any discomfort or pain. My energy level is back to where it was before this ordeal began.

I wanted to express my appreciation to all of those that gave me positive advice and encouragement from this forum.

Bob
__________________
04/06 L5/S1 Rupture
05/06 MRI shows DDD @ L2-S1
06/06 Diskectomy/ Laminotomy L5/S1
04/07 Recurrent Disc Surgery L5/S1
3 Ortho and 1 Neuro Surgeon, 3 MRIs, 1 EGM, 1 Myleogram & 11 EDIs later:
03/27/09 Maverick ADR at L4/L5 & L5/S1
03/27/09 The Lord and Dr. Ritter-Lang returned my life to me.
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:19 PM
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You have achieved your miracle and after only 16 months. Congratulations!
Dale
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:58 PM
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Great news Bob!

How is your wife doing... didn't she have surgery around the same time you did?

All the best.

Mark
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1997 MVA
2000 L4-5 Microdiscectomy/laminotomy
2001 L5-S1 Micro-d/lami
2002 L4-S1 Charite' ADR - SUCCESS!
2009 C3-C4, C5-C6-C7, T1-T2 ProDisc-C Nova
Summer 2009, more bad thoracic discs!
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:07 PM
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Bob,

What type of work do you do? Thanks
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2/06 L4/5, L5/S1 ADR Stenum Hospital - Iliac vein cut w/ occlusion of iliac vein and hematoma
12/06 thru 8/07 Laser Spine Institute - 6 surgeries on L3/4 both sides, L4/5 both sides, L5/S1 both sides

4/08 Bonati Institute - redo of L5/S1 right
8/08 Bonati Institute - redo of L5/S1 left
12/08 Bonati Institute - redo of L4/5 right and left

9/8/09 Piriformis surgery for sciatica and cramping
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:41 AM
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Thank you Dale. I didn't expect to be at this point this soon.

My wife still hasn't had any type of surgery. Her symptoms abated (for now). My company changed to Blue Cross this year so she'll be better off as they view cervical procedures in a better light than lumbar.

I work for the leading US truck manufacturer. I've been in a variety of departments from sales to sales engineering (and back again).
__________________
04/06 L5/S1 Rupture
05/06 MRI shows DDD @ L2-S1
06/06 Diskectomy/ Laminotomy L5/S1
04/07 Recurrent Disc Surgery L5/S1
3 Ortho and 1 Neuro Surgeon, 3 MRIs, 1 EGM, 1 Myleogram & 11 EDIs later:
03/27/09 Maverick ADR at L4/L5 & L5/S1
03/27/09 The Lord and Dr. Ritter-Lang returned my life to me.
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  #50 (permalink)  
Old 08-18-2010, 06:57 AM
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wow, this is great news i luv to hear of successes! listen to your body as you recover, but sounds like the worst of it all is behind you now, and thanks for the post!
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After a botched spinal tap where my L4/L5 disc exploded i underwent a laminectomy in 1979, and ran from spinal surgery ever since, then in 2002 i met DrDelamarter in Santa Monica- and my life as i knew it changed dramatically, I consider myself the "ProdiscPosterBoy" I am in the US Trials and one of the first in California to recieve 2 Lumbar Prodiscs, nomorepain-nomoremeds
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathy View Post
Bob,
I am so glad that you had such a WONDERFUL experience! I am so glad that you went with your gut and chose the surgeon who you felt was best for you! I am glad to have a partner-in-healing! Are you 4 days post op? I am 14 days today! So happy to be on the road to recovery and am sure you are too!
God Bless,
Kathy
You have ADR and have are pregnant! Do doctors allow you ?
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james View Post
You have ADR and have are pregnant! Do doctors allow you ?
Sorry just seeing this. Yes, I had a baby after ADR and my doctors were good with it. I felt great and had an uneventful pregnancy!
__________________
34 years old-
1/06- In wreck with 18 wheeler
Numerous MRI's, PT, chiropractic, accupuncture, TENS therapy, massage therapy, facet injections, epidural injections, Nerve study, Discogram, confirms pain in L4/5, IDET, decompression, Bi-lateral neurotomy L3/4/5, denied by insurance twice, in Active L clinical trial, had surgery March 17, 2009 in Miami, FL- received Active L disc
Had Baby #3 after ADR!
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Old 11-03-2019, 06:48 PM
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Default 10 Year Update

I'm several months past my 10 year anniversary since having 2 level ADR surgery. All is well!

I still have residual nerve pain from the damage done prior to surgery. It's either abated somewhat or I've gotten used to the discomfort.

Normal life has resumed. I'm now semi retired and living near Phoenix.

I hope all those that were in the same state of pain and discomfort have found relief.

Thanks to all that supported me on my journey.

Bob
__________________
04/06 L5/S1 Rupture
05/06 MRI shows DDD @ L2-S1
06/06 Diskectomy/ Laminotomy L5/S1
04/07 Recurrent Disc Surgery L5/S1
3 Ortho and 1 Neuro Surgeon, 3 MRIs, 1 EGM, 1 Myleogram & 11 EDIs later:
03/27/09 Maverick ADR at L4/L5 & L5/S1
03/27/09 The Lord and Dr. Ritter-Lang returned my life to me.
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