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ADR-Lumbar in Germany

neednewbacknneednewback Posts: 229
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have been dealing with too much pain for too long and I'm looking into surgery. My surgeon said I would need a three level fusion, which scars me and I dont want it.

My wife and I are excited about the possibilty of getting ADR surgery done in Germany and would love to hear any takes on this(good, bad and ugly). Its a huge step and I want to make as informed decission as possible.

Please PM me if you have any specifics and would love to talk with anyone that has gone through this.



  • Hi Mitch,
    I have talked to you by the chat, so you know my story and my opinion.

    Success in your decision,

  • Here's a link to another thread on this topic that is from just a couple weeks ago. You could probably find some useful information here:

  • Thank you very much.............
  • I too thought about running away to Germany to have the ADR instead of the fusion. Part of me wishes I had done that, but I've seen a few posts on here from people who have had ADRs and later had them replaced with fusions. I certainly wouldn't want to go through that twice. Is my life perfect now? No, but I'm not dead yet. The fusion was tough (I'm a three-level too), I won't lie to you about that, but my back is stable an stronger than it was and I can walk and get around. You are wise to look for opinions and feedback before making your decision.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Just wanted to keep this up on the list for the weekend. This is huge step and I know there are quite a few of us out there that would benifit from any knowledge on this matter.

    I still dont know what direction I'm going to go, but I got discharged by my physical therapist yesterday because even her most conservative effort only seems to make me worse......

    So now I either stay as is and do the best I can or I gamble on some type of surgery (probable a three level fusion, L3 to S1, or some sort of ADR surgery, 2 to 3 of them). I just want as many peices to this puzzle I can before I try to put it together or leave it as is and say "it could be worse".

    Thank you for all the support that is found here in SH................Mitch
  • It all depends on your bone condition. If your verts are in good shape and you are otherwise healthy, they may be able to use ADR. Having ADR surgery on suspect bones (vertabrae) will more than likely lead to future surgery to remove and fuse.

  • Thank you, I am going in for a bone density test. Everything points to my bone being good, but we will see. I know that if they go in for an ADR and find out the bone is soft during the proceedure they end up fusing you instead.
  • What you heard about the bone density and fusing you is not true anymore. I am going to Dr. B in Straubing, Germany and he has discussed with me that if he gets in there he may need to add what they call AMP, which is a ceramic that he adds to the endplates of the vertebrae to keep the ADR from slipping. I think a lot of people are scared about this surgery, but my neurosurgeon told me that if I was his daughter.... he would do everything in the world to come up with the money to have it done. So here I am. We are too young to have fusions, I am 34. I vote for ADR. I realize this is an old post but I just had to add my opinion and facts here.
  • seriously folks
    i know this is someones else's post .but i am reading son many things about fusions and ADR and as most of you know within the next few weeks i fill find out if i am suitable for one of the other ..i keep reading horror stories {apart from the odd good story} they are mostly bad things that i read.i just carnt take the risk of being made worse and i know nothing about fusion and ADR if i am honest .i dont want to make a big mistake .what would i be letting my self in for ??
  • Sorry to interrupt your post but I need some help. There are so many different forums and so many posts that it's hard to find the right one to post to. You are on the subject of ADR, and I need some help with it.

    Hi everyone, not to change the subject, but I was looking for testimonials from people that have had Artificial Arthroplasty because I am fighting the insurance company over it.
    I was diagnosed in May and only because it became disabling to me. I am the type of person that doesn't go to a doctor unless I feel like I am dying.
    I am supposed to have artificial disc replacement on 1/18/10. The insurance company said it was an excluded surgery treatment and then said it wasn't medically necessary on the appeal my doctor sent to them.
    I have insisted on working up to Friday, 1/15/10, but I can’t anymore. I have a desk job at the bank. The sitting all day hurts but so does getting up and down for the printer and fax.
    So when this was more than I could handle I went to find out what was going on. I had a car accident in Sept 2008 and then another in Sept 2009 but I was hurting before those. I am allergic to hydro-cortisone, no other treatments have helped, and I feel like PT worsened the pain. My PT warned me that it might. I am 105 pounds overweight because my activity had slowly decreased over the past 5 or more years from the pain. I have smoked since the age of 13, not that I haven't tried quitting. I don't want to even try fusion because of what I have read about fusion with overweight smokers. I am also acquainted with 6 people that have had fusion and that was the worst thing they could have ever done. My husband had a rare disease as a child which ultimately led to scoliosis and he has had 11 vertebra fused and now can't do anything about the vertebra above and below that have developed DDD like myself. ADR is my only option.
    I have gotten so bad over just the last 3 to 4 months that I have stopped working, on short-term disability, I live in a 2 story home but can only manage to go up those stairs once per day, to go to bed, I sit with a huge fluffy, king size pillow as well as 3 other small pillows and a heating pad all day. I am the only one in the home that can drive, which hurts, so I have to do the grocery shopping and that puts me in the bed for 2 days afterward. I stay drugged at all times, not by choice but necessity because without them I can only sit and cry.
    Sorry, I didn’t mean to have such a pity party.
    If anyone can provide some of their testimonials from having artificial disc surgery, preferably those that have had it many years ago and it would be greatly appreciated. It would be a great addition to my appeal to the insurance company. You are welcome to private message me if you don't want to share it in the forums.
  • Did you end up having the surgery?
  • I ended up having my surgeon here in the states and also a top notch referred surgeon strongly advise against going in for a three level ADR for me.

    I recently went in for a nerve abalation (rhizo) and it has substantially reduced my pain and I am able to get back on my feet and hopefully will be able to get some strength back while my pain is reduced. Apparently it can last up to 18 months, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Today I was laid up, but I over did it a bit this weekend and I'm hoping I'll be better tomorrow.
  • Why did they advise against the ADR's? Just curious.
  • No. I had contacted my congressman to see if he could help me change the insurance companies minds. He aniciated the final appeal process before I was ready. The appeal was supposed to be determined in 15 days. They only reviewed the appeal for 5 days and denied for policy exclusion and not medically necessary. I informed them that I had additional information for the appeal on the very next day the appeal was started, but it would take time for me to get it to them. They didn't wait for that information. I have been done so wrong.
    My surgeon has referred me to a pain management clinic and my appointment was yesterday.
    That russian doctor yelled at me the entire time I was there and said he could not help me.
  • It was due to the fact that its a three level ADR and they both feel that that would leave too much possibility for failure over time.

    I have been doing much better since I had my nerve abalation, but now that I am more active I am back to a fairly high pain level (although I am very happy I'm back on my feet again, even if its only part time). I just got a sacroliliac joint injection this past Monday in hopes that this will get rid of some of my current pain.

    This is such a long road, and who knows I may end up going to Germany one day still. Or even better, maybe they will come up with some new technology here soon for all of us.
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