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adr versus fusion??

ouch2oouch2 Posts: 1,270
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I went to my ortho surgeon this week and he told me that he is going to forward my file to a few different neurosurgeons to see if I am a candidate for ADR.Just wanted to see if there are other members who have had the option of ADR or fusion (don't even know if I am a candidate but want to consider the option if I am)Was wondering about the pros/cons of the two surgeries when and if I need to make that decision. I originally thought that I needed a two level fusion L5/s1 totally done with l4/l5 getting bad. Now my surgeon only seems to be concerned about l5/s1. Where I live, he said that they only do ADR if you are a prime candidate with only one level needed. The thing that scares me is if there is a problem with the adr and the disc needs to be removed this is very dangerous ( just what I have read on forum) If there is a problem, can I have a fusion done and leave the adr in?
Any experience and info would be great.

>:D< to all
>:D< >:-D< : Karen
L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
adr L5-S1 Feb 2012


  • ive had adr al C5/6, 6 months on I am very happy. my receovery was very quick, my pain was minimal and Im back to 98% normal. Im over the moon. The downside is no-one really knows how long they will last! but vs fusion from what i have read it is a better choice. Less stress on the upper and lower bones, no change of failed fusion etc. For me it is a simple choice if you are suitable.

    If it fails I would imagine they could not leave it in and fuse around it!
  • in the neck will lat a lot longer than ADR in the lower back due to the loading factor .and many aren't suitable for ADR because of arthritis and damage done from previous operations {like myself} i am waiting for an ALIF op {i wanted ADR but was unsuitable}
  • I must admit I was told as I do a lot of mountainbiking the jaring on my neck will wear it out quicker, again how long is anyones guess . they said 20 years, but with rough activities perhaps less, or more.... its a lottery but if I get 15 years relief im very happy
  • If I had to choose I would do ADR.(But I have 2 levels so no go) I have been researching alot on both and it seems to me the adr is an easier procedure and will be alot easier on your other discs. But the big thing would be that you can maintain motion/ flexibility
  • thanks for your replies.Does anyone know what the recovery time ( approx.) for a lumbar ADR ? Do you think that with an ADR I would be more likely to be able to go back to my job in healthcare (heavy lifting)over fusion?
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • I cant say much about a fusion, but here is a great site for all the ADR info you need.

    URL's Removed - Contact Brian via PM for the URL

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    Post Edited by Administrator Dave
  • In the Unite States, you have to be sure your insurance covers it. Typically they cover 1 level only.

    I always thought ADR seemed "more natural" of a solution. I just think in teh states there aren't enough numbers on what to do when/if it fails.

    Lumbar ADR -> they will look at your spine stability, how many levels, your age, etc.

    The one thing my doctor told me, and this may have changed, is that they go in through the front which means it can be a large surgery b/c you need a vascular surgeon as well since all your organs are in the front for the lumbar area.

    I can try to find some articles I read.

    I was told I was too young at 40 years old for this. But I know other US based folks that have had it done and were younger. I guess their surgeons felt that benefits out-weighed the risks of what might happen.

    Worth doing the research if it's an option.
    I know I'm hoping that in the future, ADR becomes an even more viable option b/c it just logically seems to make more sense to keep the 'integrity' of the spine vs. removing one of the shock absorbers (of course this is just my own opinion).

    Good luck.
  • I am just about to hit the big 4-0 so don't know if my age will be a factor in my consideration as well. I guess because they don't really know how long they typically last and it can be life threatening (just what I read on another post) to remove if there are complications with it.
    Does anyone know if they are any better or worse regarding lifting restrictions post recovery? Has anyone had a lumbar adr and can you let me know what your recovery was like and how long?
    thanks again
    >:D< to all
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
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