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

For Anyone Who Has Had Artificial Disc Replacement

BACKinShapeBBACKinShape Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
This Post is For Anyone Who Has Had Artificial Disc Replacement:

If you have had this procedure you know it is not covered by most major insurance companies. They would rather you get the fusion, which as I'm sure your aware, has a lesser success rate and has a higher risk for future surgeries.

I am currently involved in a lawsuit against blue cross to try to get reimbursed for this surgery. I'm lucky enough that we were able to lay the money out for this surgery, but most people don't have this luxury and may be forced to live in pain in result of this procedure not being an option.

If you, or someone you know is, or was in the same situation, please contact me. Many have gone down this road and given up, I refuse to do so. If you would like to help, Please don't hesitate to contact me. There is power in numbers. Together we can make a difference.


  • Thanks for the post.

    I've been reading on ADR but am not really a candidate per USA guidelines. I'm too young. While the surgery is proven for 1-level, I guess they don't have enough data for >20 years and most doctors won't do the procedure because they say if the ADR fails in 20 years, the procedure to remove/replace that is very risky (or they don't have enough data).

    I may PM you just to find out more.
    Right now I'm planning on trying revision MicroD but oddly if it doesn't work, I'd prefer ADR since it seems more natural than drilling hardware and fusing bones that aren't supposed to be fused.

    Thanks for posting.

    My concern hasn't been insurance mainly b/c I haven't gotten past the overall concerns with the actual procedure vs. age vs. redo in 20 years.
  • I would recommend seeing a doctor who specializes in ADR. You would be surprised as to how little the some surgeons know about it. 1 of the doctors I saw had never even heard of it. Im not sure where you are from, but on the east coast, the best person to see is Dr. Balderson
    Good Luck
  • Btw, just because the surgery hasnt been around for 20 years doesnt mean it will automatically fail at that point, there just isnt data past that point to prove otherwise because its a relatively new procedure
  • Backinshape:

    I asked my doctor too about the ADR and he said, I would be a canidate but only Aetna would cover the surgery which I don't have, so I went with the fusion. My doctor so far has fixed over 20 ADRs because they all "failed". He doesn't like them as much and thinks people think their too much of a silver bullet. I also did some researching for ADR horror stories and they are around, as I know fusions are too. My doc is one of the best Orthos in Atlanta GA and has seen a lot, over 25 years. Also I have friends of mine that have had fusions done by him that we're successes. Theres a ADR website if you haven't seen it, heres the link. ;)


  • I just had a 3 Lumbar ADR surgery in Germany, I feel great. My Neurosurgeon from the states is the one who turned me onto ADR. I also have Blue Cross, they told me if I follwed the FDA guidelines of only 1 ADR, they would pay. I also intended to appeal my case as many times as it takes for them to approve at least 80% of the $65,000. surgery.
  • My ortho did his Fellowship for Spinal Reconstruction at Johns Hopkins and he said that ADR is really common there, but here in the South (US) he can never get them covered by insurance. That's really tragic since they really provide such a difference than fusion. So, 1 fusion down and of course we know I will need another when the L3 disc blows too. Sigh, just a vicious circle.
  • BACKinShapeBBACKinShape Posts: 7
    edited 08/24/2016 - 5:45 AM
    A few of you have messaged me about my Doctor. Ill post a link below for those of you interested in more information: [edit]
  • That is very interesting; I went to UCSF in hopes for a disk replacement. I have been approved for a worker’s comp claim, however, they have not approved for them to pay for my surgery. So I went to the UCSF surgeon for a consultation under my Blue Cross/Blue Shields federal insurance plan. That surgeon told me that I am not a candidate for the new disk replacement surgery; he said my back was "too far gone". He then stated that "if I went with that surgery the chances of there being problems were high, and I had a greater chance of needing a removal which would result in me become paralyzed". I was in tears; this surgery seemed to be the better choice for my future? I am only 30 years old and have no children. My husband and I are desperate to start a family (ASAP) and the wait is because of me and my messed up back!! He said my only choice would be the fusion surgery and honestly I wasn't too happy about this. I now wonder if the surgeon only told me that because I went to him using my insurance or I wonder if I go with my workers comp (if approved) that he will change his diagnosis?? I would be very interested to learning more??? Thank you for your rime and for the post!!!!!!! :/ Thank you!!!

  • Trasee:

    I looked into getting a ADR too, i'm in the south. I was told by my surgeon the reason why their not covered by insurance companies except Aetna is because of the Charite disks they had so many failures, the insurance companies got scared to cover them. Even though there are new disks out. When I got my laminectomy they said if it didn't work they could always replace the disk that was 2 years ago. Wait 2 years and now the insurance companies won't cover them. I know I could have gone to Germany or Costa rica, I have a friend that went there. But I went with the fusion mainly because i trust the surgeon really well and have had friends that he did work for and its all good. Also it scares me they don't have any data on disks long term like 5, 10, 20 years from now. I know it doesn't exist, but its not comforting. ;)
  • to BACKinShape 
    i just came across your post and have a relative who is in the exact situation you describe. any advice would be greatly appreciated!
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Hello jkp

    This is an very old discussion BACKinshape has not been on the forum for more than 6 years so i am closing this discussion.

    Please click on the link for useful information

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.