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Surgeon wants to do an ADR. Excited but Scared! Experiences?

ouch2oouch2 Posts: 1,270
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:58 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi Everyone,

I went for an opinion yesterday, and the surgeon reccomends doing a disc replacement of my L5/S1. This surgeon does both ADR and fusion. He thinks that I am a good cadidate for adr, and says that the recovery is better.

The thing that scares me the most is that I have moderate facet hypertrophy. The surgeon said that it is okay to do adr on mild and moderate, but not severe. I thought that adr's shouldn't be done if there are facet issues.

Looking for any experiences from anyone who has had adr or considered it. It would be the maverick disc.

>:D< Karen
>: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've never had that nor do i know anything about it.

    I just wanna wish you the very best of luck, which ever way your doctor proceeds with your surgery.
  • I would get another opinion from another dr to confirm adr will be the best choice,

    I would posibly even ask why some dr,s dont believe adr is good for lower back and works beter mostly for the neck, This is what i been told after my l4l5 adr was put in and caused nerve damage, and ended up geting fused 2 years later at same level,

    Cant hurt to get another opinion to see if you can get 2 dr,s to agree on the best choice, Good luck,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Second opinion. This will help you decide if you are more excited or more scared.

    I though artificial disc replacement in US was if you had no facet type issues too but suspect that was a generalization. Also, ask what happens if it fails. My understanding is ADR lasts about 20 years so if it fails before that or even after...what do hey do to fix it. Some doctors aren't worried, some say they will fuse around it, and others figure they will have a remedy for that issue over the next 20 years. My doctor said he didn't want to chance it since I was 40 at the time of my surgery.

    I hope not to need another surgery but chose revision MD over fusion b/c my doctor said I am a good candidate for ADR other Ghana my age.

    Nice to have that option to consider
  • Maverick is old school now.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • great comments and sugestions. I am going for another opinion in a week and a half, but this surgeon does not do adr, only fusion, so I'm assuming he will not have good things to say about the adr.

    I am only 40, so it definately concerns me about how long the disc will last. I know that I read some things online that says that in testing they should last 60-80 years...but of course that is not a test on a real human being.I have also heard 20 years. The surgeon said that if there were problems of continued pain, he would fuse with the adr in, and if extreme complications it could be removed, but that would be a life threatening surgery. That terrifies me.

    Trying to decide that since I am looking at fusion anyway, whether it make sense to try the adr first, if it is successful recovery is supposed to be so much easier and flexibility as well.

    I didn't realize the maverick was old school, but unfortunately there are only 2 doctors around that do adr.What is the best adr disc?

    Alex, didn't know that they worked better in the neck than lumbar, but will ask about that as well. When I see people like yourself in so much pain after adr it scares me, and there doesn't seem to be very many people actively on here who have had adr.

    Thanks for the thoughts!

    >:D< Karen

    >: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
  • Only way to fix failed adr is leaving it in and fusing that level. Thats what they did with me, My adr actualy did not fail, They just felt that after the nerve damage by fusing it the movement will stop at that level, and the nerve will have a beter chance of healing,

    Nobody would agree to take it out as you said, its too dangerous, i know fhere are some people that had pro disc and a few mentioned they did of with it,

    The maverick adr is about old school as my flexicore adr,

    My 2 nd dr who did my fusion from what i understud is acfualy working with a group of drs to disaprove the function of the adr in lower back, I was sent to a chiro who is the only one with a machine that does image video of the adr while i was bending in every direcrion and showed the adr movement was not what it should be and thats why it causes a lot of the facet complicarions people speak of and additional stress on the other levels also,

    I personaly feel i would of done ok with the regular fusion from the start and i could of avoided all fhe complicarions i ended up with now for life, This of course is just my opinion,

    Sure recovery time was much faster with adr surgery then fusion, But if the adr causes further complicarions and you have to have a fusion also then its nothing but aditional pain in the ass, When you ad the recovery time with adr to the recovery time later for a fusion also you end up losing at the end,

    I dont think the problem is how long the adr will hold up, the adr will probably hold up for a lifetime unless you are very acfive in sports and wears out faster, i think the compications are way beyond the question of how long it will hold up,

    It depends if it is realy doing the job it was ment to do and who put it in and what level of damage hapens during the procedure of removing the old disc from the front side and puting in this adr device,

    Mine is actualy a litle off center which dont help the function of the adr, it was put more to the front which was a big mistake from the get go,

    Some of the complications are when using the tool to spread to install the adr sometimes they can over stretch the nerves and cause nerve damage, This is what i was told is what most likely caused my nerve damage, but of course nobody can confirm that a 100% because there are other ways it could of been caused,

    They can hit the nerve root while removing the old disc is another way to damage it,

    Ok hope this dont scare you off but this is what i learned in my 8 years after my adr,

    Good luck on what ever decision you make and i wish you the best outcome in either surgery you go with!
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Oops i ment to say some people who had the pro disc said they did ok with it not off with it,

    Maverick adr been around almost the time Moses parted the sea and the burning bush i think. Lol. Maybe it coming back in style like bell botom pants eh?
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I had the flexicore ADR at l45 as well like Alex. Heck I'm practically his little shadow of a sister when it comes to nerve complications except I didnt have fusion after ADR and won't since saw what it did to him. Do you research with multiple drs and lots of research on your own . Wish u the best .
  • Ask the Surgeon the amount of flexibility if he wants to do the ADR at L5-S1. I heard there wasn't much difference in flexibility at that level but that's just something I heard. I hope you can get another opinion from a Surgeon who does the ADR. Maybe in a bigger city you can find another Surgeon. Best wishes. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Ouch2,

    Lemme chime in here a bit. Alex clearly had a rough go of it. I'm unaware who did the surgey on ALex and that is a huge consideration with ADR. As with ANY surgery, there can be complications. I know people who have had lumbar fusion and are worse off too. Locking up segments of the spine that are supposed to move creates obvious problems elsewhere in the spine. That is the whole concept behind ADR and let me link you to a few people that are doing pretty well with their ADR's. Maybe you could comment to them on their blogs or email them directly with your questions.




    I'm not advocating ADR over fusion, it truely depends on your situation and stability of your spine. If you have bad facets/ligament spondy instability, ADR may not be an option.

    BTW: I don't believe the Maverick disc is all that old considering it's center of rotation is more posterior than that of the prodisc. Look up the manufacturer of the disc and I think you can get some good info about it.


  • I am really happy that you shared your thoughts as I knew that you both had adr and was wanting to hear more about your experiences. Like you said, the issue of how long it will last really isn't my main issue, since although I used to be very active, now I would just like to be able to walk without a cane, and sit in a straight back chair for more than a minute, be able to sleep more than an hour at a time. I don't need to be able to run a marathon or climb mountains.

    The main thing that worries me is the facet problems, with already having moderate problems.

    Buckeye, I soo appreciate the links that you have sent! I have been lying here reading them, and they are very informative, thank you so much!

    Charry, I am going for another opinion, but he doesn't do adr. I know that you are Canadian too, and I think there are only two surgoens in the country that do adr...I think.But I am sure they will be able to give their opinion about adr even if they don't perform it,or see about fusion alternative.

    Back to research...

    >:D< Karen
    >: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
  • Your very welcome Karen. :)

    There are other websites that have forums especially for ADR patients. You'll have to google search them out because we are not allowed to post any other forum websites on here from what I remember. They will be removed by moderators. It is what it is. Sorry.

    Good luck with your research :)
  • 1 level being fused is not a big deal. Many have multiple levels fused and are doing fine,
    Just depends how good the surgery turns out i guess,

    Ye michelle is my adr sister, she the one the family no longer talks to cause she is so selfish. Lol. She never did play well with others,

    Ps. There are many websites of positive outcomes of adr but there is also just as many of failed adr surgery,

    What would worry me is if you are in Canada and they have not been doing much adr would even make me more worried, i would not want them to practise the procedure on me, Ey?
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • hi Karen feel free to contact me i have inboxed you . i will share my personal experience with my 3 level ADR and answer any questions you may have as to what to expect.

    i had mine done 3+ years ago and have had a successful experience

    i wish you the best in whatever you decide is the best decision for you we are all made up so differently and what works for some is not necessarily the best option for others. good luck :)
  • been doing alot of reading, both good and bad. I think that I am leaning towards having it done. Went to see my original surgeon on Monday. He thinks that adr is the way to go.

    I had a new MRI and received the results. He said that my disc is totally done now, bone on bone, full of scar. I mentioned my concern about my facets and how quickly they too have deteriorated and how adr will affect them. He thinks that the deterioration will actually slow down after the adr, as they won't be rubbing so much after my disc space is jacked up again...hope so.

    >:D< Karen
    >: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
  • before you get all excited about having an ADR, make sure you call your insurance to ensure they will pay for it. Many won't.
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