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Artificial Disc Replacement

Hi...I am new to this site and have been told I need ADR surgery. I have SO many questions...not the least of which is is this generally covered by insurance? I have heard today no. This worries me, obviously, just when I thought I had enough to worry about just facing surgery. Any information would be greatly appreciated.


  • Hi, just wondering what level you're surgery is planned for?
    I have an ADR at L4/L5 and might be able to answer some questions. I'm not sure what country you are in, I'm in Australia so we may have a different Insurance set up.

    DDD. Married,Mum of 2, Age 45: 2007 & 2008 L5/S1 Discectomy
    April 2013 L5/S1 Anterior Fusion
    & L4/L5 Artificial Disc Replacement
  • I am in the US...Texas. Was your Disc replacement successful? I see you also had fusion....good outcome? I have been told I need ADR with possible fusion since in this country they can only replace one disc. What is the name of your artificial disk. I think they use Pro Disc here,....have a meeting with the surgeon on Wednesday, Thanks for any information
  • I'm 11 months down the track and my op was successful. I was in a very bad way before my surgery with difficulty walking, sitting, sleeping etc and unable to work.
    My disc is called ESP-LP and was invented in France. I'm told I was the first person in Australia to have it implanted together with a fusion.
    My lower back feels very strong and stable BUT I have many other problems that have developed. This operation is not easy, I had no concept of what major surgery entailed and thought as I was young, I would bounce back and return to work within 3 months. My scoliosis has worsened and I have a lot of pain in my thoracic spine, difficulty breathing at times, a trapped nerve in my stomach and bladder issues. ( I didn't have any of these issues before the surgery)
    I go to hydrotherapy 3 times a week which I love and I can walk pretty well for half an hour 3 times a day.
    In hindsight, I think the surgeon was right when he said it would take 12 months to recover. I'm nearly there and I'm beginning to accept the new me will not be perfect but I'm optimistic and hopeful that improvements can still happen.
    DDD. Married,Mum of 2, Age 45: 2007 & 2008 L5/S1 Discectomy
    April 2013 L5/S1 Anterior Fusion
    & L4/L5 Artificial Disc Replacement
  • you may not be able to have ADR it will be down to your consultant ..he/she will do a discography to see if the disk adjacent to where you need the work doing can hold the ADR bits of kit ..I wanted ADR but my spine was in such a bad way that ADR was not an option and I had to have a ALIF fusion .its not been a success .I hope you have a good result but expect a long recovery and pain ..lots of pain as its a major operation ..all spinal surgery is classed a major but fusions and ADR are about as big as it gets ..do your research .especially on your consultant ..you need an experienced person on the job
    good luck
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Thanks everyone. Im in pain now, but its manageable. Maybe I should just live with it after reading all of this. The docs have told me I will be 85% of my pre-back issues after the operation. I have given up so much already in my life, the gym, skiing, picking up almost anything that I can't imagine being like this for the rest of my life. I am only 54. But maybe those are the cards I have been dealt and better off the way I am.
  • Only you and your surgeon can make a decision. I wish we were all the same and have predictable outcomes and I feel your dilemma. I lived with it for a number of years and tried to work and live as normally as possible until one day my back just gave in and I couldn't walk. That was the biggie for me and I had run out of options.
    The surgeon was undecided about the ADR until he opened me up, the other option was a double fusion.
    I still think my surgery was a success, hey I can walk! The other problems are minor and just have to be treated individually and my pain is under control.
    So I hope this helps. I'm happy to answer any questions and share my experiences.
    I hope that you get your pain under control and that whatever decision you make will have a great outcome.
    DDD. Married,Mum of 2, Age 45: 2007 & 2008 L5/S1 Discectomy
    April 2013 L5/S1 Anterior Fusion
    & L4/L5 Artificial Disc Replacement
  • Thank you, that helps....yes, I think my surgeon and I have to decide....you are so young....I am sorry for all of your pain. Its exhausting and depressing at times for me...but hey, things could always be worse.
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