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Looking for Prodisc C post op stories, successes, failures, anything...

springergirl67sspringergirl67 Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have a C5/6 ADR (Prodisc C). My surgery was June 2010 and I have mixed emotions about it. My neurosurgeon told me I would be able to go back to living a normal life, playing softball, driving dump truck for a living (the cause of my need for ADR), etc. After being off work for a year due to recovery time and lay off, I finally found another dump trucking job. By the 2nd night of driving an old Kenworth with a worn out seat that didn't adjust anymore (my spine was literally being pounded with every bump I hit, as the seat had no air ride), pulling a side dump trailer over VERY rough terrain hauling boulders the size of a Volkswagen, I was almost in tears for the last 4 hours of a 12 hour shift. I thought maybe I was sore from just getting back to work after being off for a year and a half. I stuck it out for a total of 5 days before I had to quit due to neck and back pain. I've been in pain ever since. Prior to going back to work, I had no arm pain anymore, my shoulders and neck only hurt if I had overdone it now and then. Now the arm pain is back, arm is going numb, interrupted sleep, can't sit or stand for too long, etc.

I saw my doctor two weeks ago and am going back tomorrow morning to see where we should go from here. I'll be honest, I'm a little scared, but I need to find out what is going on.

I have been searching for information regarding long term Prodisc C successes, failures, stories, anything, and consequently, I've found nothing. If anyone wants to share their experiences with the Prodisc C, I would appreciate hearing your story. It's been a rollercoaster ride for me, without a doubt! I thought I had made the right decision, but now I'm not so sure...




  • Hey,

    I got a Prodisc in 2006 between L5-S1, not a Prodisc-C but I thought I'd share my experience. I had my surgery done in France, by the surgeon who actually invented the Prodisc and my experience has been mixed as well. They sure have a neat sales speech, telling you how wonderful it is, that you will be able to do whatever you want in 3 to 6 months. You'll find videos on youtube (ads really) telling wonderful stories of patients feeling no pain whatsoever after surgery. When I asked my surgeon if I would ever need revision surgery to replace the high-density polyethylene core he said - "do not worry, we tested it in labs and results show that it will last at least 180 years"; that's a pretty big difference from the 15 years you get with a hip replacement.

    Turns out most of it is BS. Spine surgery is a huge business and surgeons are car salesmen, many of them get handsomely paid to conduct clinical trials and get "good results" (http://ryortho.com/fda.php?news=1162_ProDisc-Spine-Docs-Disciplined-in-Jersey ... Ask your surgeon if he conducted clinical trials for Synthes). Before getting surgery I had 4 or 5 different opinions from various ortho or neurosurgeons and got different recommendations from each and every one of them. Some recommended the Prodisc, some the Charite, others a spinal fusion or just a microdiscectomy... It really depends on what they're comfortable with and of course how much money they make. I was very naive and with the information I was given, I opted for the Prodisc.

    The truth? First of all the Prodisc, like all artificial discs, does not respect normal range of motion. What that means is that your facet joints will overwork and start developing arthritis; I know something about that from personal experience. The other thing is that the core isn't as "timeless" as advertised; I know someone whose core broke and he had to go through emergency surgery to get it replaced. When the device fails, you actually don't have that many options to get it fixed besides changing the core or removing the core and getting a spinal fusion.

    Hopefully there's nothing bad right now with your neck and it is already getting better. My advice: forget what you were told about getting a normal life; take care of yourself and take it easy. Try to stretch and strengthen your neck. If possible, maybe find another job where your body isn't getting beat up all the time.

    Good luck to you

  • Springer and Boulay - I'm so sorry to hear about this Prodisc thingee. It sucks that these sort of things are able to be used anymore. I've read alot of posts here and on other sites that seem to indicate that these Prodisc's are not awesome as people are led to believe.

    I hope you'll able able to figure out what's going on, Springer, and won't have to undergo another surgery.
    And Boulay, I hope that you'll be able to beat the odds!

    Keep us posted on what the doc says, Springer. I'd like to hear what he has to say. Good luck!
  • If I had known, I would have gotten a fusion. It's ironic actually since my last X Rays show that I've almost no mobility left at L5-S1; so much for the almighty artificial disc preserving mobility.

    My girlfriend is an MD, and she's completed a 3 year assistantship in hand and microsurgery; she's now doing postdoc research in orthopedic surgery. It's frightening to hear about what some MDs are willing to do to get their results validated and published. We're all guinea pigs.
  • I have been busy jumping through hoops, dealing with pain and being depressed. As if it isn't bad enough dealing with pain on a daily basis, this is a work related injury and dealing with the state just adds insult to injury.

    My PCP has finally referred me back to the neurosurgeon who did my ADR. Before he will see me he wants me to have another MRI. SO...it's all a hurry up and wait thing.

    In addition to this, I have spoken to several different people who have seen this neuro and I'm starting to wonder if I made a poor choice in surgeons. Sounds like anyone who walks into his office that has any sort of disc herniation gets the same response out of him...that they need a Prodisc ADR and when would they like him to schedule surgery.

    I'm scheduled to see my PCP on Wednesday so I think I may ask him his expert opinion regarding the neuro as well as asking him for a referral to the University of Washington.

    I've also had low back pain since my last little stint @ work. I'm SO afraid that I've blown out a disc in my low back it makes me sick to think about. I have the classic pain in my right buttock/hip that goes down my leg. I recently noticed a couple of my toes feeling like they were going numb as well. I just have to remember not to take ANY pain meds or anti inflammatories prior to my appointment on Wednesday so I can give him an accurate discription of my pain and numbness problems...

    Sorry it's taken so long to give an update. Nothing has really changed much except for my need for anti depressants. Which apparently is par for the course when dealing with pain and an L&I claim...

  • Thanks for your input. I think you are spot on with your description of all of this. I too was extremely naive and regret not having had several opinions before making my decision.

    It is a tough pill to swallow, but I'm finally beginning to come to grips with the fact that my life will never be normal again. I've been trying to figure out what in the world I can do for work but I can't sit for too long nor can I stand for too long, so it's kind of frustrating.

    Thank you for your well wishes...I'm trying to stay positive through all of this but its been a hard road.

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