Any back patient have a disc prosthesis?

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BrentE1961
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 2/10/2009 10:11 AM (GMT -7)   
One of the things I keep thinking of is trying to get up the cash for a lumbar disc replacement with a prosthesis. Does anybody out there have one? If so, which type and how well did the surgery work? Did you get better mobility and pain relief? Any complications?
47 YO Male, chronic back pain. Herniated disc L5/S1 2003. Discectomy with partial laminectomy 2004. Now told I have Failed Back Syndrome with discogenic pain.
 
Oxycontin 40mg every 8 hours, Norco 10mg every 4 hours as needed, Celebrex 200 mg twice a day.
 
Pain level varies from disturbing to nearly intolerable.


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 2/10/2009 12:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, BrentE,
Just wanted to welcome you to the Chronic Pain forum. Sorry you are having problems. Unfortunatley, I haven't noticed anyone with a disk replacement here, but that could be a good thing. Mostly the people here are having chronic pain.

I had a double lumar fusion that didn't work, but my spine was too deteriorated to consider any kind of artificial disk.

One suggestion I'd have is to go to medscape.com and you can register for free and access some of the same research the doctors do. I did that before my fusion, and read a lot of articles. That might give you an idea of how the studies look.

And you can certainly search the old threads of Healing Well.

Hope this helps a bit.

PaLady

BrentE1961
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 2/10/2009 12:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, PAlady.

I am just tired of living like I do. My insurance will likely cover a neurostimulator, but after hearing how many people have trouble with shifting leads and stimulation of the wrong area it makes me a bit hesitant. The artificial lumbar disc is great in theory - remove the disc that is the source of my chronic pain, keep mobility in the joint and hopefully prevent the next one up from blowing out in a few years as is common after fusion - but I do not know anybody that has one. My PM doc says "wait & see" for a couple of years as they perfect the devices and the surgical techniques. I just don't know how long I can go on like this. The pain meds help a lot, but who wants to go through all of the hassle of taking a pill every few hours, having pharmacies treat you like a criminal, etc.? Also, even with the meds, I hurt a lot, it just isn't totally debilitating.

Having a back injury has cost me a lot - my marriage (my ex said that I "just wasn't as much fun anymore"), a promotion at work, my sense of self-worth, and a whole lot of money. The artificial disc seems like the best treatment (in theory, anyway). I wonder how long it will be until Blue Cross will cover it?
47 YO Male, chronic back pain. Herniated disc L5/S1 2003. Discectomy with partial laminectomy 2004. Now told I have Failed Back Syndrome with discogenic pain.
 
Oxycontin 40mg every 8 hours, Norco 10mg every 4 hours as needed, Celebrex 200 mg twice a day.
 
Pain level varies from disturbing to nearly intolerable.


Scarred_for_life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1559
   Posted 2/10/2009 1:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Brent; I want to welcome you to HW. It saddens me to see that you are here with us and that you have to be in pain as well. I am wondering are your discs just herniated or are there other circumstances behind your back pain? Does your doctor feel that this procedure is your best chance for recovery? The reason I am wondering is his wait and see attitude towards your pain. Is he having you do PT or any exercises to help in healing? Many times herniated discs will heal on their own but it takes a very long time.

Anyway...I hope this helps. Sorry I couldn't type anymore but I am in a rush to get to the pharmacy before it closes and need to get going.

Scarred
What doesn't kill us only makes us fight back harder! :P


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 2/10/2009 3:23 PM (GMT -7)   
BrentE,
I have to tell you that most all of us feel the same way you do. We hate to have our lives so ruled by pain, and often getting undertreated pain and lousy attitudes from others (including professionals).

That being said, since you've already had surgery, I wonder if you're a candidate for a disk replacement. That would be the first thing to investigate. I think the Cleveland Clinic was doing single level disk replacements, and a place in Texas. You might try looking at the Cleveland Clinic website, and see if you can search around and find the criteria for disk replacement.

Good luck!

PaLady

BrentE1961
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 2/11/2009 11:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Scarred_for_life said...
Dear Brent; I want to welcome you to HW. It saddens me to see that you are here with us and that you have to be in pain as well. I am wondering are your discs just herniated or are there other circumstances behind your back pain? Does your doctor feel that this procedure is your best chance for recovery? The reason I am wondering is his wait and see attitude towards your pain. Is he having you do PT or any exercises to help in healing? Many times herniated discs will heal on their own but it takes a very long time.

Anyway...I hope this helps. Sorry I couldn't type anymore but I am in a rush to get to the pharmacy before it closes and need to get going.

Scarred


Scarred -

Yes, my L5/S1 disc herniated. I had a microdiscectomy that relieved the leg pain, but the low back still hurts a lot. It has been a few years. I have done PT, inversion, TENS unit, etc., all with some relief but not enough to be fully functional. My last MRI shows a decreased disc height. My doc says the pain is "discogenic" resulting from compression of the disc itself.
47 YO Male, chronic back pain. Herniated disc L5/S1 2003. Discectomy with partial laminectomy 2004. Now told I have Failed Back Syndrome with discogenic pain.
 
Oxycontin 40mg every 8 hours, Norco 10mg every 4 hours as needed, Celebrex 200 mg twice a day.
 
Pain level varies from disturbing to nearly intolerable.


Scarred_for_life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1559
   Posted 2/11/2009 11:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Ok so the disc is compressed again but you have no leg pain?
What doesn't kill us only makes us fight back harder! :P


BrentE1961
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 2/11/2009 5:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, the disc has lost height. I guess that means it is compressed? The doc told me that the outer shell of the disc is fractured in a couple of places. The protrusion of the inner gel matter that had impinged the nerve was cut out during the microdiscectomy, so the leg pain stopped. I am left with intense lower back pain that "stabs" down into the left buttock. The PM doc says it is "discogenic" pain and that is the result of the disc itself kind of collapsing as the"shock absorber" material dried out.
47 YO Male, chronic back pain. Herniated disc L5/S1 2003. Discectomy with partial laminectomy 2004. Now told I have Failed Back Syndrome with discogenic pain.
 
Oxycontin 40mg every 8 hours, Norco 10mg every 4 hours as needed, Celebrex 200 mg twice a day.
 
Pain level varies from disturbing to nearly intolerable.

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