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About Fusion is there more than one method? Too old for ADR

I have been seeing a private surgeon (no insurance) in Spain and we got along v well. Went for MRIs and X Rays. Before these tests he estimated that the cost of fusing L3/4 and L/5 would be about 13,000€ now it is 20000€ saying that i would need longer rods and more screws.
Having had no luck on the social, a Spanish friend has intervened and after consultation with a social doctor, I am on the list for an appointment in Valencia in September.

Having learnt that you can't bend with rods and screws and that they can become dislodged, are there any other ways of fusing.

I know i am getting worse because my discs, when I turn or bend all click together and although not painful its a horrid sensation.

Can someone educate me or point me in a direction where I can learn further ............... Thanks


  • I have an artificial disk at L5S1 and the next 3 are fused with rods. I can still pick things up off the floor. Granted not like when I was younger, but I can do it. There are a lot of different types of fusions, but rods are the most stable way.
    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 just had a ALIF "anterior lumbar interbody fusion with instrumentation. " threw my front under my belly button. On my S1-L4. Had two cages and a plate put in with a total of 8 screws. And to date I feel better no more leg pain or back pain. Just pain from surgery and its really in my gut around my bladder where I have a 5 inch horizontal cut. My Dr. Was great two days in hospital after and I walked out the door. So far so good and day by day my abs are getting better. Wish I had it done years ago.
  • You could possibly speak to your dr about coflex implants they are like a fusion but allow you some more movement. I had it done and I have mixed feelings over but more due to worries over my dr then the actual coflex itself.
  • EnnaEEnna Spain but BritishPosts: 21
    edited 07/28/2015 - 12:51 AM
    Thank you everyone for replying to my post. I have no insurance in Spain (although i understand that the UK sends £3,000 to Spain for my treatment - as they do for all pensioners).

    I would not be on this forum but for some surgeons who were inexperienced or wanting a quick buck. I saw a doctor (not surgeon) in the UK more than 10 years ago and she went through what she thought it was and in the end she told me that the National Health was going broke and she couldn't afford to send me. What a lot of cr**. So I went to an osteopath who eventually told me that he could do no more for me and advised me to have an MRI which I did - it showed L3/4 and L4/5 herniated. i showed the doctor and she sent me to a (neurosurgeon who was experienced in brain conditions ) and he put an "inspace" contraption between under the disc which came out almost at once. He told me that he couldnt do any more for me after various cortisone injections etc. By this time I couldnt walk, climb stairs etc. and so went to a "famous" surgeon who decompressed this was done privately as I wanted to go and live in Spain pain free. On the follow up appointment i told him I still had pain etc. and he told me it would go. In spain I was pretty much in the same position i was before I had the decompression and have had various injections again, some wacking ones, 4 in one thigh and 3 in the other - and that was it. In terrible pain i consulted privately a surgeon in Valencia who quoted 15,000 and then when I had the MRI is went up to 20,000€ but he said that he would have put titanium rods with screws to stabilize my spine. I just cant afford it,.

    Now we have a new hospital, I was seen in 2 weeks and although Spain has all of august off I am seeing a dr om Va;encia at the end of August. Whether he is a doctor or surgeon I don't know, Spain is not like the states and the UK you can't find out much about a dr. This dr is young!

    I am grateful for your replies and definitely put the corflex in my notes - I was rather put off by the rods and screws as I was told i couldn't bend. At the moment, I can get out of the car, and I can feel my discs rubbing against one another which is not painful but just an odd feeling. So I am deteriating.

    can i ask some more questions

    Garratt_85 - how are you now, how is your movement. Were you worried that the doctor wasn't proficient in the procedure. Can you tell me a bit more.

    Inkdeep: I rather think that you are not in Spain or in the States, anterior lumbar interbody fusion with instrumentation I am presuming thats rods and screws - 8 is a lot of screws, I am glad \i am taking Vit D my bones are much stronger since i came to Spain. But how are you now. I had heard that the screws can come out if not done properly so I am interested. The private surgeon in Valencia said that you need good bones for the screws and he also mentioned cages etc. Its a big operation, I am not sure whether below L3/4 will need to be done but it depends on who reads the MRI. Thanks for your reply I really appreciate your help and would like to know how you are now - how many weeks/months on.

    ADRJen - I feel a lot more confident now and time is slipping by and I need to do a bit more research. I dont have a lot of confidence now after having such mistakes being made and off hand treatment by the UK doctor. My cortisone injection is now wearing off, luckily we have really bad weather now (hot) so not doing much but I will post the outcome when I have been to see this chap. Most of the surgeons in Valencia have gone private but what put me off was the price going up, it just sounded like the surgeon who did the decompression and he was so dismissive of my answer that i was still in pain.

    I really cant thank you all enough

  • I sent you pm with a update
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