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Fusion vs ADR Report

steve55ssteve55 Posts: 86
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:19 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Folks, I have fully studied posts on this forum and at the AdR FORUM and my obviosly clear conclusion is that ADR is far superior to fusion in overall outcome. ALl the ADR reports, of about 15 to 20 people all said they immediately felt better and then continued to heal at a fast rate. These people report excellent success rates even up to 3-4 years out. The Fusion reports I have been reading on these boards seem to have only a very few initial success rates,many seem to still have pain out to a very long time after. A few feel even worse after the surgery. There is plenty of evidence of people reporting they are having more fusions now due to their prior fusions.

I have a co worker whose girlfriend had a L level fusion and she still has pain for many years since. We are not seeing these disturbing results with ADR patients. I only saw 1 case of adr turning out worse pain than what the
patien had before.

I was absolutley flabergsated when i read the ADR website how over and over and over AGAIN, PEOPLE'S OUTCOMES ARE CRSTAL CLEAR SUCCESFUL. And i heard that in Europe, the ongoing phrase over there IS "refuse TO fUSE" .

If anyone here has read the adr FORUM, MY GOD, YOU HAVE 2 AND 3 LEVEL AND EVENY MORE LEVEL FUSIONS HAVING SUPERB SUCCESSFUL OUTCOMES, short term and longer term. Why fuse someone just so they cna constinue to feel pain or have more fusions later on in life.


  • Steve,

    Unfortunately so many cervical pain patients simply don't have the option of having multi-level ADR's because of insurance reasons. It's simply not accepted as a "proven" method yet by most companies. Like me, most of them also can't wait for this to happen. The consequenses of waiting are too great when you have nerve and/ or spinal cord impingement. By the time I had my second surgery I had issues with my legs and bladder- I just couldn't go through a fight for anything but what I got.

    In a perfect world insurance companies would do what the doctors told them was the right thing to do in every case. Obviously, this world we live in is not perfect. I do hope for the day that every cervical patient has that option if it's the better choice for them.

    Keep at it Steve, that's how we make change!

  • Which I'd rather do cause it seems to work better and as I'm not covered by insurance of any kind, but I read they couldn't do multiple levels? The general consensus is that at 31 years old, I need a 3 level ACDF but I would much rather have ADR...Where did you find theses? And I wonder if the hospital that I'm planning on having the surgery at, a learning hospital so the cost is little to none for me, does those types of procedures? That I'll have to check into.
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  • I asked about ADR, but my doctor said I was not a candidate for it.

    Like its already been pointed out, most insurance companies will not cover ADR... Again, I am also inclined to think that a lot of the horror stories about ACDF also can be because some people wait just to long before they finally break down and have the surgery, and some are not.

    Permanent nerve damage cannot be undone, you only get so much, from what I am told.

    In these ADR studies, things like the time from onset to surgery need to be factored in, as well as age, and other things such as if the patient smokes, or how many other levels already show or have signs of problems?

    From what I have gathered is most ADR are still part of a clinical trial, or whatever they call them, so are we really getting all the true facts, not that I don't trust their studies, but it has been know that some things have been rushed through.

    I'm three weeks out from c6-c7 ACDF this past Monday, and I am doing great, no pain meds but once over the last five days... I have heard more and more success stories, especially on here. I think a positive attitude is also key, if you think you will only get so much out of ANY surgery, chances are thats all you'll get.

    Trust me, I would rather have had ADR, you can always end up getting fused later if needed, but once fused, that's it, no ADR later.
  • The insurance companies are the key to the future of ADR's in this country. There are people who are not candidates for ADR due to facet joint degeneration, but for those of us who are or will be candidates we need the right ins co. BCBS is notoriously anti-ADR and lots of people have them as their ins co. As word gets out that ADR is cheaper and better perhaps the rest of the insurers will catch on to this. I hope for all of us that that day comes soon.

  • hello everyone...

    sadly my sister is suffering from a severly herniated disc in her c5/6. she has been SUFFERING for almost a year now. She is 26 and has tried everything except for the injection. She is seriously considering ADR but Im very nervous for her to get it. I hear some great things and some horror stories. She is so young and has been experiencing some of the worst kinds of pain. Her symptoms are extreme and fit into surgical catigory. There was a poster by the name of OUUUCH who logged her ADR experience on the boards. where is she now? I need to see how she is doing. her ADR is exactky where my sister will be, and i need to save my sister from this agony. someone help!!!
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  • I think new technology is always great. I'm not sure that anyone could make a blanket statement as to one or the other. First far more people are fusion candidates than ADR so the numbers can't even compare. More risky surgeries are under taken through fusion than ADR. Furthermore the testing that approved the ADR in the states has all but been thrown out. You need to look at who did the initial testing and who was making payments to them. Also ADR was only approved in the states as of July 17, 2007. So there is no where near enough data to compel one to believe they are the next best thing since sliced bread. Also there has not been long enough time for failures of the disc and to see what happens with them. The bigger issue is to me if they fail how in the world are they getting them out and can the same surgeon who put it in get the disc out. Fusion is still the gold standard. Your correct when you say so may here still having problems but that does not account for the thousands who have left here and gone on with normal healthy productive lives. Usually once someone feels better go back to normal living.
  • Fancypants, I saw some people post about multi level ADR's in the ADR forum, some had 3 and 4 levels and are doing great. You just need to read ALL of the posts in the section called ADR outcome.

    Like one poster said here, you can always undue a ADR if necessary. I have read that the doctors do not consider it a serious issue unless its in the Lumbar region.

    Maybe there are thousands of succesful fusion surgeries. But what I have clearly noticed is about a 95% success rate in ADR's up to 4-5 years out. But I see way more complaints about fusion surgery complications short term and long term. The ADR has very little recovery time while most fusions seem to have recovery times of up to 6 mo to a year or more. It seems the ADR is far less traumatic on the back than fusion. All my instincts tell me that adr is best. Just my opinion based on all the posts I have read at numerous back forums regarding people's experiences with both surgeries.If you have no choice, then fusion is better than doing nothing for sure. And yes, there are many successful fusions out there. It just seems there are also many not so good outcomes with fusions.

    If my Plasma disc compression doesnt work on 7/14 (a new procedure to deflate bulging discs), then Im heading to Germany for a 2 level ADR at a cost of about $45K. Im having to cashout my 401K and borrow money from my folks.Yes, thank god I am fortunate enough to have my folks backing me up on this.

    I believe that the skill of the surgeon matters alot in any surgical outcomes. It seems that all of the ADR patients who went to this Dr bergetelli in Germany are doing awesome. Some of the most hopeless and complicated cases were healed through ADR surgery with him. Apparently, this guy really has god gifted talent and understands the back.

    There is one guy who posted on this board of getting 2 level ADR approved with United. I may try with them but I wont expect too much. He had to fight tooth and nail and his doctor got involved for him too. Many doctors in the US say that even if the insurer approves the ADR, they are coming back and asking for repayment or cancelling hours before the surgery. So, my doctor wont even allow me to do the ADR with him unless I am paying cash, even if I get insurance approval. Im here in Dallas, so I think Ill try going with the TX back institute as I believe they are willing to do the ADR with insurance approval.

    PS- Everyone, please excuse my all caps and severe mispelling on my original post. I was on Ambien at the time. (LOL)
  • Jersey, make sure you get a 2nd opinon, and be sure the doctors you get opinions from do both ADR and fusion. As far as I know, its only if your facet joints are not very healthy and strong do they say you are not a candidate. Be sure to ask why they feel you are not. Also, many doctors dont do ADR, hence some may be inclined to tell you fusion is best for you. They go with what they do.
  • One guy posted this on this forum elsewhere:

    I have met several nice people who have had back surgeries since I had mine. The folks that had the fusions still have serious pain and little range of motion. The folks that have had disc replacement surgeries reported they were doing well. I hope this helps someone.

  • I had the level C6/C7 done.
    and i need to see the NS on the 08th this tueday as my C3/C4
    is driving me crazy with pain right now, but the level I had done is doing great, no pain there at all...
    Now just to get this NS to admit i need something done at 3-4 will be something, but I am not going to rest until he does something...I am so sick of this pain.
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