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Surgical Outcomes and Blogs Discuss L4/L5, L5/S1 ProDisc Synthes in the Main forums forums; SURGERY DATE: May 26, 2009 AGE AT SURGERY DATE: 36 SURGEON: Dr. Bertagnoli SURGERY LOCATION/CLINIC: Straubing, Germany DEVICE(s), ...

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Old 06-01-2009, 07:09 PM
jessmith07's Avatar
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Default L4/L5, L5/S1 ProDisc Synthes

SURGERY DATE: May 26, 2009

AGE AT SURGERY DATE: 36

SURGEON: Dr. Bertagnoli

SURGERY LOCATION/CLINIC: Straubing, Germany


DEVICE(s), LEVEL(s): L4/L5, L5/S1 ProDisc Synthes

COST = $45,000 USD
AMOUNT BILLED:
INSURANCE ALLOWED: $42,000
OUT OF POCKET: $3,000
TRAVEL: $1,200 USD
EXPLANATIONS? We used Miles from our mileage plus account to get from the US to Paris, France (planned a vacation to Paris long before the surgery), so that flight was only about $100 in taxes. $600 for 2 round-trip tickets to Germany from France. $500 hotel in Germany.


ONSET OF LUMBAR PROBLEMS, DATE OF INJURY, CAUSE, ETC...: About 12 years; 9 years intermittent pain, 3 years chronic. My first bout of severe back pain came in early 1997, after the birth of my second daughter. As a teenager, I was very active with horses, and used to break and train, being thrown and kicked numerous times. Early 2008, diagnosed with DDD.

PRIOR SPINE SURGERIES AND PROCEDURES (IDET, ESI, etc...): Numerous epidural injections; chiropractic care regularly since 2006. Herniation in April 2008; laminectomy in September 2008.

PRE-OP MEDICATIONS: Topomax & arthrotec daily, lortab as needed

PRE-OP DIAGNOSTICS (discogram, nerve root blocks, etc...): MRI with and without contrast; x-rays

PRE-OP NEUROPATHIES (what, where, & degree of pain, numbness, tingling, sexual/bladder/bowel symptoms, etc.): Numbness/tingling in feet; some mild cramping in calves; mild bladder control issues (like when coughing/sneezing/laughing hard); bowels not working properly ( like only 1-2 times per week)

PRE-OP CONDITION (Please include %leg pain/% back pain, pain levels, type of pain, ability to work and function, disability status, etc.... be direct, but be as verbose as you need to): Without meds, my daily pain level was about 7-8; after I started arthrotec, daily pain level down to 2-3. The 2008 laminectomy eventually healed the nerve pain, but the disc pain was constant and if I moved too quickly, it felt like a hot poker stabbing me in the back. I was able to continue working until the day before I left for Europe.

TIME POST-OP AT ORIGINAL POST HERE: 6 days

DESCRIBE YOUR SURGICAL EXPERIENCE: I had my surgery on a Tuesday afternoon. I was kept in ICU until Wednesday afternoon for monitoring because of my anxiety dissorder, and I guess they didn't want me to wake up and freak out. Wednesday, I pretty much slept, although I did get sick to my stomach a couple of times because of the morphine, but once they took me off of that and I started taking my own pain meds, I was fine. Thursday morning, I woke up at 5:00 am, got out of bed, put on my brace and went for a walk, and walked about 6-8 times total that day. By Friday, I was taking the stairs instead of the elevator (just 1-2 flights, usually just 1, though), and walking for 10 minutes every hour and a half or so. Saturday, I walked out of the hospital and walked about a mile (half one way, then half going back to the hospital). Sunday I left the hospital and flew to Paris to recouperate for a week with my Sweetie. Back pain is GONE! I'm up and walking, albeit slowly, with very little discomfort from the actual surgical site. AMAZING!

RATE FUNCTIONALITY / SATISFACTION AT INTERVALS BELOW:

FUNCTIONALITY:
1. Very poor: much worse... disabled after surgery.
2. Poor: worse after surgery.
3. Neutral: No improvement, or improvements offset by new problems.
4. Fair, some improvement, limitations are still serious.
5. Good, substantial improvement, some limitations.
6. Excellent: no limitations.

SATISFACTION:
1. Very sorry I had the surgery.
2. Somewhat sorry I had the surgery.
3. Too soon to tell, or I'm ambivalent about the surgery.
4. I'm somewhat glad I did my surgery.
5. I'm very glad I did my surgery.

Don't forget the detail update section below!

DATE UPDATED: 7/10/2009 FUNCTIONALITY: 5 SATISFACTION: 5 [6 WEEKS POST-OP]

DATE UPDATED: 8/26/2009 FUNCTIONALITY: 5 SATISFACTION: 5 [3 MONTHS POST-OP]

DATE UPDATED: 12/29/2009 FUNCTIONALITY: 5 SATISFACTION: 5 [7 MONTHS POST-OP]

DATE UPDATED: _________ FUNCTIONALITY: ___ SATISFACTION: ___ [1 YEAR POST-OP]

DATE UPDATED: _________ FUNCTIONALITY: ___ SATISFACTION: ___ [2 YEARS POST-OP]

DATE UPDATED: _________ FUNCTIONALITY: ___ SATISFACTION: ___ [3 YEARS POST-OP]

DATE UPDATED: _________ FUNCTIONALITY: ___ SATISFACTION: ___ [4 YEARS POST-OP]

DATE UPDATED: _________ FUNCTIONALITY: ___ SATISFACTION: ___ [5 YEARS POST-OP]

DATE UPDATED: _________ FUNCTIONALITY: ___ SATISFACTION: ___ [6 YEARS POST-OP]

DATE UPDATED: _________ FUNCTIONALITY: ___ SATISFACTION: ___ [7 YEARS POST-OP]

6 WEEKS POST-OP - DESCRIBE LIFESTYLE / PAIN / MEDICATIONS / NEUROPATHIES / ECT... (discuss surgery induced symptoms [leg pain?]): Well, I'm just a few days past 6 weeks post op, and doing FANTASTIC!!! I went to the beach with all of my kids just 2 weeks ago, and had a BLAST (and planning on going again this Sunday)!!! I just had my 6 week post-op x-rays and they look great. I've been off all pain meds for 3 weeks, but I do still take one anti-inflammatory a day (down from twice a day). On occasion, I get a little "twinge" in my lower back, but its more at the top of my pelvis, and definitely nothing like my pre-op pain. I did have some low back pain just before my cycle, but I've always had that, and it was definitely nothing like it was before the surgery...this I can deal with for the rest of my life, if necessary. The only limitation I can tell so far is my hamstrings are still really tight, and because I'm limiting my range of motion and not bending like I used to, so the muscles in my back are a little tight, so I'm not quite as flexible. My bowel function is...well...NORMAL for the first time in YEARS!!! I'm as regular as a clock, whereas before the surgery, it was once, maybe twice, a week...and even then, sometimes I had to take something to move things along. One other added (and completely unexpected) bonus was the return of certain "sensations" that I hadn't realized had diminished over time...(think husband and wife benefits). Like WOW!!!!!! I feel like I'm 20 again! Leg pain is gone, hips feel great...overall, I feel like the poster child for ADR!!!

3 MONTHS POST-OP - DESCRIBE LIFESTYLE / PAIN / MEDICATIONS / NEUROPATHIES / ETC... (discuss surgery induced symptoms [leg pain?]): Well, today is 3 months post-op and I'm still doing great! I will go tomorrow to get my 3-month x-rays, and I have an appointment on Monday with my local neurosurgeon. I'm still actively looking for employment, but my children have really enjoyed having me home all summer. We've had lots of fun at the beach, and my husband has gotten my "hooked" on saltwater fishing, so we do that as often as possible too. It's been really hot here, even in the mornings, so I haven't been walking like I should, but I'm looking forward to the cooler weather so that I can start my early morning walks again.

7 MONTHS POST-OP - DESCRIBE LIFESTYLE / PAIN / MEDICATIONS / NEUROPATHIES / ETC... (discuss surgery induced symptoms [leg pain?]):Well, HELLO everybody! I know it's been a while since I've been on the forum, but life after surgery has returned "Life" back to "Normal"! I was laid off from my job right after returning from Europe for my surgery, so I spent almost 6 months at home with the family, and BOY did they keep me busy! Who knew that these kids would actually enjoy having me home so much? We went to the beach a lot, Hubby and I did a lot of saltwater fishing and of course, I got plenty of rest. Now I'm back at work (have been for almost a month) and I haven't felt this good in YEARS! I've quit smoking, I'm in the gym 4-5 times per week and except for the occasional ache or pain in the hips, which I've always had, I consider myself pain-free. I am still on an anti-inflammatory, but have been off all narcotics since about three weeks after the surgery. If I try to see if I can get off the anti-inflammatory for a few days, I do have some sciatic-like pain in my hips, but it's not the same as before the surgery. I think that this will heal over time, and as my body adjusts to the new routine of working and working-out again. All in all, I'd do this again in a heartbeat...in fact, if I'd have known I was going to do this well, I'd have done it much sooner.

1 YEAR POST-OP - DESCRIBE LIFESTYLE / PAIN / MEDICATIONS / NEUROPATHIES / ETC... (discuss surgery induced symptoms [leg pain?]):

2 YEARS POST-OP - DESCRIBE LIFESTYLE / PAIN / MEDICATIONS / NEUROPATHIES / ETC... (discuss surgery induced symptoms [leg pain?]):

3 YEARS POST-OP - DESCRIBE LIFESTYLE / PAIN / MEDICATIONS / NEUROPATHIES / ETC... (discuss surgery induced symptoms [leg pain?]):

4 YEARS POST-OP - DESCRIBE LIFESTYLE / PAIN / MEDICATIONS / NEUROPATHIES / ETC... (discuss surgery induced symptoms [leg pain?]):

5 YEARS POST-OP - DESCRIBE LIFESTYLE / PAIN / MEDICATIONS / NEUROPATHIES / ETC... (discuss surgery induced symptoms [leg pain?]):

6 YEARS POST-OP - DESCRIBE LIFESTYLE / PAIN / MEDICATIONS / NEUROPATHIES / ETC... (discuss surgery induced symptoms [leg pain?]):

7 YEARS POST-OP - DESCRIBE LIFESTYLE / PAIN / MEDICATIONS / NEUROPATHIES / ETC... (discuss surgery induced symptoms [leg pain?]):
__________________
36 year old mom of 7 in SC.

MRI 4/2008 shows bulging disc with annular tear @ 4/L5 and and complete herniation at L5/S1.

9/11/08 Laminectomy , successful to a point...relieved nerve pain, but after 4 months was still having severe disc pain.

Treatments tried: epidural shots, oral pain killers, NSAID's, TENS massage, chiropractic care, deep tissue massage. Oh, and plenty of our homemade wine!

May 26 2009, 2 level ADR, L4-S1, Dr. Bertagnoli, Straubing, Germany

Last edited by jessmith07; 12-29-2009 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:27 AM
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Default 1 week post-op

I'm in Paris and after a couple of days rest from the trip over, I'm feeling great! I just went for a 1 hour walk, slowly of course, and just started feeling a little discomfort at the end. I had a hard time getting the swelling in my ankles and feet under control, even with elevating them and wearing the compression hose that the hospital gave me, so for a few hours last night, we used the hose like ace bandages and tightly wrapped each foot and put socks over them...it worked like a charm. I didn't sleep with them bound, but when I woke this morning, I had ankles and toes again, not fat little sausages at the end of my legs!

I've dropped my daily anxiety medication back down to my regular doseage and I haven't had to take any meds for accute anxiety since before the surgery, and so far, so good. I'm still taking 20 mg of Opana every 12 hours, and 2 lortabs (10 mg each) at 6 hours in between, and it's keeping my pain at bay. Today, I thought I'd try stopping the Opana and just taking the Lortab every 6 hours.

More later...Hubby just came in and we're going on another walk
__________________
36 year old mom of 7 in SC.

MRI 4/2008 shows bulging disc with annular tear @ 4/L5 and and complete herniation at L5/S1.

9/11/08 Laminectomy , successful to a point...relieved nerve pain, but after 4 months was still having severe disc pain.

Treatments tried: epidural shots, oral pain killers, NSAID's, TENS massage, chiropractic care, deep tissue massage. Oh, and plenty of our homemade wine!

May 26 2009, 2 level ADR, L4-S1, Dr. Bertagnoli, Straubing, Germany
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:02 AM
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Default jealous...

sounds like you're doing great! and what a great place to recoup! I'm so jealous!
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Herniated L4/L5 May 2004 (Bed ridden)

Discsectemy June L4/L5 2004

Discssectemy L4/L5 January 2007

MRI May 5th - showed "moderate sizd protruding disk in the the left paracentral location at the L4-5 level which appears to a more porminent comparison to the prior examination" and "appears to impinge upon the exiting nerve root"

May 11th Dr Apptment - Told that another Discsectemy could be done.

Looking for Surgeon for second Opinion
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:36 PM
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Jess,

Sounds like you're doing absolutely great. Words can't describe how happy I am for you.

You're going and doing in Paris!!!!! Wow!

I know you're feeling fantastic and with that, you might push a little too much. Please remember to take is slow. You'll get to where you want to go much quicker but letting your body heal at its own pace.

Super terrific . Keep us posted, 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 06-03-2009, 05:40 AM
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Jess... such great news. I'm so happy that your recovery is going so well. Being able to cut back on the meds so soon is wonderful. Please keep us posted.

Here is a shot I took of you and Marty at the party...


I'll email the rest of the photos to you 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
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:46 AM
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Well, yesterday, after Marty came back to the hotel, we went and walked around for about 2 hours, and then I came in and took a nap. When I woke up, my muscles were achey, but my back was fine. We went out to do some laundry (it would have cost over 200 euros to have the hotel laundry service it!!! ) and then we went to dinner. By the time we reached the restaurant, by lower back was bothering me a little (but not the pre-op kind of pain), and I took 2 Lortabs and knokced the pain back down to the level that I like...just enough mild pain to remind me to be careful. We came back to the hotel for the night and watched a movie.

Today, I'm feeling like I over did it a little yesterday, so I'm going to force myself to stay in the room today and rest, because we want to go to the Eifel tower tonight. No Opana yesterday or today, and other than muscle aces, I'm feeling fine.

Hubby and I are "enjoying" each other carefully and no pain there. I was really woried about that, but all is great!

I couldn't be happier having had this surgery, and while I know that I could still have some ups and downs in the weeks & months to come, as of right now, I feel hope for the first time that I just might get that pain-free life I was seeking. I can't help but wonder if the reason I'm doing so well is because I was able to have the surgery before my spine degenerated to a point where I was having a myriad of other problems in addition to the DDD.

Or maybe it's just a God deal... He's always taken such good care of me, and I've always felt that it wasn't so much for MY benefit, but because one of my children is destined for something great, and I'm just along for the ride...He's taking care of me so that I can take care of them. Whatever the reason, I feel truely blessed nonetheless.

I'll keep you posted.

Mark, how do you get pictures into the post like that? I tried once, but all it did was put a link to the picture...And I'd LOVE the other pictures you have whenever you get the chance! Thank you...

Wishing all the best for all of us here!
Jess
__________________
36 year old mom of 7 in SC.

MRI 4/2008 shows bulging disc with annular tear @ 4/L5 and and complete herniation at L5/S1.

9/11/08 Laminectomy , successful to a point...relieved nerve pain, but after 4 months was still having severe disc pain.

Treatments tried: epidural shots, oral pain killers, NSAID's, TENS massage, chiropractic care, deep tissue massage. Oh, and plenty of our homemade wine!

May 26 2009, 2 level ADR, L4-S1, Dr. Bertagnoli, Straubing, Germany
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:54 PM
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OK Jess, you pushed too much

I realize you want to enjoy the rest of your life as soon as possible but taking it slow is the best way to do just that. Four half hour walks are much better than 1 two hour walk.

Don't make me fly all the way over to Paris just to keep you in check. Please (don't) make me come over there... I'm warning you, (don't) make me do it.

Enjoy, just not too much, 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 06-04-2009, 01:02 AM
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Jess,

I'll show you how to post them... is the PJ's photo OK?

Actually, the trick is to be able to put the picture up on the internet somewhere where you can link to them. Marty may have a website that he can use. I just FTP the photos up to one of my websites, then click on the photo icon above... It inserts code that looks like

{img}http:www.ispine.org/picture_library/picture_name{/img}

You have to use square braces instead of curly braces for this to work. Also, you must resize the images so they display at a reasonable size. If you put a high resolution image up, it will take too long to download and will display larger than your screen.

I'm so happy that you are doing well... it's an amazing thing to go through... getting your life back. I have not spoken to Cathy and Bob... is she OK?

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
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:26 AM
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Hi Jess

I am amazed that you are doing so well, You are an inspiration Please take it slow.

"I can't help but wonder if the reason I'm doing so well is because I was able to have the surgery before my spine degenerated to a point where I was having a myriad of other problems in addition to the DDD."

I could not agree more, I hope my condition has not passed that point


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
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:18 AM
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Mark,

As I recall, when you caught Catherine and I on the balcony in our PJ's, it was rather chilly out......so probably not (Ladies, I'm sure you know what I mean). I'll try and figure it out...I have a lot of photos that I want to upload onto the web (like snap fish, maybe), so maybe I'll try what you suggested later.

Yesterday was a lazy day in the hotel. I didn't go anywhere until Marty came back from work. I forced myself to rest and nap, and honestly, it didn't do much good; all it did was keep me awake until 4:00 this morning But we went on our treck to the tower, taking the underground Metro to get there, and spent about an hour just standing in line. This wasn't very good as my back and hip muscles prefer to be moving about, and my left foot started swelling. After about 20 minutes of standing, I remembered that I could tighten up the back brace a little more, and once I did that, it helped relieve the soreness of standing. We finally made it to the top, where I quickly found out that I was way underdressed! It was windy and cold, plus it was getting late and we were hungry, so we didn't stay too long.

This morning, I woke up with mild aches and pains, but my meds had worn off in the night, so once I had some breakfast and took 2 lortabs, I'm feeling better. I've noticed that my hip muscles get very achey, and I attribute that to the streching of my spine due to the restored disc height, and the fact that the brace might be helping to settle some of the "load" (for lack of a better term) onto my hips. Plus, I've been doing a lot of walking that I haven't been able to do in months, and it feels wonderful! Besides, I'll take muscle aches over that little man who used to follow me around stabbing me in the spine with a hot poker any day of the week!!!

I still have some weakness in my left leg that I'm sure is due to the surgical site being on my left side, as there is mild pain in the leg directly below the incision when I try to lift it. My incision is healing and itching like crazy! My belly is still distended and swollen from the surgery; I look about 4 months pregnant. How long does THAT last?

Anyway, I might venture out today a little, but not too far, as Hubby will come home from work tonight and play tour guide for me...this is my first time here, but he's been here jillions of times for work....I know, poor him! (Sweetie, I know you're reading this, and I LOVE YOU!!! )

I'll try to call treefrog tonight. I've got her number at the hotel, and I've been watching closely for her to post anything, but since I haven't seen her online, I'll call and see how she's doing and give an update, if she says it's okay.



Au revior for now
Jess
__________________
36 year old mom of 7 in SC.

MRI 4/2008 shows bulging disc with annular tear @ 4/L5 and and complete herniation at L5/S1.

9/11/08 Laminectomy , successful to a point...relieved nerve pain, but after 4 months was still having severe disc pain.

Treatments tried: epidural shots, oral pain killers, NSAID's, TENS massage, chiropractic care, deep tissue massage. Oh, and plenty of our homemade wine!

May 26 2009, 2 level ADR, L4-S1, Dr. Bertagnoli, Straubing, Germany

Last edited by jessmith07; 06-04-2009 at 10:45 AM. Reason: added picture
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Old 06-04-2009, 05:21 PM
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Aww,what a cute couple!
Congratulations Jess, I cant believe how well you are doing so soon and on such little meds already. I am really glad for your family that they will have a happy healthy mum back to enjoy soon.
Enjoy your recovery in gay Parie'.
Michelle.
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Old 06-04-2009, 05:41 PM
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Jess, will you get to Monet's house in Giverny? That was my favorite... along with musee d'orsay. Also hit the concerts at sainte chapelle!!!

Great photos! It looks like you figured out how to do it all on ispine!

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
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Old 06-04-2009, 06:04 PM
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Yes, Mark, I started a photo album for anyone who's interrested:

ISPINE.ORG Forum - jessmith07's Album: Europe May/June 2009

The only problem was that I couldn't rearrrange the photos in the order that I wanted them, so I had to load them backwards, starting with Paris and working my way back to Straubing. So, if I add any more, I'll probably start a new album. We have a few places in mind to try to go to in the few days we have left, but some things are too big and are just going to have to wait until next year when we come back for his annual trip, when I'm feeling better and more up to running around.

Michelle Maree, thank you......I think we look great together, too, but I'm pretty biased. That dear man is the light of mt life, in addition to our beautiful brood of children (6 daughters, 1 son; I gave birth to 3 and he brought 4 more wonderful people into my life). They range in ages from 9 to 17 and I absolutely adore every hair on their heads! I am so blessed! The irony of being a mother of 7 is that I am an only child Proof positive that God has a great sense of humor!
__________________
36 year old mom of 7 in SC.

MRI 4/2008 shows bulging disc with annular tear @ 4/L5 and and complete herniation at L5/S1.

9/11/08 Laminectomy , successful to a point...relieved nerve pain, but after 4 months was still having severe disc pain.

Treatments tried: epidural shots, oral pain killers, NSAID's, TENS massage, chiropractic care, deep tissue massage. Oh, and plenty of our homemade wine!

May 26 2009, 2 level ADR, L4-S1, Dr. Bertagnoli, Straubing, Germany

Last edited by jessmith07; 06-04-2009 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 06-06-2009, 08:25 AM
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Default Sore muscles

Well, yesterday we did quite a bit of walking, and BOY are my hip muscles sore! It feels like it's mostly my piriformis muscles, and when I was in PT, my therapist told me that based on her experience and the pain that I was feeling in that region, she strongly suspected that I one of those lucky few individuals that have the sciatic nerve running through that muscle.

So, it's also likely that because the muscles are a little irritated/inflamed, that the nerve is not too happy either. So, even though we had some plans to get out and about today, I'm having to pass and stay in the hotel I'm sure I could drug myself up and get out and about, but logic is telling us that it's much better to listen to my body and let it rest.

So, I'm now starting a list of the things I want to do next year when I'm healthier. Hopefully, we'll have enough miles to get me another ticket next year so that I can tag-along when Hubby has to come back for work. At least I have something to look forward to.
__________________
36 year old mom of 7 in SC.

MRI 4/2008 shows bulging disc with annular tear @ 4/L5 and and complete herniation at L5/S1.

9/11/08 Laminectomy , successful to a point...relieved nerve pain, but after 4 months was still having severe disc pain.

Treatments tried: epidural shots, oral pain killers, NSAID's, TENS massage, chiropractic care, deep tissue massage. Oh, and plenty of our homemade wine!

May 26 2009, 2 level ADR, L4-S1, Dr. Bertagnoli, Straubing, Germany
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:08 PM
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Default 2 weeks post-op

Well, yesterday was 2 weeks post-op, and I think I'm doing pretty good. The only pain I'm feeling is muscle pain in my hips and legs, and still some tenderness in my abdomen. I'm almost 2 inches taller, so I'm sure the muscles are just reacting to the re-adjustment back to "normal". I've started doing some stretching of the leg and hip muscles by laying flat on my back (something that I couldn't do before the surgery).

This morning, when I was on the floor doing my stretches, it dawned on me the huge difference in having the disc space back, and how good it felt to just lay there. When I got up, I was moved to tears from the happiness of finally feeling "normal" again. Just NORMAL! Not bells and whistles and fireworks...just normal is so beautiful! It's miraculous. Now, I'm crying again...

I'm so happy to be home (we got in late Monday, minus all of our luggage ). My kids all noticed the difference in my height, and now, instead of being shorter than my 15 year-old daughter, I'm taller than her by half-an-inch! They were all so happy to see me and me them, and it's great to be back in Mommy Mode.

The only bad news is that my employer, who told me before I left that I could work from home, has changed their mind and is now saying that I can't. The problem is, I don't have enough PTO to take 6-8 weeks off. So, it looks like I'm going to have to go back to work ASAP. Dr. B told me that I could go back as soon as I wanted, because I don't have a physically demanding job, but I do wish I could at least take a couple of more weeks. So, as soon as I get a note from Dr. B (I emailed Tim V. last night) saying I can go back, then off I go; they won't let me come back without this note, so I hope I get it soon.
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36 year old mom of 7 in SC.

MRI 4/2008 shows bulging disc with annular tear @ 4/L5 and and complete herniation at L5/S1.

9/11/08 Laminectomy , successful to a point...relieved nerve pain, but after 4 months was still having severe disc pain.

Treatments tried: epidural shots, oral pain killers, NSAID's, TENS massage, chiropractic care, deep tissue massage. Oh, and plenty of our homemade wine!

May 26 2009, 2 level ADR, L4-S1, Dr. Bertagnoli, Straubing, Germany
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2009, 05:56 PM
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Location: Southern Indiana
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Jess it's great to hear you are doing so well. You don't have short term disability? I guess I've always been lucky to work at jobs that did. Don't push it to get back to work too soon though, you read about people on here that push it too soon and end up hurting themselves in the long run.
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Herniated L4/L5 May 2004 (Bed ridden)

Discsectemy June L4/L5 2004

Discssectemy L4/L5 January 2007

MRI May 5th - showed "moderate sizd protruding disk in the the left paracentral location at the L4-5 level which appears to a more porminent comparison to the prior examination" and "appears to impinge upon the exiting nerve root"

May 11th Dr Apptment - Told that another Discsectemy could be done.

Looking for Surgeon for second Opinion
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Old 06-10-2009, 07:01 PM
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Posts: 2
Talking Hey!!!!

Hey Chica!!!! I'm sooooo glad to hear that your surgery went so well! I really was thinking of you for the whole rest of the stay in Germany, and lots and lots when I got back home! (I'm the Texas redhead, in case you don't recognize the screen name.)

I don't know if you had the same experience I did getting through the Paris airport, but my prosthesis actually set off the metal detector! They said that wasn't going to happen... LMAO...

I'm still doing really well. I had some pretty major issues with medication withdrawal after returning home, so instead of posting online, I was praying to the porcelain God. That seems to be all over now, so here I am! Congratulations on your success!!! Let's keep in touch!
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Old 06-19-2009, 07:31 PM
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Default 3+ weeks post op

Hey everybody...I've been of the air for a while...it's been a helluva week...

So, let me first start with how I'm doing, which is great! I've been off all narcotics for almost a week, and just take a mild muscle relaxer (1000 mg Robaxin) at night and the Arthrotec is back down to once a day (the German docs had me up to twice a day after the surgery). I still have a little bit of achyness in my hips, but really, it's just irritating, and not really painful. My back feels fine, unless I trip, or step funny, then I get a very mild version of the pre-op stabbing pain, but I attribute that to lingering inflamation and healing bones & tissue. The incision site is healing nicely, but is still a little painful with certain types of pants, like low-rise jeans that aren't stretchy...

Overall, I'm still very happy I had the surgery, and would do it again.

Now, for the bad news...my mother-in-law had a heart attack last Friday and has been in the hospital all week, because she's also diabetic, and her blood-sugar levels have been very unstable, and uncontrolable. I got laid off from my job on Monday, which has sent me into a panic...so all of my computer time lately has been spent job hunting...I'm SO upset about this...this was (at least I thought) a great company that I've been very loyal to (my husband has been trying to lure me away for a couple of years, but I just wouldn't leave), and then WHAM! Unfortunately, because it was such a small company, I wasn't covered under FMLA...there has to be more than 50 employees, and we had about 20...

And life goes on...
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36 year old mom of 7 in SC.

MRI 4/2008 shows bulging disc with annular tear @ 4/L5 and and complete herniation at L5/S1.

9/11/08 Laminectomy , successful to a point...relieved nerve pain, but after 4 months was still having severe disc pain.

Treatments tried: epidural shots, oral pain killers, NSAID's, TENS massage, chiropractic care, deep tissue massage. Oh, and plenty of our homemade wine!

May 26 2009, 2 level ADR, L4-S1, Dr. Bertagnoli, Straubing, Germany
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 06-19-2009, 11:53 PM
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Jess,

Great news on your back, sad news about your mother-in-law. I do hope that she recovers quickly and is back home before long.

You job, what can I say. I don't think I know anyone but my son (movie industry) who has not been affected by the economy. Also with your now back and history, employment might be a little more difficult. You can deal with a lot when everything is still in place but...

Please do keep a positive attitude. Smile everyday. You have a wonderful life

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 06-21-2009, 01:29 AM
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Jess, I am so sorry to hear about your mother-in-law, I hope she recovers quickly. I'm sure being in the hospital is best for her situation, but I hope she doesn't have to stay long. Tell your hubby that we (Bob and I) send our best regards for her recovery, I hope he is holding up.

Good luck job hunting, but remember to take the time you need to heal. You only have one chance at healing correctly, and we humans have a propensity to do more when we are feeling good, go slow. I'm glad though, that your recovery seems to be going really well.
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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 07-10-2009, 01:34 PM
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Default 6 weeks post-op and doing great!!!

Hi all...please forgive me for checking out for a few weeks. When I got back from Germany, I wound up getting laid off, and I've been frantically searching for new employment. So far, I've got a few good leads, but nothing has been made permanent. I'm SO ready to get back to work!!!

I've just posted a 6-week post-op update on the Surgery Outcome template, so if you're interested, you can see how I'm doing there, rather than me repeating it...

Jess
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36 year old mom of 7 in SC.

MRI 4/2008 shows bulging disc with annular tear @ 4/L5 and and complete herniation at L5/S1.

9/11/08 Laminectomy , successful to a point...relieved nerve pain, but after 4 months was still having severe disc pain.

Treatments tried: epidural shots, oral pain killers, NSAID's, TENS massage, chiropractic care, deep tissue massage. Oh, and plenty of our homemade wine!

May 26 2009, 2 level ADR, L4-S1, Dr. Bertagnoli, Straubing, Germany
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 07-14-2009, 03:26 PM
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Hey Jess, good to hear you are doing good. I hope something shows up soon on the job front. I updated my surgery thread too.
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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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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 08-26-2009, 03:56 PM
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Default 3 months

Well, today is 3 months post-op and I'm still doing great! I will go tomorrow to get my 3-month x-rays, and I have an appointment on Monday with my local neurosurgeon. I'm still actively looking for employment, but my children have really enjoyed having me home all summer. We've had lots of fun at the beach, and my husband has gotten my "hooked" on saltwater fishing, so we do that as often as possible too. It's been really hot here, even in the mornings, so I haven't been walking like I should, but I'm looking forward to the cooler weather so that I can start my early morning walks again.
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36 year old mom of 7 in SC.

MRI 4/2008 shows bulging disc with annular tear @ 4/L5 and and complete herniation at L5/S1.

9/11/08 Laminectomy , successful to a point...relieved nerve pain, but after 4 months was still having severe disc pain.

Treatments tried: epidural shots, oral pain killers, NSAID's, TENS massage, chiropractic care, deep tissue massage. Oh, and plenty of our homemade wine!

May 26 2009, 2 level ADR, L4-S1, Dr. Bertagnoli, Straubing, Germany
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 08-26-2009, 06:03 PM
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Jess,

A great big two thumbs up on our recovery. Keep up the good work and good luck on finding a job. I imagine it is harder than you thought.

Heat - we escaped most of the August heat until now. I too look forward to cooler days, just not too cool

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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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 12-30-2009, 01:06 PM
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Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 97
Default 7 months post op - checking in...

Well, HELLO everybody! I know it's been a while since I've been on the forum, but life after surgery has returned "Life" back to "Normal"! I was laid off from my job right after returning from Europe for my surgery, so I spent almost 6 months at home with the family, and BOY did they keep me busy! Who knew that these kids would actually enjoy having me home so much? We went to the beach a lot, Hubby and I did a lot of saltwater fishing and of course, I got plenty of rest. Now I'm back at work (have been for almost a month) and I haven't felt this good in YEARS! I've quit smoking, I'm in the gym 4-5 times per week and except for the occasional ache or pain in the hips, which I've always had, I consider myself pain-free. I am still on an anti-inflammatory, but have been off all narcotics since about three weeks after the surgery. If I try to see if I can get off the anti-inflammatory for a few days, I do have some sciatic-like pain in my hips, but it's not the same as before the surgery. I think that this will heal over time, and as my body adjusts to the new routine of working and working-out again. All in all, I'd do this again in a heartbeat...in fact, if I'd have known I was going to do this well, I'd have done it much sooner.
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36 year old mom of 7 in SC.

MRI 4/2008 shows bulging disc with annular tear @ 4/L5 and and complete herniation at L5/S1.

9/11/08 Laminectomy , successful to a point...relieved nerve pain, but after 4 months was still having severe disc pain.

Treatments tried: epidural shots, oral pain killers, NSAID's, TENS massage, chiropractic care, deep tissue massage. Oh, and plenty of our homemade wine!

May 26 2009, 2 level ADR, L4-S1, Dr. Bertagnoli, Straubing, Germany
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 11-02-2017, 08:26 PM
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How you doing?
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