Go Back   ISPINE.ORG Forum > Main forums > Surgical Outcomes and Blogs
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Surgical Outcomes and Blogs Discuss C3-4, C5-6, C6-7, T1-2 ProDisc-C Nova ADR blog in the Main forums forums; Mark, Glad to see recovery is going well!!! Looks like your enjoying Germany. Keep us all posted.... Thanks for the ...

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #101 (permalink)  
Old 04-13-2009, 09:25 PM
New-disc's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Maine
Posts: 80
Default Neck surgery

Mark,

Glad to see recovery is going well!!!

Looks like your enjoying Germany.

Keep us all posted....

Thanks for the 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)
Reply With Quote
  #102 (permalink)  
Old 04-13-2009, 10:36 PM
dshobbies's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,596
Default

When I see you enjoying the countryside, or anyone else, I get jealous. I was in so much pain I didn't have a chance to enjoy anything but like you said, it's the long term success that matters.

Glad you're doing so well, let's keep it that way. Take it slow Mark, take it slow!

Take it easy, Dale
__________________
3 level Prodisc adr S1-L3, Oct 12, 2005
Dr. B in Bogen, Germany
Severe nerve damage in left leg, still working on it
Reply With Quote
  #103 (permalink)  
Old 04-14-2009, 03:39 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Kodiak, Alaska
Posts: 4
Default Greetings from Kodiak

Well Mark,

Looks like things are going well for you. I'm very happy that your surgery was successful. I just returned from a trip to Anchorage. I meet with a neurosurgeon who stated that 2 disks were herniated and pressing into the cord. He said that I needed an ADR for C6-C7, and fusion for C7-T1. Oh what fun! Yeah right…..

It's still snowing here and another low is on its way. Send some of your Germany weather my way. You will have to tell me later on what it’s like to have a doctor dig into the throat area. Is it easier than the lumbar? I see you were able to see Dr. Zeegers. If you see him again, please tell him that I said “hello”.

Looks like Diane is taking real good care of you. I’ll keep on praying for both you. Also, it’s great to see you smiling in your photos! By the way, how much taller did you get?

Eric
Reply With Quote
  #104 (permalink)  
Old 04-14-2009, 05:40 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 2
Default

Mark,

I'm so glad you are doing well! I've been thinking about you and your family a lot.

I know you have been telling me about iSpine for awhile but I'm so glad I finally created a profile and learned my way around the site. It took me awhile to find the thread about your surgery but I knew it had to be here somewhere.

For others reading this post I'm one of the clients Mark was going to take to Germany in May. Although I'm sad Mark will not be with me for my 3-level lumbar, I'm very happy he is doing so well.

Thank you Mark for all the descriptions of the recovery and pain management. It will help me (and others I hope) know more about what to expect.

Katherine
__________________
Katherine - 42 yrs old
DDD S1-L5 @ 15 yrs old
DDD S1-L2 @ 24 yrs old
Surgery with Bertagnoli May 2009
3 level Pro-Disc ADR S1-L3
Reply With Quote
  #105 (permalink)  
Old 04-14-2009, 10:29 AM
ans ans is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 362
Default

Mark, you look relaxed, pain-free, and not drugged-out post-surgery. Great.

+ ++

Alaska! Sent you an email; good luck.

Best to all. - Allan

Last edited by ans; 04-14-2009 at 10:32 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #106 (permalink)  
Old 04-14-2009, 04:38 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,405
Default ok..

thanks again for more beautiful photos of the landside and happy people with good surgical outcomes. Am anxious to hear Alan's story!

stay well and continue to pace yourself
Reply With Quote
  #107 (permalink)  
Old 04-14-2009, 04:43 PM
treefrog's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 284
Default

Mark, glad to see you are able to get out and enjoy yourself a little. I am very happy that you are doing so well. Diane seems to be taking very good care of you.

Thanks for the pictures. I'm glad the weather has been nice enough for you to get outside.

Take it easy, Cathy
__________________
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
Reply With Quote
  #108 (permalink)  
Old 04-14-2009, 04:49 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Port Clinton, Ohio
Posts: 75
Default

Mark,

Pizza??? Must be nice to have a big throat! I survived the first week on gellato. Please take care of yourself, don't get too carried away!!!

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
Reply With Quote
  #109 (permalink)  
Old 04-16-2009, 02:27 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Calgary, Canada
Posts: 108
Default Great Big Fat Congratulations!

Hi Mark,

I can't believe I missed your whole adventure. Things clearly went downhill fast after our conversation. I would have been like others on the forum, on tenterhooks through the whole thing. But I am thrilled to see that you are doing so well. Thank goodness for Dr. B. And what an inspiration you are.

I hope that your pre-op symptoms will start to fade as time goes by, but in the meantime you are certainly a great role model. Let's pray that this is the LAST spine surgery ever for you! Goodness knows you can now talk as a seasoned pro; you've already walked a mile in our shoes.

All the very best for a successful recovery...and remember to take it easy!

Hugs,
Hope
__________________
Outlier cervie - painfree cord compression
Reply With Quote
  #110 (permalink)  
Old 04-16-2009, 04:35 AM
Kathy's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 303
Default

Mark, How tall are you? And Diane?

Just curious, as I am from a tall family. I'm 5'10" and hubby 6'2" My brothers are 6'3" and 6'4", dad is 6'2". In my family, you are short if you are female and not 5'8 or 5'9" and a short male is 6'1". I have a female cousin and she is 6'4". I don't know if our heigth comes from our German roots or not (my mom is 100% German). I had a horrible time dating, as I was very adamant on having a guy who was taller than me and taller than me in my high heels.

Glad your recovery is going good, 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!
Reply With Quote
  #111 (permalink)  
Old 04-16-2009, 06:22 AM
mmglobal's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,511
Default

Kathy, I'm 6'3.5" before this surgery... maybe close to 6'4" now.

We are packing up now and will be leaving for airport soon. Last couple of days have been good, but somewhat hectic. I'll write more later... I just want everyone to know that we are on the road home. I have a mixed bag of remaining symptoms, but nothing significant that it's even worth discussing in terms of success or not... some things we won't know until all the post surgery symptoms are over. I can't believe that I can now stand steady on either foot... I was so unbalanced (physically...mental status is a whole nuther book) before the surgery... er... I couldn't stand on one foot... kind of had to sneak up on my underwear inorder to put a leg in.

Wish me luck on the flight... sitting in economy... munich, chicago, lax

More later,

Mark
__________________
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!
Life After Surgery Website
President: Global Patient Network, Inc.
Founder: www.iSpine.org
Reply With Quote
  #112 (permalink)  
Old 04-16-2009, 12:52 PM
Cheryl's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 94
Default

Good luck on the flight!!
__________________
44 Year Old, mom of 3
DDD - l4-s1- woke up Feb 2005 and couldn't walk
Tried PT, Injections, Accupuncture, drugs, etc.
2 level Prodisc ADR L4-S1, Feb. 18, 2008 Dr. Bertagnoli - Straubing, Germany - SUCCESS -

Now I struggle with Neck Pain likely c5-7
PT, injections, rhizotomy.......MRI and CT Myleo not consistent with pain symptoms, waiting that out, keeping my passport valid
Reply With Quote
  #113 (permalink)  
Old 04-16-2009, 05:29 PM
dshobbies's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,596
Default

Mark & Diane,

Welcome home, or soon to be. Was that the shortest trip to Germany for surgery. Am I off a week or were you only there for 1 1/2 weeks? Well there's nothing like your own home, bed, bathroom and kitchen. I want to implore you one more time (maybe) take it slow!

My best, Dale
__________________
3 level Prodisc adr S1-L3, Oct 12, 2005
Dr. B in Bogen, Germany
Severe nerve damage in left leg, still working on it
Reply With Quote
  #114 (permalink)  
Old 04-17-2009, 09:13 AM
ans ans is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 362
Default

Mark: If I get such an extensive surgery in Germany, will I get such a glow of happiness too? I'm still amazed. - ans
Reply With Quote
  #115 (permalink)  
Old 04-17-2009, 07:05 PM
Kathy's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 303
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmglobal View Post
Kathy, I'm 6'3.5" before this surgery... maybe close to 6'4" now. I can't believe that I can now stand steady on either foot... I was so unbalanced (physically...mental status is a whole nuther book) before the surgery... er... I couldn't stand on one foot... kind of had to sneak up on my underwear inorder to put a leg in. Mark
LMAO- I always say that the trade off for being tall is an extreme lack of coordination; at least I got screwed in that department. I'm not good at sports (I played basketball in junior high and our team got our butts whooped everytime we played ). I suck at dancing, zero rhythm. I don't sing either, even my kids ask "mommy don't sing".

Last night, I was trying to put my skivies on and I go to put my left leg in, while I am holding them knee high. My leg goes completely over the top, past the leg hole and I end up with them in between my legs, one leg in front and one in the back! I am completely pathetic when it comes to coordination. If I get that after surgery, my surgeon will be a true miracle worker!
__________________
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!
Reply With Quote
  #116 (permalink)  
Old 04-17-2009, 08:47 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,405
Default travel safely

Mark and Diane,
Safe travels and and hope you'll be comfortable on your flight!
The weather is going to be really wonderful this weekend (today is beautiful) and I'm down here in the midst of the Grand Prix commotion hearing the race cars buzz 'round and 'round.. actually Long Beach rocks right now!

Can't wait to hear more when you're able to write more
Reply With Quote
  #117 (permalink)  
Old 04-18-2009, 06:26 AM
steve55's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 160
Default Height gain

Ya know, it's really strange in my case about the gain in height thing. I never even thought about it when I was there until my friend saw me in the hospital. He knows nothing about this adr surgery but the first thing he said when he saw me was "dude, you got taller!". And as we stood closer , it was funny to feel the sensation of looking dowm on him. It was so obvious, that we busted out laughing. It was hilarious to be sort of towering over him when before we were almost eye to eye. The exact same thing happened with my othet taller friend, he was so amazed that he also started laughing. He couldnt believe it. He says i had to have gained at least an inch, maybe two. Dr b said he shaved off too much bone for me to have gained significant height. But its apparent to my friends that i did. I wish i had measured my height prior to surgery so i could measure how much i gained.

Last edited by steve55; 04-18-2009 at 06:33 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #118 (permalink)  
Old 04-18-2009, 07:29 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: orange county ca.
Posts: 164
Default

Have a good safe trip home. Maybe you can get bulkhead seats with a little more leg room? Rest up when you get back, you'll need it.
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
Reply With Quote
  #119 (permalink)  
Old 04-18-2009, 07:24 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 33
Default

I hope you survived your flight home without too much agony. I am guessing you are home and in bed by now. I have been away from the boards for a few days, but I knew you were in good hands and would do well. Your films look awesome. Thanks for taking the time to keep us posted, and the fantastic pictures of Germany.

Rest well and often. Update us when you can and take care of yourself. You know that we are all praying for you.
Reply With Quote
  #120 (permalink)  
Old 04-18-2009, 09:08 PM
Gil Denis's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: jackson Wyoming
Posts: 349
Cool Rest and Heal

Hi Mark

You are home by now rest ,rest, and rest I know you want to pick up your computer and tell everyone your story we can wait, Rest and Heal

Talk soon

All the Best

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
Reply With Quote
  #121 (permalink)  
Old 04-20-2009, 12:13 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: south bay area of los angeles
Posts: 99
Thumbs up Wow

now you truely are bionic!
i'm in awe!
let me know when you are ready to start a bowling
league, be cool to get a bunch of ADR's together
for such a feat.....
__________________
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
Reply With Quote
  #122 (permalink)  
Old 04-21-2009, 04:43 AM
fuzzy's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Northern CA
Posts: 246
Default

I hope you are are recovering well, Mark. That jet lag doesn't help I am sure.
__________________
Nov 07: STALIF Fusion L5/S1 ACTIV-L ADR L4/L5
Nov 09: Prodisc-C ADR 2 level C 4/5/6
Reply With Quote
  #123 (permalink)  
Old 04-21-2009, 04:53 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Japan/Houston
Posts: 4
Send a message via Skype™ to soljagal
Thumbs up lookin good

Short term can certainly be called a success...you look and sound great.

Best wishes for continued success!
Reply With Quote
  #124 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2009, 04:10 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 69
Default

Hi Mark,
Just wondering how you are going since you have been home. Still improving in leaps and bounds I hope.
Looking forward to a post surgery update.

Michelle.
Reply With Quote
  #125 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2009, 06:09 AM
dshobbies's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,596
Default

I'm butting in here for a moment. Mark is working too much and is literally interfereing with his own recooperation. We all knew he would do this. If anyone lives near him, please tie him down!!!!

Time to fess up Mark and take your punishment
__________________
3 level Prodisc adr S1-L3, Oct 12, 2005
Dr. B in Bogen, Germany
Severe nerve damage in left leg, still working on it
Reply With Quote
  #126 (permalink)  
Old 04-27-2009, 05:49 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,405
Default silence..

I kind of figured this much. Mark do want Lola to come over there and take you back to your master (Taffy)! Oh well.. some people recover differently tho I hope you're not carrying or lifting a bunch of stuff and/or even sitting in a weird neck straining position Mark~ (did you relocate your office to the beach?)
Reply With Quote
  #127 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2009, 03:42 AM
Kathy's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 303
Default Is everything ok???

Dale,
Just wanted to check and make sure that everything is ok with Mark. Your post scared me, sounds like recovery is going rough? I had noticed that I haven't seen any posts from Mark in a week or more..... I was worried about Mark and then I was your post saying he was 'overdoing' it and it got me wondering about Mark again. What work is he doing? He isn't traveling to the spine conference in London this week, is he? Or is he just doing the medical travel stuff? Does he work another job? Just curious about Mark and sounds like you might know how he is doing?????

Hope and pray all is well with Mark,
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!
Reply With Quote
  #128 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2009, 02:27 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Wayzata, Minnesota
Posts: 238
Default

I was wondering the same thing Kathy. Mark, are you out there? Dr. Stark sends his regards. Please post so we can stop worrying. Slow and easy, remember, wins the race.

Cindylou
__________________
bicycle accident 6/01: 2 compression fractures @ T12-L1; vertibroplasty; 4/06: right hip labral tear & arthroscopic repair; 4/07: lumbar prodiscs @ 3 levels, L3-6 by Dr. Bertagnoli; 7/02/08: ALIF L6-S1; 7/30/08: reopened to remove bone cement, leaked onto S1 nerve root; 8/08: pulmonary embolism, double pneumonia, collapsed left lung, pleurisy, pleural effusion; ALIF fusion complete; 3/10/09: SI Joint Fusion by Dr. Stark; Jury still out.
Reply With Quote
  #129 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2009, 06:46 PM
dshobbies's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,596
Default

I think it's up to Mark to speak for himself but... he's been going into the office everyday and not being kind to his body's healing efforts. I think a resounding STAY HOME from all of us might be in order. Once he begins to follow his own as well as the doctor's advice, he'll be back on track.

Please copy and paste, Mark, STAY HOME!
__________________
3 level Prodisc adr S1-L3, Oct 12, 2005
Dr. B in Bogen, Germany
Severe nerve damage in left leg, still working on it
Reply With Quote
  #130 (permalink)  
Old 04-29-2009, 12:17 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: orange county ca.
Posts: 164
Default Mark-Stay Home!

I was hoping that you would set a great example for all those Spiney's out there. Please be kind to your body as you have been given a chance for a pain free existence. I agree with Dale, Take it slow and atay home.
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
Reply With Quote
  #131 (permalink)  
Old 04-29-2009, 12:50 AM
Kathy's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 303
Default

Mark,
Sorry you are having a bump in the road of recovery. I hope you get to feeling better soon.
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!
Reply With Quote
  #132 (permalink)  
Old 04-29-2009, 01:08 AM
Gil Denis's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: jackson Wyoming
Posts: 349
Default Stay Home

Hi Mark

Please stay home and catch up on your soaps

Talk Soon

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
Reply With Quote
  #133 (permalink)  
Old 04-29-2009, 03:38 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: arizona
Posts: 256
Default

Mark:
Your silence is deafening! Please check in and let us know how you are.
Reply With Quote
  #134 (permalink)  
Old 04-29-2009, 04:00 PM
mmglobal's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,511
Default Day 22

Sorry everyone. The problem is that I have way too much to post and always expect to get to it in a few hours. Here is the VERY short version and I'll try to fill in all the details later.

First, my stellar recover continued after I got home. Yesterday I was 3 weeks post-op. Tomorrow, I will have been home for 2 weeks. Arriving home on a Thursday night after a 24 hour travel ordeal, I was still remarkably great. Friday, I was able to go into work for a few hours and felt wonderful. Saturday, I went into work for a few hours and felt wonderful. Sunday, I went into work for a few hours and felt wonderful. We had a party Sunday night and I felt good enough to GENTLY sweep the patio and clean up a bit. Sunday night, I started to feel it. Monday I spent a full day at work and by Monday night I was really hurting. Please keep in mind that none of these activities are likely to cause a problem with the discs and that while I was doing them they felt perfectly OK. (I expose my stupidity here in the hopes that others will learn!)

The major symptom that came on is the very sharp pain when moving wrong. (Like just after surgery when you can't roll over or transition sitting <--> laying without generating that momentary 9 or 10) The pain is on the right side of my upper back and sometimes in the R chest. It can also occur at times from inhaling or exhaling deeply.

I forgot to mention that before my surgery, I only took 2-3 Vicodin/day. After my surgery, I settled into 10mg Oxycontin/day (= 9 Vicodin). On Saturday, too, the oxy in the morning then transitioned back to Vicodin, thinking I'd be able to manage on 4-5/day. Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday, I was ramping up the Vicodin; then on Wednesday I went back to the Oxy. I took 40mg/day for a couple of days then settled back into 30, where I am now.

I was not worried about the prostheses moving, but after it went on for several days, I decided that discretion was the better part of valor and got some xrays to make sure. All is OK. (The clusterf*%K with the local doctor and xray tech not knowing what to do and being very uncomfortable taking direction from me was comical, but when all was said and done, they went the extra mile and got everything properly done and were very kind.)

Dr. F-M suggested that my pain on breathing may be a 'blockade'? I believe that she was referring to something like a frozen facet and was suggesting a chiropractor, making sure to note that NO VIOLENT ADJUSTEMENT is appropriate here, just mild coaxing. I have a tough time going to a chiropractor, but may consider it today.

I'm still going into work for a few hours/day. When kicking around the house, I have a tough time getting comfortable and think that mixing it up is good. I'm not worried about long term implications but am not happy that at 3 weeks plus a day, I'm not nearly as good as I was at 10, 11, 12 days.

Here is a brief inventory of symptoms.

Voice - I had trouble with my voice after surgery. I could always talk, but in the days following the surgery, I had to move so much air to speak in a muffled, raspy voice that i frequently had to take breaths at seemingly inappropriate times.) I was still raspy 100% of the time at a week post-op. After a week or so, my normal voice would show up at random times for just a few seconds. After about 10 days, my voice was normal 80% and raspy 20. By 14 days and still now, my voice is pretty normal. There is a very slight raspy component, but nobody would notice. I still can tell once in a while that I’m moving more air than normal, but it’s getting better and better… I expect a 100% recovery. Note that the 6 hour surgery with larynx retracted is no small ordeal. I’ve seen this voice issue before and am not concerned.

Tinitis – I knew this was a long shot and was not likely connected to my c-spine. I still have it as expected.

L face and neck tingling – This annoying symptom was attributed to C3-4 and confirmed with discography. It is 90% gone now. Immediately after surgery, I’d say it was about 25% improved. It was hard not to attribute my perception of the improvement to wishful thinking. But as the days wore on, it improved substantially. Now, I notice it once in a while, but it’s mostly gone.

L interscapular pain – This pain started with my MVA in 1997. While I did not have it all the time, it recent years, I had it most of the time. It’s gone.

L chest and upper arm pain. While this occurred only a few times in recent years, since the onset of more severe symptoms a few months ago, it had been constant. It’s gone.

Balance – I no longer have to sneak up on my underwear to put a leg in. I can stand (mostly) steady on either foot, still R > L, but a thousand times better than pre-op. Eyes closed, R good, L OK (not as good as R, but this was impossible pre-op)

New radicular symptoms – after the surgery I had new numbness in L 2nd, 3rd, 4th fingertips. This was minor at worst and has improved to where it’s hardly noticeable. It’s still here, but just barely.

L little finger pain, tingling, numbness. 90% gone since surgery.

L back of thumb tingling and electric shocks with certain movements. This was unchanged immediately after the surgery. I think it’s a local problem and unrelated to my neck, but now at 3 weeks, it’s substantially better. It could still be a local problem that is better because I’m spending less time at keyboard… that is likely the case.

Hip and thigh pain – this is the biggie. I believe that the thing that has been worst through the last 3 years has been a non-specific pain in my hips and thighs that would get worse through the afternoons and sometimes be severe in the evenings and at night. It would cause me to sit there and move my legs like restless leg syndrome. I could not tell you where it hurt… the pain was so diffuse I could not describe it beyond general hip and upper legs. It’s gone.

Scar – I was hoping that I’d have a big ugly scar that would be a conversation piece and would generate a lot of business for me. Unfortunately, Bertagnoli stitched it up so nicely, I think it will be pretty invisible.

Alignment issue – On the first xray, the tilt at C3 could be attributed to the way I held my head for the xray. On the second one, I knew that there was likely some structural issue. With the third set of post-op xrays, I already knew that I have an alignment issue. There is a tilt in the system. If you look at me from straight on, and you have a calibrated eye, and you are anal about such things; you will notice that my head is slightly off-center to my right. It is tilted back to the left so my head is straight. My neck is slightly tilted. Everything looks fine with the implantation. I have not analyzed pre-op xrays to see if this existed before (not that it matters.) If this stays where it is and is asymptomatic… no problem. If the tilt gets worse, I may have an issue in the future. Only time will tell. There is no reason to worry, and no point as well. It is what it is… not a problem now and no reason to anticipate a problem… just an anomaly that I’ll be watching.

I’ll post some pictures later. In summary, the good news is that after I returned, I didn’t post because I was too busy. The bad news is that after the setback, I didn’t post because I was still too busy, and unable to spend the extra time at the computer. I should have been posting quick updates… but the surgery has not solved my posting problem… short posts are still not possible!

Again, I apologize to those who are worried about me. I’m OK, and getting better every day. My early success let me forget that this was a huge surgery… 4 levels with a 6-level approach, plus a lot of severe degeneration that made many aspects of the surgery extra difficult. If anyone local has a 2 x 4, you should come by the office and smack me in the head if I don’t go home early!

All the best,

Mark

PS… if anyone local wants to host a gathering, or if we can find some centrally located spot for a lunch on Saturday or Sunday… let’s do it.
__________________
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!
Life After Surgery Website
President: Global Patient Network, Inc.
Founder: www.iSpine.org
Reply With Quote
  #135 (permalink)  
Old 04-29-2009, 04:54 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,405
Default take it easy!

Mark,
I think you need to chill a bit and recover like someone who has had surgery in the US!

Ok, that being said glad to read that most of your symptoms seemed to have improved and that you felt so well so soon post op. I guess in some ways it's good to not feel GREAT so soon post op tho then again if I had my druthers I'd druther feel way better early on too!

Not sure if I'll be back Sat or Sun as going for ESI Friday late afternoon in San Diego tho perhaps will return early Sat. a.m. and be good to go for whatever.

thanks for posting~ inquisitive worrisome minds wanted to know
Reply With Quote
  #136 (permalink)  
Old 04-29-2009, 10:43 PM
fuzzy's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Northern CA
Posts: 246
Default

THANK you for your detailed post. Very interesting and I am glad you are doing so well. Sure seems like your setback is part of the recovery process but you seem to be taking the bull by the horns! So no wonder you have some pain levels. Do you think the pain levels (oxycontin!!) are (still) related to post surgery pain or your excess activity (the office!!). I have been doing some office the last few days and it is killer on me. Sitting can be real bad for a not so perfect spine.

I think you are doing TOO MUCH and should take it easy. Maybe visit me and sit on the porch in my electric antigrav chair for a few weeks (no cell phone or puters) ;-)
__________________
Nov 07: STALIF Fusion L5/S1 ACTIV-L ADR L4/L5
Nov 09: Prodisc-C ADR 2 level C 4/5/6
Reply With Quote
  #137 (permalink)  
Old 04-30-2009, 12:29 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 331
Default

Mark,

Tsk, tsk, tsk.
Please follow your advice to us and take it easy.

Runner
Reply With Quote
  #138 (permalink)  
Old 04-30-2009, 04:26 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: arizona
Posts: 256
Default

Mark:
Unless a whack with a 2 x 4 will correct the tilt, I wouldn't advise it.
As everyone else has said, please let yourself heal and listen to your body!
Thank you for posting!
Reply With Quote
  #139 (permalink)  
Old 04-30-2009, 08:14 AM
steve55's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 160
Default Reply

Wow, so mark, you also had hip pain pre op? Yea, as you recall in my profile, and in my records, I also had bouts of hip pain which seemed to time with my flare ups , along with my other really weird below the waste symptoms,.... too embarrasing to go into details here. All that below the waste and hip pain garbage is all gone for me too since my 3 level cervical adr surgury. Oddly enough, it's weird how you and many patients report having voice box issues while some like me had not even the slightest noticeable issues despite a 6.5 hour sugery.

I also had a setback at 5 or 6 weeks post op. I had felt good enough to go clothes shopping all day and ran a bunch of errands and boy did i pay the price. Stayed in bed for 2 days after that. Only now 3 weeks later do I feel I got back to where I was before overdoing myself that Saturday.

It wasnt till 5 weeks post op that i could finally sit at my desk at work for a steady 5-6 hours, with the help of alleve and an ultracet of course.. Well, I'm now 9 weeks post op and still dealing with all kinds of aches and pains (both at the disc levels and other muscular parts of my back) but they arnt too bad really , and with alleve I can pretty much have more good days than bad, but certainly not anywhere near pain free yet. For me, the good news is that none of the current pain is the old preop pain. There's no hell on earth like nerve pain and I'll take this physical mechanical pain over deep nerve pain anyday!! Just thought I'd share my own experience since we had similar surgery only a month apart.

Last edited by steve55; 04-30-2009 at 08:48 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #140 (permalink)  
Old 04-30-2009, 10:56 AM
ans ans is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 362
Default

Mark: Are you nuts? You admit that you had major surgery. Take horse tranquilizers, etc. to slow your pace, OK? Best, Allan
Reply With Quote
  #141 (permalink)  
Old 05-01-2009, 07:11 PM
New-disc's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Maine
Posts: 80
Default

Mark,

Be good to yourself..... Take it SLOW!!

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)
Reply With Quote
  #142 (permalink)  
Old 05-02-2009, 06:18 PM
Justin's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 303
Default

Hey Mark,

I hope you feel better. It does sound like you are doing WAY too much too soon. You only get one chance to heal correctly. Good luck!
__________________
-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.
Reply With Quote
  #143 (permalink)  
Old 05-02-2009, 09:56 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Calgary, Canada
Posts: 108
Default

Thanks for the update Mark, and especially the detail. t's amazing to hear how many of your symptoms have disappeared. I can't believe you jumped right back into your everyday life immediately. I hope you are having a nice lazy weekend. Take it easy and let everything heal.
Cheers,
Hope
__________________
Outlier cervie - painfree cord compression
Reply With Quote
  #144 (permalink)  
Old 05-03-2009, 05:33 AM
Kathy's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 303
Default

Mark,
Wow, you have alot going on, make my head spin. I had no idea that you had so much pain and so many issues prior to surgery. I had thought this had just been an off an on thing, that had just gotten worse a few months ago. After reading your post, I'm feeling like a sissy, just back pain pre-surgery and muscle pain now.

Just curious, how could your head be crooked? I don't understand how that is even possible Aren't your vertebrae flat (basically) and during surgery they shave (chisel) off any abnormalties to make them flat and make the implant fit correctly? The implant is designed to move and flex in different directions; but is implanted flatly between the two vertebrae... So, how would it be tilted that would make your head crooked? I remember reading someone ask something about one of your first x-rays; but all that x-ray reading and lingo is above my head. Is this what they were asking about? I have never heard of this happening, is this common? Or just a freak accident? (Can you tell I was the kid in the classroom with my hand up all the time with a question? I just have to understand things, how they work)

Take it easy, sounds like you are doing way too much too early. Remember the pain medication can be a good and bad thing, good because you don't hurt and feel good, bad because you don't feel if you are overdoing it. You still got a lot going on with your spine and need to give it a chance to heal, like one of the earlier posters said, you only get one shot at healing. Take Care, 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!
Reply With Quote
  #145 (permalink)  
Old 05-03-2009, 06:23 PM
treefrog's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 284
Default

Mark, I hope you have started taking some of your own advice, and are taking things a little easier. Yep, you only have one shot at healing correctly. You don't want to blow it. Take it slow, and easy.
__________________
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
Reply With Quote
  #146 (permalink)  
Old 05-07-2009, 12:10 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 21
Default

Hey Mark. Glad your doing ok. I amazed how quick you are recovering. Ditto on everybody's advice for giving your body to time to slowly adjust and get out of this relatively pain free.

You remind me of this Anime series called "Ghost in the Shell". It's set in the future and technology of the day can allow a transplant of your whole brain and spinal cord and stick it into a artificial body. Most of the people of the time have artificial implants of some sort. It's a great series if you want to lay in front of the tv for a while.

Take care. Hope you keep on powering along.
Reply With Quote
  #147 (permalink)  
Old 05-13-2009, 08:33 AM
mmglobal's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,511
Default

Turned 5 weeks post-op today.

I'm still limited in my uptime... but the limit is VERY high. B the end of the day, unless I quit early (after 5 or 6 hours) I get into significant pain when laying down... rolling over (knife in low cervical or upper thoracic). I also get the pain in R chest and back on deep breathing.

When I had my big setback 3 weeks ago... these symptoms kicked in and stayed for more than a week before I started to turn around. For the last week, I've gotten better and better each day. (evidenced by my uptime improving and the when the pain kicked in, it did not last.)

This was proven to me last Thursday. I had a very busy day, but I had a MUST ATTEND event at night - ceremony for Jason getting masters degree in education (way to go Jason!) I knew I was hurting pretty bad early in the ceremony, but there was no way I was bailing out. Thursday night, I was worried... it was pretty bad, but Friday I was OK. In fact, Friday was the first day since the big setback that I was actually running around saying "I haven't felt this good in years."

Same thing Saturday... busy day preparing for graduation party... lots of pain Saturday night... but OK on Sunday. I don't know how much longer I'll be dealing with this, but I see myself getting better and better each day.

We'll see how I do the next couple of weeks... I leave in a few hours for Germany. I have a few clients lined up in Munich and Straubing and will spend the next 2 weeks doing the marathon that is a surgery trip. I usually do much better on the trips than I do at home because the activities are so varied... I don't sit at a desk all day. As long as I don't fall asleep on a flight with my neck in a goofy position... I'll be good. Wish me luck.

Sorry I have not been able to post more. It's not because I'm bad... it's because I'm busy. That is a good thing!

All the best,

Mark
__________________
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!
Life After Surgery Website
President: Global Patient Network, Inc.
Founder: www.iSpine.org
Reply With Quote
  #148 (permalink)  
Old 05-13-2009, 06:14 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,405
Default not being bad being busy..

And then again sometimes we are bad while being busy!
take care of yourself Mark, pace yourself and delegate ~ make someone else carry your bags at the airport!
Reply With Quote
  #149 (permalink)  
Old 05-14-2009, 04:34 PM
Cheryl's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 94
Default

Best of luck!!
__________________
44 Year Old, mom of 3
DDD - l4-s1- woke up Feb 2005 and couldn't walk
Tried PT, Injections, Accupuncture, drugs, etc.
2 level Prodisc ADR L4-S1, Feb. 18, 2008 Dr. Bertagnoli - Straubing, Germany - SUCCESS -

Now I struggle with Neck Pain likely c5-7
PT, injections, rhizotomy.......MRI and CT Myleo not consistent with pain symptoms, waiting that out, keeping my passport valid
Reply With Quote
  #150 (permalink)  
Old 05-17-2009, 10:56 PM
mmglobal's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,511
Default

I'm sorry I have not been able to post more. There are a lot of important discussions I want to weigh in on. I'm here in Straubing... midnight Sunday night. It seems like today started at 5am Wednesday morning in California, when I left for Germany. I arrived here on Thursday and hit the ground running. Every day since then involved little sleep, up VERY late, long stressful days (including standing w/lead apron for hours observing surgeries), and a fall that I was worried would fire everything up. If the bad news is that I'm too busy... the good news is that I'm tolerating it well. I'm still taking pain meds because I'm afraid to taper off while the demands on me are so ridiculously high. I expect to return home on little meds compared to when I arrive. We'll see how the rest of the week goes. Hopefully, I'll be able to get involved in more discussions soon.

All the best,

Mark
__________________
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!
Life After Surgery Website
President: Global Patient Network, Inc.
Founder: www.iSpine.org
Reply With Quote
  #151 (permalink)  
Old 05-24-2009, 01:08 AM
mmglobal's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,511
Default

Wow... It's 2am Sunday morning. I go home Monday after almost 2 weeks here. Tuesday will be 7 weeks post-op. The tough part of the trip is over. 2 of 3 clients are gone... the 3-level lumbar client is out of the hospital and doing quite well. It's been an amazingly busy time and I cannot believe that I was able to sustain the pace that I did. I had been afraid to cut the pain meds in the middle of such a demanding trip. Today, I cut them in 1/2. (This was possible because here you can get 5mg oxy... something I wish they would bring to the US... this is such a great dosing option. It would make it so much easier to finish your taper off of oxy with this option.) We'll see how I do on the lower dose and I still have to worry about the flights home.

I KNOW I'm better because I won't wait for the elevator. I'd rather sling my backpack over one shoulder and run down 5 flights of stairs. I'm getting glimpses of feeling better than I have in years. I'm beginning to realize that over the past few years when I thought I felt good... I did not. It's a strange sensation to really feel good... almost giddy. As Sam Perroni said... "the absense of pain is a sensation".

I still don't know how good I'll get. I'm only getting glimpses of feeling really well and am still taking substantial meds. However, I expect to leave the meds behind very soon. If you all will help me and come hit me with a stick if I work long days again... and if I get to PT, work on my core strength and take Baumbach's advice for frequent mud baths... I expect to do VERY well.

All the best,

Mark
__________________
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!
Life After Surgery Website
President: Global Patient Network, Inc.
Founder: www.iSpine.org
Reply With Quote
  #152 (permalink)  
Old 05-24-2009, 01:22 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 100
Default

What great news. I wish you all the best. Did you get a C7-T1 disc? I did not think that they had those discs yet.
__________________
Chiari 1 malformation - successful surgery 1-22-09
C5-6 herniation (extrusion) with moderate central canal stenosis and bilateral foraminal stenosis.
Prodisc-C @ C5-6 surgery on 5/28/09
VATS thoracic fusion @ T3-4 and T6-7 on 9/11/09
Fusion w/cage @ C7-T1 on 11/12/09
Reply With Quote
  #153 (permalink)  
Old 05-24-2009, 02:12 AM
mmglobal's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,511
Default

The issue with C7-T1 is not the disc... it's the difficulty in the approach. Bertagnoli has done many of these. We skipped my C7-T1 because the disc was not too severely compromised, but T1-T2 was and Bertagnoli replaced it.

Yesterday I was talking to a very experienced US cervical ADR surgeon and he was surprised that T1-T2 was even possible via the anterior approach.

The ability to do C7-T1 and T1-T2 depends upon your anatomy. (Long neck folks are possible, short neck folks are not.) It also depends upon the surgeon's experience.
__________________
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!
Life After Surgery Website
President: Global Patient Network, Inc.
Founder: www.iSpine.org
Reply With Quote
  #154 (permalink)  
Old 05-24-2009, 04:27 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Posts: 22
Wink Walk tall and carry a big stick....to use on Mark!

Mark,
I'm glad your trip is winding down and everything has gone well for you. I am still amazed at your resilience at just 7 weeks. I fully understand the sentiment you expressed about thinking that some days you were doing okay, and now realizing the vast difference. I am so grateful to you that now there are more days than not that I feel like someone I recall (ME!) from years ago. The absence of pain for me comes like silence on the wind. Truly a wonderful stillness in my body. I still have my back "issues" to resolve, but my neck is a happy camper thanks to you and Dr. B! Life is good! Be good to yourself.
Jennifer
Reply With Quote
  #155 (permalink)  
Old 05-24-2009, 06:10 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 71
Default Glad you are healing quickly

Hi Mark,
I'm thrilled that you are healing well, and able to move forward so quickly after surgery.
Blessings to you, and sincere hopes for ever-increasing improvement.
-Jeff
__________________
19+ years back pain w/ advancing disc degeneration.
2002-2 level lumbar IDET w/ Nucleoplasty (very unsuccessful; huge setback)
Three level lumbar Charite (L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1) with Dr. Zeegers in Munich, Germany: 2/25/05 (successful)
Two level cervical Mobi-C (C5/6, C6/7) 2/2/07 with Dr. Zeegers (successful)
Laser Facet Coagulation (left side: L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1 & sacral) 11/04/10 with Prof. Dr. Reul / Beta Klinik (significant reduction in remnant lumbar & sacral pain)
Reply With Quote
  #156 (permalink)  
Old 05-24-2009, 06:40 PM
dshobbies's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,596
Default

MUD BATHS?

I'm relieved that this trip didn't set you back. I was worried but then again, you seem far more resilient than I. Welcome home tomorrow. I'll bet your own bed sounds so good right about now

Dale
__________________
3 level Prodisc adr S1-L3, Oct 12, 2005
Dr. B in Bogen, Germany
Severe nerve damage in left leg, still working on it
Reply With Quote
  #157 (permalink)  
Old 05-25-2009, 12:02 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: arizona
Posts: 256
Default

Great news, Mark!

The knowing I was truly better came with the realization that I no longer was constantly thinking that I was tired of living in this body.

Please say more about the mud baths!!! There are wonderful world-class spas here in Tucson, so perhaps it's time for some R & R in the Wild West???
Reply With Quote
  #158 (permalink)  
Old 05-25-2009, 12:49 AM
Gil Denis's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: jackson Wyoming
Posts: 349
Default

Hi Mark

I am glad to hear you are doing better.

Have a safe trip home.

Does this mean you need new ski boots

Talk when you get home

All the Best

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
Reply With Quote
  #159 (permalink)  
Old 05-25-2009, 07:09 AM
mmglobal's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,511
Default

Coming home today... It's been almost 2 weeks here... YAHOO. I can't wait to see my family...

This has been a tough trip, but a wonderful trip. Getting to know my clients and watching them do well is VERY gratifying. In addition to the three clients I had here, I got to meet and spend some time with Jess and Treefrog. Heather from adrsupport and her family were wonderful. Her mom is a gas... we really hit it off with all our talk of our climbing, skydiving, flying pasts. We went to Deggendorf yesterday and flew gliders. Last night we had a party on the terrace of room 403. GPN provided the food... Theresientor provided everything we needed and even surprised us with a 1/2 case of Proseco... Lisa and Simone from ProSpine joined us, as did Tim Vicknair. The hardware lineup included 18 levels (I think) in 6 pre and post-op patients. It was great to see everyone laughing, smiling and hugging. I love these gatherings! I wish I could post some pictures now, but I have to go see Diane and Zoey!

All the best,

Mark
__________________
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!
Life After Surgery Website
President: Global Patient Network, Inc.
Founder: www.iSpine.org
Reply With Quote
  #160 (permalink)  
Old 05-28-2009, 05:54 PM
mmglobal's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,511
Default

The flight home kicked my butt. The connection was too tight in Chicago... it took 25 minutes from the time the bags started to come down until mine arrived. I literally ran through the terminal with carry-on baggage in tow... It felt good to run and it was enough of a workout to really get warm and huff and puff a lot. Got to the gate 4 minutes before flight left, but 6 minutes after doors closed. That gave me an additional 3.5 hours of layover and I fell asleep in a chair... not a good position for any cervical patient, but especially for recent post-op patients. Tuesday was rough... Wednesday was worse with some pretty severe pain. To top it all off, I'm trying to taper off the Oxy and have switched from 10's to 5's, going from 30mg/day down to 15 or 20. Since I've only been back on opiates for a few months and at relatively small doses (compared to my lumbar episode), I thought this would be easy. NOT SO! Even this small taper has me feeling really lousy... headache, body aches... just really feeling crappy. If the flight induced episode goes away, I'll consider going cold turkey. From my 2002 experience, from this point in my taper to the end of the withdrawals was about 3 weeks. I think I'd rather do a bad weekend than 3 weeks of mild to moderate withdrawals. We'll see. I see the PM this afternoon and still have to get past the pain episode before I can even consider going below the current 15 to 20 mg.

Last night I had a pretty frightening severe pain in lower throacic spine... far away from any previous lumbar or cervical issues. I hope that there is not more happening... there were lower throacic problems called out on MRI... let's hope that this was just an anomoly and not the start of something new. I have enough metal already.

I'll keep everyone posted. I'm glad I can provide a glimpse into the ups and downs that so many experience... it's not all sunshine and roses. While we sometimes see the amazing recoveries where people are so much better at just a few days post-op and never look back, I think that this kind of experience is much more common.

All the best,

Mark
__________________
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!
Life After Surgery Website
President: Global Patient Network, Inc.
Founder: www.iSpine.org
Reply With Quote
  #161 (permalink)  
Old 05-28-2009, 06:53 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 4
Default

Mark,

You a glider pilot? Besides being an MD80 captain for American, My first love is gliders. It's good to being able to do both.

Mark Martin
__________________
1996-L4-5 discectomy
2007 L3-4 discectomy
2007 many ESI's
January 08 Maverick discs L3-4 L4-5
June 2008 L5-S1 annulus tears lased and scar tissue removed endoscopically
September 2008 back to work and pain free
Reply With Quote
  #162 (permalink)  
Old 05-29-2009, 05:07 AM
mmglobal's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,511
Default

Hey Mark. I've flown gliders in many different places, but never soloed. I have about 400 hours in lightplanes and 850 jumps. I've taken off in balloons twice, but have never landed in a balloon. Same goes for helicopters.... 2 takeoffs, no landings.

I LOVE formation flying. (photo from my ship.)


Unfortunately, my dad sold the Navion a couple of years ago. Check out the photos on NAvion N4584K. On the Bay Tour page, the photos of the red and white Navion are all taken by Dr. Bertagnoli from the right seat of the orange one. Both the Alcatraz photo and the one with sunset behind the other ship wound up on the cover of the Navioneer magazine.

I love being in the air in any form.... even as a passenger in a big bus. What I really miss is the freefall... getting me knees in the breeze!

This should give everyone some heartburn... Dr. Bertagnoli wearing a parachute!
__________________
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!
Life After Surgery Website
President: Global Patient Network, Inc.
Founder: www.iSpine.org
Reply With Quote
  #163 (permalink)  
Old 05-30-2009, 06:22 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,405
Default nice photos Mark

Mark,
What about a slower taper vs.cold turkey. I can get thru the flu symptoms and even the ghastly GI symptoms but at some point w/my taper I have respiratory problems and feel like I'm gasping for breath or forcing myself to breath. Also the unslaught of pain all over the bod (nerve pain mostly) is just intolerable as is the crippling burning muscle pain I get in the glutes and quads...

I've asked my PM to switch me to Suboxone to help w/withdrawls and as a maintenance med tho he has to get certified to prescribe first and then WC has to authorize...

Here's hoping your withdrawls will be quick and not too nasty but some of the pain that pops up could also be just your body responding to the decreasing amount of pain med...
Reply With Quote
  #164 (permalink)  
Old 05-30-2009, 11:59 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Wayzata, Minnesota
Posts: 238
Default

Mark, let me know if you go the cold turkey route. I would like to hear about it for sure. I have been thinking of doing this myself, but frankly, it scares the shit out of me. We'll see.

Good luck if you go this route!

Cindylou
__________________
bicycle accident 6/01: 2 compression fractures @ T12-L1; vertibroplasty; 4/06: right hip labral tear & arthroscopic repair; 4/07: lumbar prodiscs @ 3 levels, L3-6 by Dr. Bertagnoli; 7/02/08: ALIF L6-S1; 7/30/08: reopened to remove bone cement, leaked onto S1 nerve root; 8/08: pulmonary embolism, double pneumonia, collapsed left lung, pleurisy, pleural effusion; ALIF fusion complete; 3/10/09: SI Joint Fusion by Dr. Stark; Jury still out.
Reply With Quote
  #165 (permalink)  
Old 05-31-2009, 02:20 PM
mmglobal's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,511
Default

I'll have an easier time than last time because of my short duration on opiates and smaller doses. This is just my experience. You should NEVER change your meds or taper off your pain meds without discussing it with your doctor FIRST.

For me, it seems more difficult to taper when you get to the smallest dose of the 'hard stuff' that you are taking without a smooth next step. For Oxy in the US, IMHO, that step is down from 10mg 3x/day. Fortunately for me, I was prescribed the 5mg pills that are available in Europe, so that minimum dose is 5mg 3x. Actually, this time, it was 2x dosing that I could go down to. Instead of something like 7am, 3pm, 11pm; if I could go 8am then take the second dose at 6 or 7pm, I'd be (mostly) adequately covered until the next morning. Stepping down to 20mg/day from 30 came with withdrawals, but they were relatively minor. They are strong enough to make me want to accellerate the taper so I don't feel like crap for weeks to come... but not strong enough to make me worry about accellerating the taper. 20 to 15 was done Thursday. 15 to 10 was done Friday. Saturday morning I took the last 5mg Oxy and moved to hydrocodone instead. My PM gave me Norco instead of Vicodin because of less Tyelenol, but I'll be doing this for such a short time, I don't care about the Tyelenol. I tried quartering the Norco, but it's too much of a pain. I'll use 1/2 Vicodin's today and hopefully today or tomorrow, I'll be done.

The withdrawals are not too bad, but it's hard to tell what is real pain versus withdrawal pain. What seem to be my real post-op symptoms are up. I don't know if it's realistic to be off the meds now. I'll try for a few days and see how it goes. I'll keep you posted.

All the best,

Mark
__________________
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!
Life After Surgery Website
President: Global Patient Network, Inc.
Founder: www.iSpine.org
Reply With Quote
  #166 (permalink)  
Old 05-31-2009, 02:25 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 100
Default

If you wanted to continue with the oxycodone taper you could try using percocet (5mg oxycodone/500 tylenol). They are not time released, but it is a lower dosage of oxy. Just a thought.
__________________
Chiari 1 malformation - successful surgery 1-22-09
C5-6 herniation (extrusion) with moderate central canal stenosis and bilateral foraminal stenosis.
Prodisc-C @ C5-6 surgery on 5/28/09
VATS thoracic fusion @ T3-4 and T6-7 on 9/11/09
Fusion w/cage @ C7-T1 on 11/12/09
Reply With Quote
  #167 (permalink)  
Old 06-01-2009, 03:22 PM
mmglobal's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,511
Default

I'm doing OK... now taking 1/2 regular strength vicodin just a few times a day. The symptoms are VERY mild... just a little headache/flu like symptoms... but very mild. I guess it will be MUCH, MUCH easier than last time. I still am completely spent and uncomfortable at the end of the day. I don't know if it will be OK to be all the way off the pain meds... we'll see. (Note that I'm still taking Voltaren and don't expect to stop the NSAIDs... I was never able to leave that behind after my lumbar surgery almost 7 years ago.)

Mark
__________________
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!
Life After Surgery Website
President: Global Patient Network, Inc.
Founder: www.iSpine.org
Reply With Quote
  #168 (permalink)  
Old 06-01-2009, 03:42 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Wayzata, Minnesota
Posts: 238
Default

Go Mark! Hang in there. Sounds like you're tapering pretty well, honestly.
__________________
bicycle accident 6/01: 2 compression fractures @ T12-L1; vertibroplasty; 4/06: right hip labral tear & arthroscopic repair; 4/07: lumbar prodiscs @ 3 levels, L3-6 by Dr. Bertagnoli; 7/02/08: ALIF L6-S1; 7/30/08: reopened to remove bone cement, leaked onto S1 nerve root; 8/08: pulmonary embolism, double pneumonia, collapsed left lung, pleurisy, pleural effusion; ALIF fusion complete; 3/10/09: SI Joint Fusion by Dr. Stark; Jury still out.
Reply With Quote
  #169 (permalink)  
Old 06-09-2009, 07:49 AM
mmglobal's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,511
Default

leaving opiates turned out to easy... but still on roller coaster. Still OK most mornings... not great most nights... pretty bad some nights (like now!)
__________________
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!
Life After Surgery Website
President: Global Patient Network, Inc.
Founder: www.iSpine.org
Reply With Quote
  #170 (permalink)  
Old 06-09-2009, 03:19 PM
New-disc's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Maine
Posts: 80
Default

Mark,

Nice pictures!!!

1 day at a time with your healing.

Any more jumps planed?

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)
Reply With Quote
  #171 (permalink)  
Old 06-11-2009, 12:37 AM
mmglobal's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,511
Default

Anybody in so. Cal that has a 2x4? Please come whack me in the head. I'd be fine if I was laying low?
__________________
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!
Life After Surgery Website
President: Global Patient Network, Inc.
Founder: www.iSpine.org
Reply With Quote
  #172 (permalink)  
Old 06-12-2009, 06:29 PM
New-disc's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Maine
Posts: 80
Default

Mark,

Former President Bush (age 85) will ---> parachute jump in Maine today on his Birthday.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2292958-l.jpg (24.8 KB, 7 views)
__________________
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)

Last edited by New-disc; 06-13-2009 at 08:09 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #173 (permalink)  
Old 06-17-2009, 07:08 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1
Default advice my skydiving

Hi,
I am 28 and planning to do my first skydive on Sunday.
When I was 20, I had a lumbar laminectomy for L4-L5 rupture leading to severe leg pain. I have fully recovered and no issues the last 8 years. I have lost 20 pounds and in pretty decent fitness.
I just want to get some advice on whether I should do it and any good suggestions.
Thank you for your replies.
So excited!!!!!!!1 )
Yogesh
Reply With Quote
  #174 (permalink)  
Old 06-17-2009, 10:09 PM
mmglobal's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,511
Default

IMHO, if you are fully recovered 8 years... the question is about the safety of skydiving... not about being a spine patient.

If you would participate in other physical activities... riding motorcyles in desert, water skiing, etc... then you are accepting the relative risks of the activities. A normal skydive with normal opening and normal landing is something that old folks do all the time with no issues. George Bush 1 just celebrated 85th birthday with a skydive.

Abnormal opening... malfunction... abnormal landing all increase the risk of injury. IMHO, the risks are manageable... but not everyone agrees.

Mark
__________________
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!
Life After Surgery Website
President: Global Patient Network, Inc.
Founder: www.iSpine.org
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT. The time now is 01:48 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.