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Surgical Outcomes and Blogs Discuss It's official Stenum Money gone in the Main forums forums; Quick overview, I had (2)M6 ADR's in 2009, I had the Ritter-Lang 2 level "drive thru ...

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Old 03-07-2011, 08:01 PM
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Default It's official Stenum Money gone

Quick overview, I had (2)M6 ADR's in 2009, I had the Ritter-Lang 2 level "drive thru surgery" (40 minutes). The foramen at C5/C6 was not cleaned out so I continued having pain. One year later I had C5/C6 removed and fused. My U.S. surgeon mentioned it was beginning to fuse as well. That resolved most of my issues at that level. But I hung on to my M6 at C4/C5 even though the Foramen was not cleaned out there either, but not as bad as C5/C6.

Forgot to mention I had a Prestige ST at C3/C4 with no problems here in the States in April 2010.

So I went for my 1 year follow up with my surgeon. The Prestige ST looks fine, Foramen look good. But as luck would have it my C4/C5 M6 is fused over. So my 46K to Stenum is now officially gone. One disk removed, one fused over. Looking back should have just fused the 2 levels.

By the way I live on NSAIDs, that did not slow down the ossification process for me. For what it's worth, my surgeon did mention that their starting to see many ossification issues with low profile disks.

I do not notice any lack of movement with my now 3 fusions C4/5 - C6/7 and (1)ADR C3/C4. If the Dr. didn't tell me about the Ossification at C4/C5 I never would have known.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:53 PM
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Default the ossification

So you have an ADR at C3/4, an implant at C4/5 that basically fused over the implant (with scar tissue/bone?) and then C 5/6 you're fused? And you have no mobility probs just some degree of pain which is alleviated by Nsaids?

Sounds like an Ok outcome considering the degree of work you've had done and sadly the amount of cash you put out out of pocket before getting to the place you have and degree of wellness/functioning of your cervical spine.

In the uncomplicated straight forward (whatever that might be) cervical spine scenario re 2 level disc replacement is 40 minutes extremely abbreviated? Sounds like "drive thru as you called it with no frills.

I hope overall you are satisfied with your cervical spine function and degree of discomfort/pain (that it's relatively low for all that you've been thru). Sorry to hear you went thru all that. Seems like you've had a lot done in relatively short period of time.
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:25 PM
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Hey cp - it's only money. (easy to say for some)

The end result is less pain and more functionability. I'm on nsaids too and consider my surgery successful but the nerve damage is a b ---. I'm functioning and so are you.

We can all go back and kick ourselves for not making a right decision or wishing we had done something differently. We didn't, it's over and we move on. Why, who, how, what, etc. simply don't matter anymore.

However, all said, it didn't have to be this way and you're angry at the lost money. More than understandable.

Too bad kicking oneself doesn't leave a dent or I'd get to whittle down my butt

Dale
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:19 PM
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There are more than a few Sternum nightmares out there. Reading all of these have convinced me if I decide to have surgery I am better off here in the US. All though the M6 does look promising.

Then I will read about all the US nightmares out there and swear off surgery for good
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2009 MRI, Bilateral SI Joint Injection, PT, L4/5 Bi Lateral Facet Injection

2010 Acupuncture, Discogram, L4/5 and L5/S1 Bi Lateral Facet Injection, PT, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1 Fibrin Sealant Injections

2011 ?
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:01 PM
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Longroadahead,
Hate to tell you i had a US nightmare. with a great surgeon. DrRegan. He just did not want to admit his accidental damage to a certain nerve that helps a lot with respiration. Although i out of 2 discs were removed and the one painful upper upper one is no longer generating any pain,I was left with only 45% lung function. So we never know what will happen.
I have not kicked myself in the butt over that one as my spinal surgeon could have done a thoracotomy and worked on other discs that are problems in the same area.
Then i ended up haveing a partial thoracotomy to see what was going on with my lung anyway.!!!!
Keep plugging along.
judy
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2007 ACDF 4-7
2008 hip , knee scope, hip replacement
2009 thoracic T-5 thru T-11fusion
2009 VATS T7-8, posterior only T11-12. removal of thoracic hard wear
2010 lung surgery
2010 T2-L2 kyphosis correction
2010 Kyphoplasty T-3, T-4
2011 Cervical osteotomy ,revision C4-T5
2011 Foot surgery
2011 Revision fusion T7 thru L4/laminectomy
2012 Hammertoe correction left foot
2012 Revision fusion T-12 thru L5
2012 Revision fusion L4-L5
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:59 PM
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Default aren't there others using M6

Mark, from what I have read, there are several others using the M6, right? I had made contact with a surgeon in California that was going to be doing some trails at Stenum. I had the paper work, lots of it, to send in for consideration. But after becoming a member here and reading all about the nightmares there, I trashed the documents. I must hold on to hope that something is in store for us here.
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female age 45, height 5"6", 145 lbds, non smoker, conservative treatments failed, (7/2007) C4/5/6 peek disc replacements,plate & screws failed fusion,
(9/2008) revision with bone replace plate and screws, (10/2009) C3/4 stand alone peek cage, (12/2010) facet joint injections C3-7, (1/2011) rhizotomy C6/7 failed, Trouble swallowing
most recent mri (7/2011) shows ajacent level issues: right neural foraminal narrowing C2/3, posterior bulge indents thecal sac at C6/7/T1 no mass effect on cord.
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:02 PM
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My "discomfort" is some degree of nerve irritation at the C5/C6 distribution. It flares when I move my arms around to much. This started after my Stenum surgery.

I'm actually now fused at C6/C7, C5/C6, C4/C5 and ADR at C3/C4. I guess I should be grateful that my symptoms are manageable. My surgeon believes in time my nerves will calm down more. We all want our normal selves back.

Funny part is I was in much better shape before going to Stenum. Because my fusion at C6/C7 in 2002 was no problem and recovery was a breeze, I thought the same would be on the Stenum ADR surgery. So I went to Germany with very minor discomfort. And came back in very rough shape. So I "screwed up".

Getting the C3/C4 ADR in the States, again no problems, recovery was very quick. Also the revision to fusion was a breeze at C5/C6.

So my frustration is that if I was just patient and stayed home I would be so much better off physically and financially. But the world of "ADR" sounds so sexy, I jumped on the band wagon.

As for the Stenum nightmare stories. Stenum really is a nice hospital and the staff is outstanding. The problem is the surgeon. Very quick procedures and in some cases that may be OK. However, in more complex, multi level, or stenosis the risk factor increases regardless of surgeon. But the "Stenum, pedal to the medal" surgery opens up for a greater risk for problems.

As Huey Lewis and the News would say "All I want from tomorrow, is to make it better than today".
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:41 PM
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I think Heuy Lewis says, "I want a new drug!"

The 'drive thru surgery' mentioned is horrific. The worst case I know if is a 3-level cervical case with severe degeneration, large osteophytes; the whole 9 yards. Operative time for a 3-level was 70 minutes. This is a joke. The important part of the surgery (posterior decompression) was not addressed at all. The patient wound up paying for a 2nd surgery to have the m6's removed and replaced with ProDisc-C's with good result. However, that came after additional YEARS of spinal cord compression, suffering, more permananent damage bacause of the wait, etc...

I wish we could say that they have learned about their problems, but what I see is a steady stream of these outrageous, hurried, and careless surgeries that are incomplete at best.

I will always backpeddle and say that I know many stenum successes, just like I know horror stories from all the surgeons I know and love. However, there is a difference between the horror stories that will sometimes occur even in the best of circumstances; and the horror stories that are directly attributed to the cavalier attitude that lets them complete what should be a 4 hours in 70 minutes.

There is nothing wrong with the M6. It is not my disc of choice for several reasons... especially in multi-level configurations. Having said that, IMHO, all the discs are likely to be successes if properly implanted in a properly selected patient. For some reason, some doctors experience high incidence of HO (auto fusion, heterotopic ossification), while others experience almost none.

I have to go... sorry I've not been here much. My responsibilites overwhelm my capacity to work... still quite limited. I do worse at home than on the road. I'll be traveling again next week... hopefully I can catch up with the forum then.

Mark
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2000 L4-5 Microdiscectomy/laminotomy
2001 L5-S1 Micro-d/lami
2002 L4-S1 Charite' ADR - SUCCESS!
2009 C3-C4, C5-C6-C7, T1-T2 ProDisc-C Nova
Summer 2009, more bad thoracic discs!
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:33 PM
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Hey guys,

I thought I read somewhere that if the decompression to the foramen was not done completely that u could get foramentomy done from the posterior side of the neck. And is the myleo ct the only way to see if the formen is decompressed enough for th nerves. I had dr. Clavel tell me he throughly cleaned out my foramen opening because this is where my arm pain was comming from but I still have symptoms weak extensor muscles in the hand and some forarm irritation with flexion of the neck. I'm only 3 months post op so I hope I still have room to improve
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:16 AM
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Hi Jarrod
i know the foraminotomy can be done from the back of the neck. I just picked upl my OR report and my doc did everything he could to open up my cervical and thoracic spine. The part he did do the foraminotomy on was already fused from 3 years ago, but I needed extensive work and he was there so it was all taken care of. It was done on C4-7.
HOpefully in a few more months your pain will subside.
My nerve pain from this past surgery is pretty much gone at a little over 2 months, but we are all different. It was generated from my neck falling off the spinal column, so much different.
judy
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2007 ACDF 4-7
2008 hip , knee scope, hip replacement
2009 thoracic T-5 thru T-11fusion
2009 VATS T7-8, posterior only T11-12. removal of thoracic hard wear
2010 lung surgery
2010 T2-L2 kyphosis correction
2010 Kyphoplasty T-3, T-4
2011 Cervical osteotomy ,revision C4-T5
2011 Foot surgery
2011 Revision fusion T7 thru L4/laminectomy
2012 Hammertoe correction left foot
2012 Revision fusion T-12 thru L5
2012 Revision fusion L4-L5
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:23 PM
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Jarrod,

You are correct a Foraminotomy can be done form the back. That was not an option for me at C5/C6 because I had one done in 2003. So when my Stenum surgery did not decompress my foramen to relieve the pain, my only option was to remove the ADR and fuse.

The good part about a Foraminotomy is it can be done minimally invasive. The bad part is there is the potential for scar tissue. But I believe that relatively small risk.

YOur still new out of surgery if the Dr. decompressed your foramen, give it time. Nerves can take a long time. Hopefully not to long for you.

Huey says, "Step by Step, run by run."
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Old 03-11-2011, 06:49 PM
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I am one of the disasters at Stenum. It breaks my heart that this is still going on. For me, the good thing is that they installed the discs properly. The bad things were that they cut my iliac vein and that they did not decompress any of the nerves by opening the foramen. However, I really don't see how they could have done this from the anterior. I ended up having posterior decompressions that freed the nerves successfully.
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2/06 L4/5, L5/S1 ADR Stenum Hospital - Iliac vein cut w/ occlusion of iliac vein and hematoma
12/06 thru 8/07 Laser Spine Institute - 6 surgeries on L3/4 both sides, L4/5 both sides, L5/S1 both sides

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

9/09 Piriformis surgery to remove piriformis muscle causing sciatica
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:55 PM
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The decompression that can be done by foramenotomy is not the same as the decompression that is done during a PROPER fusion or disc replacement surgery. Only a small amount of the foramen is accessible during the anterior spine surgery. The foramen is decompressed by virtue of restoring disc height, thereby enlarging the foramen. The decompression that MUST be done during a proper ADR surgery is removal of the big bone spurs or osteophytes that grow on the back of the vertebral bodies when the DDD gets severe. Also to be removed are the calcified remnants of old disc protrusions, ruptured ligaments, etc....

NOTE that the osteophytes and other crap that is causing the problems cannot be reached with a typical foramenotomy. If they were to try to reach them, they would likely be destabilizing the system in a manner that would not by consistent with a properly functioning ADR.

Note that I am not a doctor and am just sharing my layperson's opinion. Don't believe what you read on the Internet.

Mark
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1997 MVA
2000 L4-5 Microdiscectomy/laminotomy
2001 L5-S1 Micro-d/lami
2002 L4-S1 Charite' ADR - SUCCESS!
2009 C3-C4, C5-C6-C7, T1-T2 ProDisc-C Nova
Summer 2009, more bad thoracic discs!
Life After Surgery Website
President: Global Patient Network, Inc.
Founder: www.iSpine.org
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Old 06-02-2012, 06:36 PM
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Bumping this post and sending PM to cp7959 hoping for an update. The cervical ADR revision to fusion is an important story.
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1997 MVA
2000 L4-5 Microdiscectomy/laminotomy
2001 L5-S1 Micro-d/lami
2002 L4-S1 Charite' ADR - SUCCESS!
2009 C3-C4, C5-C6-C7, T1-T2 ProDisc-C Nova
Summer 2009, more bad thoracic discs!
Life After Surgery Website
President: Global Patient Network, Inc.
Founder: www.iSpine.org
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:20 PM
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Bertognalli and Ritter-Lang are slick marketers and salesmen. I suspect that they are receiving kickbacks same as American doctors.

The M6 is junk but it is better junk than what's available in the US. The problem with the M6 is it is a tough install and it can migrate.

Stenum may be better than anything in the US but they are still crooks.

Stenum Nightmare - Stenum Nightmare

Ritter-Lang lied to the owner of Stenum Nightmare.

Lo and behold, about two years later, I started experiencing some pain and had gotten a new x-ray. What I discovered when I looked at that x-ray was shocking, to say the least. I couldn’t believe my eyes as I studied it closer. Something was very wrong. The device didn’t look like the M6 at all (I still had the picture of the device on my bulleting board!). I immediately called Sue Hart to inquire – “Yes, Brian, you have an M6.” I tried contacting Malte Petersen (the Administrator) and when he finally responded by email, he wrote that I had a Prestige and that that was what they planned all along. This guy had lied to me from the get go! He lied right to my face like it was a game. My spine became a portion of his greed, like I was a farm animal or a lab rat, totally expendable. The hospital never gave me correct paperwork for what was implanted. There was no serial number, no manufacturer, and no specific model name for what was in my neck. And to this day, I still don’t have any of this information.

Here is all my documentation and here is the email from Malte Petersen. Notice here the serial number I told you about... well as it turns out it's the same serial number as the M6 that my hospital roommate had on his paperwork. They gave me the serial number with the barcode off my roommate's implant. He and I were the only two to have the cervical disc replacements of all the U.S. patients that day. Are they so incompetent that they are unable to give their patient the correct paperwork? I don’t think so.

So, bottom line - They LIED to me. They USED me. And They LIED to me some more. Why? I'm not sure and probably never will be. I can only speculate... I believe Malte Petersen lied to help the hospital get easier pre-approval from B.C.B.S. and possibly other insurance companies. They don’t earn money from their native countrymen as they are on nationalized medicine. They market like crazy in the U.S. because it brings them MONEY, and lots of it.
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Old 06-04-2012, 02:01 PM
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I hear some good some bad about the M6 disc, but as I started having low back issues I came across Dr. Nick Boree and while I know almost all docs good and bad have horror stories. I am yet to find any about this guy, I think he was using M6. I looked and looked and I am more impressed by what people say about this guy. It is a huge loss, as person and surgeon that he was tragically killed.
Im sure there are things out there, failures, and Mark probably knows and have seen some from this doctor, but reading his patients across forums and other boards I wonder why some have such seemingly good results, while places such as Stenum it seems like a crapshoot.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
I hear some good some bad about the M6 disc, but as I started having low back issues I came across Dr. Nick Boree and while I know almost all docs good and bad have horror stories. I am yet to find any about this guy, I think he was using M6. I looked and looked and I am more impressed by what people say about this guy. It is a huge loss, as person and surgeon that he was tragically killed.
Im sure there are things out there, failures, and Mark probably knows and have seen some from this doctor, but reading his patients across forums and other boards I wonder why some have such seemingly good results, while places such as Stenum it seems like a crapshoot.
Nick Boeree is dead. He was killed in a motorcycle accident.

I think Nick was an honorable guy. The good die young.



The best implants are American made but unavailable to Americans. What the FDA needs is a visit from SEAL Team 6.
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:31 PM
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Default Update

For those interested here's a quick review and update.

Update:

Been 2 years since my last Surgery. I am "fused" at C4/5, C5/6, C6/7 with an Prestige ADR at C3/C4. I have no real pain, problems, or limitations to speak of. With the obvious exception of head rotation or looking straight up, which you would hardy notice. I do not over exert my self by lifting over my head. I feel blessed to be on the other side and pray to stay. there.

History:

Had a fusion at C6/C7 in 2002. At that time we knew it was only a matter of time for C4/5 & C5/6, they were already showing problems. Also had a mid line hernation at C3/C4.

I had 2 M6 ADR's installed at Stenum (C4/5, C5/6) in 2009.

Post Stenum my problems were worse. After MRI's and CT's back in the states showed that the foramen was never addressed during my 40 minute surgery at Stenum. I had always had good disk height so the M6 Surgery was useless. My Ortho. took out C5/6 M6 and fused me with hopes that C4/C5 were more stable and C3/C4 was not an issue.

The revision was a success. As luck would have it the M6 at C4/C5 had fused over. My Ortho. stated they are seeing this issue with low profile ADR's such as the M6.

More bad luck, I was having problems at C3/4 central herniation. My Dr. gave me the option of ADR or fusioin. I elected to be his first ADR patient. I chose the Prestige ADR because the the fixation and easier for future revision if need be.
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