Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

ARD anybody?

jenfabjjenfab Posts: 56
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:33 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Have had problems finding any info on this site (my fav site) and wanted to hear some experienced. i see my surgeon on the 28th of this month to discuss this. I have so many Q's and need to start making my list quicky. If u have any comments or advice on this surgery, i'd appreciate it tons. Thanks


  • Hi Jenfab,

    ADR are fairly new approved bu US FDA 2004-2006,however hard to get approved by insurance
    I have Personal Choice a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Penna. product they have denied mine last wk. Instead having Double fusion L3-4 L5-S1 anterior approach thru my abdomen.

    Insur stated "experimental"

    Good Luck hope your insur approves it if this is what your Neurosurgeon offers

    Best Wishes,

  • Jackie has provided you with lots of good information.

    I've noticed within the last couple weeks a number of posters who have had ADR surgery denied. I guess no one should get his/her heart set on a particular surgical procedure until they see if their insurance company will cover it, or not.
  • Hi. I have denerative disc problems C5-7 and was recommended either bi-level traditional fusion (Anterior Cervical Disc Fusion--ACDF) or, if we could more clearly pinpoint the problem causing my cervicular radiculolopathy and severe weakness, ADR at one level. My insurance turned us down for ADR but luckily my NS was able do a less invasive posterior cervical foraminotomy at C6/7(on 7/13/09 with good results so far.)

    Nonetheless I did a lot of research on ADR (and fusion)last month while we were waiting to hear from the insurance company so I thought I would share it here at the risk of repeating some info from other posts. I should also say that I was researching cervical surgery so I don't know how much of this applies to lumbar etc.

    1) There is an online ADR support forum but it is extremely user unfriendly, as to even search it you have to keep entering random strings of letters to prove you are a real person. However if you are very persistent, you can get some info there. I got most of my info from there, online article abstracts in "Spine" journal, patient forums on manufacturers' websites, and from the website of the clinic in Bremen, Germany, where a lot of people go who are willing to pay for it themselves.

    2) Most US insurance companies consider ADR to be experimental, but some insurance companies (like workman's comp) have approved it in the past. My company, CIGNA, said they would approve it with a doctor's request and justification for preauthorization, however they denied it right away. We appealed, but since I had the other surgery, I do not know the result, which might have taken months anyway.

    3) If you want to pay 27,000 Euros, you can have ADR (even mulitilevel) done at the Bremen clinic, which includes a week's stay at a fancy nearby hotel to recuperate. However, as my GP points out, if you have a problem, you will have to go back to Germany to get it fixed.

    4) ADR has a significantly shorter recovery period than traditional fusion and less risk of adjacent disc disease (where the discs above and below the fuse wear out because they take the brunt of the motion.) Those who have reported having ADR done seem to have greater range of motion and are pretty happy (though many of their testimonials come from clinic and company websites). Athletic males report great success stories including one guy who was able to skydive again (!) and lots who were back at the triathalon etc with in a year or two. However I have read a few stories where it was not successful or the disc slipped, requiring revision, and at this time they do not have clear strategies for removing faulty or worn out ADR's without doing more damage to the vertebrae.

    5) If you get it done you should make sure you have a very experienced surgeon and the latest equipment. At the time I did my research last month everyone seemed to be raving about the Spinal Kinetics (?) disc which was the newest and best, though not yet FDA approved. I have seen mixed reports on the Charite disc and not much info on the Prestige disc. My friend, who I just found out works at a spinal instrumentation company(!), told me that with new equipment the companies almost always have a rep in the operating theater observing and advising the doc during the procedure. But I would guess that once the doctor has had practice they don't show up as much anymore.

    6) The FDA has only approved ADR at one level, even though they have been doing multilevel in Europe for some time. There are almost no large or longterm studies of ADR at any level, especially in the US, but the results do seem to look promising on the surface. It is likely that in 5-10 years ADR will be routinely approved (and for more than one level) and that the technology will also have improved. It is also possible to get ADR in Europe at the moment if you have been fused at another level.

    However, having said all this I also read up lots on fusion from our lovely spiney friends here on this site and it seems that once you get past the initial recovery, single- and even bi-level fusion is pretty successful too (barring other complications and assuming you have a good surgeon). In most cases it seems to reduce the pain and many have been very happy with the results. A neurologist who gave me an EMG told me that orthopedic surgeons prefer to do fusion and neurosurgeons try to avoid it so it seems to be an issue of bone or nerve and there are good arguments on both sides.

    I was lucky in that my excellent NS could do the posterior foraminotomy (very few surgeons perform this procedure) and that I so far have had good results (some strength came back into my arm immediately after surgery and I have had little pain). We left my C5/6 disc alone as despite some nerve impingment it did not seem to be causing the acute issues that the very pinched nerve at C6/7 was doing. Moreover this left us with an option or two later. So I plan to nurse C5/6 (which has been deteriorating for at least the past 7 years and looks pretty crappy now) for a few more years until I can get ADR. But if the disc deteriorates before then, I will have no problem with fusion, either.

    I hope that some of this can be of help and that more people will add to this thread (but is it possible to change "ARD" to "ADR" in the thread title?).

    All the best and thanks to everyone in this forum for being a source of information and inspiration,

  • Hi Jenfab:
    What did your surgeon say? Has your insurance come through? I am interested to hear your experience.
Sign In or Register to comment.