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level 3 fusion/disk replacement

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I'm a 34 year old female and have been told by my surgeon that I require a level 3 (L3, L4, L5) spinal fusion/disk replacement. I've been through all of the traditional non-surgical routes...6 spinal facet blocks, 2 radio frequency injections and I also spent 5800.00 on 12 weeks of spinal decompression treatments! I am obviously very nervous and apprehensive about the tought of having such a major surgery. Any thoughts or words of wisdom?


  • Welcome to the board.

    I am curious to know in what country you are located. Are you having a one level disk replacement and the others fused? A bit more information about your planned surgery would give us a bit more to go on.
  • Thanks for your reply so quickly! I am located in the U.S. I was told that because all of my disk are completely degenerated (or close to it), I will need to have all 3 replaced along with the fusion (ALIF and Anterior lumbar interbody cages)
  • I have the exact same discs that need replaced. I am 33 and had a small surgery 18 years ago on L4-5, now all 3 discs are worn out. My Neurosurgeon wants me to wait to have all 3 disc replaced with the PRO-Disc L. The only reason they may want to do a fusion along with an aritficial is so that insurance will pay for it. This may be fine, but I am not letting the insuranc company dictate how the rest of my life is going to play out, I need this back to work until I'm 90 yrs. old. The FDA has not approved multiple level Artificial Disc Replacement- ADR. What you are talking about is called a Hybrid Fusion. I would look at the Stenum Hospital in Germany and the inventor of the Pro-Disc is Dr. Theiry Marany in France. (Not sure on sp on his last name.) I think I will end up paying out of pocket for mine, or wait for 2 more years for the FDA to approve multi-level ADR. Keep doing research, I have watched Youtube videos from people getting all kinds of back surgeries. Good luck, hope what I said gives you some ideas.
  • What country are you in? I met withmy surgeon yesterday and he said although insurance will "dig their heels in" and give the physicians a hard time, they usually give in and approve the surgery if it is noted that all other options have been exhausted... Exactly what type of surgery did you have 18 years ago??
  • I had the percutaneous discetomy where they just shaved the part of the disc that was hitting the L4-L5 nerve after the car accident I was in. Then in 2000 I did the VAX-D like you did. I am in Washington State. My surgeon said that the FDA has only approved 1 level for ADR and that it could be 2 years before they approve 3 level. He said that after they approve 2, it will be easier for him to argue that 3 is necessary. I currently have group health options, but I may change to a group premera insurance. I know Atena is the best but I'm on a group policy through work. Do you think your insurance will pay? What state are you in?
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