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ADR after previous ACDF

Panther13PPanther13 Posts: 11
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I know that ADR is relatively new technology (at least in the US) and is still used fairly conservatively, but I was wondering if anyone on here has had a cervical artificial disc replacement at a level adjacent to the previous fusion. I know it is a practice that is gaining steam in Europe and could possibly help prevent the seemingly endless cycle of adjacent level degeneration following cervical fusions. I am fairly young (mid-30s) with an ACDF at C5-6 about a year ago. I feel that my surgery was a success in that it accomplished what it was supposed to, but I am starting to have some new issues. I would like to remain fairly active and not be fused from top to bottom by the time I'm 40!


  • This is a topic I don't know a lot about, but since no one has responded, I will at least say "hello."

    I have been talking with a number of spinal specialists recently. Part of the discusion has pertained to ADR. At least from what I have learned from these docs, you may have to go to Europe to find what you are looking for.

    Doctors in the US are reluctant to do any ADR on a younger patient. There is no medical-grade material that has been proven to last more than twenty years. Also at this point, the removal of the artificial disc, should it fail or cause additional problems, is considered a life-threatening surgery...so installing something with a 20-year lifespan into a patient in his thirties just doesn't make sense and would not be considered medically sound judgement.

    I was reading on a German website last night. They stress that many reasons given for not doing ADR in the US do not apply to them. One of the conditions was having had previous disc surgery/back surgery. They said not to let this discourage you. They are much less selective in deciding which patients are a candidate for ADR in Europe.

    If anything, it seems to me that the US is becoming more restrictive. There was a very small window after artificial discs were approved when the rules were relaxed. But not it seems insurance companies are not approving the surgery...again, etc.

    These are just my observations...as I mentioned, I have not spent lots of time researching the topic since I was not a candidate!!

    Perhaps others can weight in on this topic!!
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