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

Failed Medtronics Prestige Dsic Replacement HELP

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I have cruised past your Forum many times and found helpful hints. But now things are very serious and I am beyond frustrated; ready to blow my head off.
I have had the typical Cervical/Neck pain for years but just last year started affecting my ability to do my job by working at a computer. Pain became worse and radiated down what seemed like the middle of my shoulder in my back just at the base of my neck then into my left shoulder, arm and hand leaving last 3 fingers numb. I fought this for a year before seeing a doctor.
First did not know the pain was from my neck. Just thought my back was tired from 40 & 50 hours a week at my computer but then when it was so bad I missed work I saw doctor and then the typical Test MRI, CT-Scan and X-Rays showed 3 herniated disc at C5, C6 & C7 with 5-6 being the worst according to Neuro-surgeon.
Was presented with options of A. get a full Fusion of 3 vertebra or B. try new Medtronic’s Prestige Disc Replacement at C5-6 to avoid long and painful recovery. And since my condition was borderline meaning usually Disc Replacement surgery only allowed if only there is only One ruptured Disc involved. I had 3: C4-5, C5-6 & C6-7. So the doctor told me that if the Replacement at C5-6 did not work we could just go ahead with the Fusion of C4 thru C7.
I chose the Disc Replacement which worked very well for 2 weeks, but then I had a very hard fall hitting the floor at my home which was a ceramic floor and causing a whiplash affect on my neck. From then on the pain has been going down both arms but mainly my right. Totally opposite from before surgery.
Now 6 weeks post-op disc replacement and pain is in both shoulders and arms and both hands have numb fingers that switch around depending on movement of my head. My hands do not work well at all; both go into spasms all day long like a painful cramp causing my fingers to be forced into my palms.
I have seen my surgeon twice for follow-up making my complications very clear and begging for stronger pain meds and any other meds that might help me be able to relax in a chair and allow me to sleep. He provides standard meds but no real relief. I am sent for all the typical follow-up Test MRI, CT and X-Rays but the Disc Replacement makes the films hard to read if not impossible.
So after another week gone by I am ordered to go through a painful Mylegram with CT following. A Week later in the surgeons office and told that he can not see any reason for why I have pain on my right side; it should be on my left side according to the Test Results. I remind him of our first conversation back in June when we discussed the pros and cons of Disc replacement and Fusion and my choice of Replacement over Fusion because of the pain on my left side caused by 3 herniated disc at C5, C6 & C7 with 5-6 being the worst and my willingness to go through the fusion of all 3 if this failed.
I told him this pain which is much worse than before and goes on in both sides of shoulders arms and hands all the time make me ready to go ahead with the Fusion of C5-C7 going through the back of my Neck with Rods and Screws as he said at our 1st meeting, but he now says no.
He wants more Test to show a good reason to perform the fusion on me. Now I am beggining to think he is avoiding admitting this Disc Replacement was a Failure and needs revision surgery to make my problem right. This Medtronics presitge Disc Replacement has not been released by the FDA but less than 2 years and any and all repairs or additional surgeries must be reported to the FDA.
But there is no loss of face here for my surgeon, nothing his fault. This was the plan we documented together before there was a first cut. I'm just guessing and now asking all of you. What do I do from here?
I am scheduled for Injections next week and then see my surgeon 6 weeks from there. To last 6 weeks with this kind of pain in my neck, shoulders arms and hands makes my want to get a gun and end my pain for good seriously.
I am no stranger to pain. I have had 20 right knee surgeries 3 replacements and one replacement on my left that lead to a MRSA Infection and Amputation above the knee 2 years and 17 operations later and have had 4 surgeries on my lumbar fusion of L3-S1.
So I understand pain and can take it but this kind of pain from pinched nerve roots and spinal cord compression is much worse that what I have experienced before or at least the pain medication worked and it did not last all the time and make me want to scream at every movement.
Now I have learned all the terminology and understand what I need but I am faced with a Neuro-Surgeon who does not want a Failed Disc Replacement on his record reported to the FDA so he will not agree to help me out. How do I find another surgeon when only so many in this small area? And how do I convince the new doctor I am not just shopping for surgery for the fun of it? I am dieing of pain and losing function of my arms and hands that could be permanent damage.
I just want the best repair possible to my neck so I can get on with life. Please help. I am 51 year old man in northwest Florida with a Failed Cervical Disc Replacement and ruptured disc above and below C5-6.


  • You are no stranger to pain, you must be a very strong person to deal with all of your issues.

    I wish you lived in a different part of the country so I could give you the name of someone who is a leading researcher on ADRs, especially cervical, and listens to patients to figure out what is actually going on.

    That said, I do want to post the link to the FDA adverse reaction reporting site for consumers. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Surveillance/AdverseDrugEffects/default.htm

    Is there any way you can get to another surgeon? I hate to suggest this(especially as an er nurse), but if you get to a larger medical center(bring your films) and go to the ER for intractable pain(I can't even begin to imagine what you deal with), there is a possibility of admission and an inpatient neurosurgical consult. This is really an abuse of the ER system, but when you have a true problem and the system in general is against you(lack of other doctors) sometimes you have to do it.

    I wish you luck, please keep posting updates as I would like to hear that you are getting treatment.
  • Hi Robert . I'm in the same boat as my c6/7 has subsided and my right arm and shoulder are in excrutiating pain. Thank god the hydrcordone and ultracet mostly relieve my pain enough to sleep, though these meds don't relieve my nerve pain too well. I also have numbness in my right hand. Bottom line, your doctor sucks. A good doctor will put you on sufficient pain meds to at least relieve the pain. Leaving you in that much pain for so long (6 weeks?) is unacceptable! The tests so far don't seem to show anything obvious but the fact you have thus much pain would indicate something seriously wrong. Look, your only way out is to see a doctor with ADR experience. I wonder if your doc has ever removed an ADR? He may be apprehensive to do so if he hasn't . If you want to find a doc in your area with ADR expertise, try going to the prestige manufacturer website. They should list doctors who work with that ADR. Otherwise, a few of the top dogs in the field are edited here in Dallas, tx or the edited, or edited in Los Angeles or dr edited in CA. These guys will surely fix you up, though without insurance, it will be costly. Dr edited offerree to remove my prodisc and fuse for $10,000 with my insurance as out of network. I found a doc here in Dallas who I will see Monday and hopefully have thus disc removed asap. Originally, they had me on a 3 week waiting list, but like you, my pain was so excrutiatingly bad, I did a end around and got hold of the physician assistant and told her how bad off I was and it worked! I'm in in 2 days!! Like I said, you need a new doctor, one who has alot of ADR experience. They will give you the big gun pain killers so you can at least relax and sleep. Sounds like this doc is ignoring the seriousness of your pain levels. Good luck my friend.

    Doctors name and contact details removed by forum Moderator (paulgla). We do not permit publishing specific doctor's or institution names and contact details.
  • After I had C5/6 fusion, I had the same horrible pain you are talking about. Three days later, on a weekend, I was admitted for pain control by the hospital I had surgery at. For two days I was given Dilaudid IV and was finally able to rest.

    I know it must be terribly hard for you to even concentrate and think right now. Do you have someone to help you? I would recommend contacting a malpractice lawyer if you do not get better care from your surgeon. You should not have to suffer like this. Or, you could go to the ER and tell them you are in horrible pain that makes you feel suicidal. I can't imagine they will not listen to you or admit you. Go where you had your surgery. This will bring your case to the attention of the entire neurological team. Your surgeon will be more likely then to pay more attention to you as he will have his colleagues involved.

    Best wishes to you and I hope you get relief soon.

  • All of you who have commented are so very gracious and make me feel better just to have others who can relate to what I am going through, pain so bad that death seems like a better alternative to living a week longer like this. Thank you. I did consider seriously going to the ER today and yes I have someone to help, my wife who is very concerned as well as my daughter. They both trying to get me to ER because they know I don't just lay around the house unless something very wrong. I wanted to be sure the problems I was having was abnormal before feeling embarrassed at the ER and see if anything I do can help. Only improve if I do not move too much like today somewhat better but immediately after moving and coming to computer to check messages right back at square want to die pain, do believe my only choice for near term help will be ER and long term look for another surgeon for 2nd opinion and long term help.

    One last thought is possible late infection? After losing my left leg to MRSA infection and the strange way it showed up 2 months after my knee joint replacement has me wondering about infection with the metal in my neck?? I am MRSA Positive a carrier and told that I would always have it in my body and possibly attack at anytime. But only mild fever for now.

    Bless you all for the help and hopes that your problems will get better.
Sign In or Register to comment.