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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 2/5/2008 5:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I need some help and advice deciding on this.
My insurance will not pay for anything but a straight fusion on my back L4-L5,L5-S1 Due to Arthritis and severe DDD. With all the other options out there that will help keep mobility and range of motion I would like something other than a fusion. After loosing a lot of mobility from having both hips replaced I am afraid I will be as stiff as a board if I get a fusion and if I get a fusion it will cause other problems with other vertabrets and discs in the future from having to take up the extra work load.  Sure would appreciate any help.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 535
   Posted 2/5/2008 5:55 PM (GMT -6)   
A lot of people I have talked with are foregoing fusion surgeries and opting instead for artificial disc replacement. It is my understanding that it has recently been approved by the FDA. However because It is a fairly new procedure in the USA I do not know how many insurance companies will actually pay for the surgery. There are also quite a few qualifications that must be met in order to be a candidate.

There are some folks who travel overseas to have these procedures because the cost is so much lower. In India, for example ADR surgeries are quite common and relatively inexpensive.

There are also studies underway that show great promise on disc transplants. An actual spinal disc is grown and then transplanted into the spine. China has been leading the research in this area. However, it is still years away from human trials But there is hope that one day spinal fusions may be a thing of the past.

Take care

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 2/5/2008 7:40 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks quahog,

I have been doing a lot of studying on this and actually found a guy that had the same procedure done thru my life insurance agent of all people. Called him and he said it was a miracle as far as he is concerned,he went thru the same trial and doctor. As of now there are two artificial disc devices approved by the FDA but my Ins. will not pay till they become the "standard treatment". I don't know if my pain level will allow for waiting much longer. Apparently European countries are much ahead of us on this. Not going for a artificial disc but a apparatus that has springs,mounted to a ball and socket pin attached to the vertabrets. I agree,one day spinal fusion will be a thing of the past. Just wish my pain was!!


Again, Thanks and You take care also.  Thanks   

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