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ADR Surgery

scabralsscabral Posts: 5
edited 06/29/2015 - 9:42 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Dear Members,

I was hoping to get some support and advice from this forum. I have suffered from lower back pain for close to six years now. I loved living an active lifestyle and being fit. Over the years this has reduced to the point where I am not able to do any of the things that I enjoyed and it has lead to depression, which I am sure a lot of people out there can appreciate.

I've been diagnosed with a disc bulge at the L5/S1 level with an annular tear. I tried conservative treatments over the years and none of it has made a difference. It has helped with the pain sometimes, however only temporarily. I'm looking for a more permanent solution rather than just pain management so that I can return to the life I used to have.

I'm Australian and the approach here is against surgery, but doesn't really offer any comparable solutions. I've been told from a neurosurgeon here that apart from pain management that there isn't much I can do and that I have to accept I cannot return to my previous life of being fit and active. At 39 years of age that it a very daunting prospect.

I've been in talks with xxxx about ADR and was wondering what other people's experiences were. I am getting to the point where I have had to stop work and life is looking rather bleak.

If anyone out there can offer any advice or support... it would truly be a godsend.

Also, I just discovered RegenaDisc... Does anyone out there have any experience with this??

Thank you.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hi Scabral,

    I have not had Lumbar ADR, but I just had Cervical ADR in C6-7, also I am in Canada. Here they are very conservative about doing surgery as well, but I had muscle wasting in my lt arm so it was time for me. I am now 3 weeks post op and feel quite good, it has not been an easy road and I waited 9 months for my surgery so had a lot of time to change my mind. I only did surgery because it was a last resort for me. I also hope to be back to work in 2 1/2 weeks as long as my xrays are ok.
    Good luck with your decision.

    Nodales4 :)
    27 vehicle accident in 1984 at age 17 caused neck injury
    C6-7/C7-T1 Disc herniation's diagnosed 2013
    Surgery June 11/2015 Artificial Disc Replacement C6-7 & ACDF C7-T1
  • I had a cervical ADR and it has been wonderful as far as recovery so far and the immediate relief off my nerve.
    C6-C7 Disc Replacement 06/16/2015
    Bulging Disc also at C5-C6
    "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
  • Thanks to Nodales4 and mandyrn2001 for their responses. I'm so pleased that you have had success with ADR at the cervical level. From what I have read and been told by doctors here it is quite successful at that level, but at the lumbar region it has it problems.

    Does anyone have any experience good or bad with L5/S1 ADR, especially going to do it in other countries like Germany?

  • Many times over my time dealing with my spine issues. While adr in the cervical spine seems to do quite well, adr in the lumbar spine doesn't have as good outcomes and especially not at the L5-s1 level of the spine.That area of the spine does not have the capability/degree of flexion, extension or rotation that the cervical spine does. Lumbar adr seems to cause facet joint problems that didn't exist prior to having the Adr inplanted.
    As far as Germany goes, the most prominent surgeon there who performs adr is known for not following up with patients who experience post op complications following lumbar adr.
    You also need to make sure that you understand the risks, benefits and potential complications and possibility of needing a revision if you go ahead with it.
    There are few surgeons in the US who are experienced with adr revision and if necessary removal if the Adr migrates. The lumbar area of the spine contains major abdominal blood vessels which can be damaged if torn during surgery.
    I tell everyone that despite all of the reassurances, it is very important that anyone who considers surgery research the surgeon, the implant ,the risks and complications and have a plan if things do not turn out well.

  • ADRJenAADRJen Posts: 211
    edited 07/03/2015 - 2:09 AM
    About 12 years ago. It was at L5S1. It was and still is successful. However, the main reason I chose it over fusion was to hopefully not get adjacent disk disease. Unfortunately I had to have the next three disks fused about 10 years later.
    Artificial disc at L5S1 for 10 years. Had 3 Level lumbar fusion and Laminectomy on Sept 27, 2013. It was an OLIF (Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion) with cages, BMP, rods & screws. Norco, Plaquenil
  • I am really glad that your adr turned out well and is still . You are very fortunate and I hope you continue to be for a long time to come.
    I believe adr for the lumbar spine just isn't there yet as far as development to mimic the natural disc, despite the various models out there. That's just my opinion, after all of my research. I hope that the manufacturers and development teams can come up with one that is closer to the natural discs movement, rotation, flexion and extension, but I think it's harder to do because of the way each level of the lumbar spine moves, with varying degrees of rotation , flexion and extension .
    With a little luck, maybe we will see it in the near future.

  • Thank you members for all your comments! Internet not very accessible where I am so apologies for the delay.

    Sandi123 - that's exactly what I have been told by doctors over here in Australia. I have to say I am more inclined to agree. It does seem to be a short term solution and one that may have consequences on other discs, however after dealing with pain for 6 years and being told that there is nothing to be done, you do get rather desperate. If I got another 10 years of quality back in my life for me it would be worth it. I agree, though, that I do need to look at the bigger picture and have patience with it. The reality of doing surgery in Germany, if there were complications, would not be great as I would return to Australia where, as you mentioned, the doctors here may not be equipped to rectify any problems. I'm not sure I would want to test that theory out.

    ADRJen - I'm so glad it worked out for you at the L5/S1 level. Did you get it done in Germany? What model of disc was it? I know that there were certain models whole hyper rotation was more inclined to cause adjacent problems. At the same time I am so sorry that you found yourself doing the very thing you were trying to avoid on the other discs. Was it proven that this was caused by the ADR you had done? Or is it something that was likely to happen anyway?

    I guess what it comes down to is what my other options are and they are running out. Continuing to live in this pain and the significant impact on my life is becoming less bearable. Jen, whilst left with adjacent disc issues, still got 10 years of her life back that she may not have had if she hadn't done the ADR surgery. I am applying to see if I am a candidate for a Stem Cell clinical trial they are doing in California. There's a 2 in 3 chance that I won't be part of the placebo group. I think it might be worth investigating as an option before the final leap into a surgical solution.

    I wanted to thank you again for taking the time to write responses. It's become such an overriding thing in my life.

  • I've just had a second opinion from another doctor and he is recommending Nerve Blocks. This just seems to me to be a pain management technique?! It will not solve the underlying cause and prevent any further deterioration. I'm fearful that the injections will just mask the pain and I will go on to engage in activities, which will make my disc even worse. Does anyone have any experience with this?


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