Artificial Disc Replacement - Cervical Spine (thats the neck)

#81
Congrats on the procedure. Just a quick one, you are feeling no pain due to the huge quantities of opiates bouncing around your system. When the doc says "take up your bed and walk" that's fine, but don't get overconfident or you will end up falling down the first flight of stairs you come to, as I did.
 
#82
Congrats on the procedure. Just a quick one, you are feeling no pain due to the huge quantities of opiates bouncing around your system. When the doc says "take up your bed and walk" that's fine, but don't get overconfident or you will end up falling down the first flight of stairs you come to, as I did.
I have had not one pain killer since leaving the ICU thursday morning. I take two pill's a day to prevent unrequired bone calcification and need to take those for 6 weeks. I admit I felt like I had one, or two, glasses of vino after coming out of the ICU, with my head needing time to catch up with the rest of my body when moving, that quickly wore off though.

I have an ache in my neck from the internal prodding and poking needed to do the job, but the aches are nothing more than I have experienced around neck and shoulders from wandering with a loaded rucksack. They tell me that the cervical patients are generally very quick to want to move and are either pain free, like me, or suffer only very slight pain.

Even the kiddy from NZ has gotten up now and is moving around up and down the corridor. Between the Canadian lad and him it appears lumbar needs a good day to rest and then some serious ball's to stand up and fight the pain for the first short move on day two, day three and 4 it appears much easier and day 5 the Canadian lad was virtually running out of here wearing a corset - mainly to stop him from over-reaching and bending.
 
#83
Good news!

And it shouldn’t upset airport metal detectors........
They have given me an implant patient ID card widget. Personal details and then some ID stickers from the prosthesis stuck onto it to validate it. You know the Germans - Ve dokument everyzink!
 
#84
#85
Monday, yesterday, was release date from hospital. 5 days post-op which is in line with what I was told beforehand.

Loitering around a hotel in Koeln/Cologne now for a week and a half before I fly home. I could probably have gone home at the end of this week but, I allowed the extra days as a 'just in case' buffer to allow for complications, or pain.

As a side note: The Canadian lad who had two op's to have five discs replaced was out 5 days after his second op - the lumbar for 2 discs. The NZ lad who had two lumbar done the same day as me was also released with me. All of us happy that we had our respective op's and with the instant feeling of no more pain from the various damaged disc's.

Met two blokes in the hospital: One a 78 year old who had the same as me done some years ago he is still happy as Larry. The second a mid- thirty something who had two lumbar done 2 years ago (he was in for something totally unrelated this time) he has returned to jogging and playing five-a-side saying if he was not lazy he could do much more.
 
#86
Two weeks post op and I am feeling great.

Triceps pain ---> Gone
Clicky and rice crispy noise when moving neck ---> Gone
Tingly numbness down arms to tips of little and ring finger ---> Gone
Amazingly, pain in lower legs and feet that I put down to lumbar discs ---> around 80% gone.

It is a six month post operative healing process. This is more to let you heal post op as the bone growth amalgamating the artificial discs into the vertebrae is 50% after 2 weeks and 100% after 6 weeks.

According to the Doc the nerve damage takes a month per inch of damage down the arm to repair, so looking at 2 years for total nerve recuperation. Doc has already told me I have strength increase in my arms and it is up to me to do exercise to build up the strength.

All looking good and I can only still very highly recommend it if it is needed by anyone.
 
#87
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According to the Doc the nerve damage takes a month per inch of damage down the arm to repair, so looking at 2 years for total nerve recuperation.
Nerves always take a long f-ing time to recuperate. I have some in my right leg since early this year, I am off running/jogging/driving etc. for the next year or so.
 
#88
Couple of days past the 4 week point.

Initially this week I felt a dull pain in my lower neck at the rear and had a bit of a headache for a couple of days. All gone now. I put it down to being back home and moving around and doing a tad more, stretching the muscles, tendons and ligaments that contracted once the disc had been damaged.

There is an awful lot of tension on the spine caused by the various muscles/ligaments/tendons pulling everything together to hold it in place - once a disc is damaged these all slowly shrink to fit the new required size. Get the disc fixed and you are stretching things. Sit on the ground with your legs out straight and pull your toes towards you, or stand up against a wall and bend down to try and touch your knees with your head - in both cases you will feel the stretch at the back of your legs, imagine that around your spine.

Apparently the people who have lumbar discs replaced feel the stretch for longer than people who have had cervical discs replaced. I have had people tell me it took around a year to stop feeling the effects. For example the two lads that had lumbar done when I had my neck done both had two discs put in. They have possibly regained anything from 12mm to 20mm in height - which is a fair stretch. Yoga helps speed the stretch - with the added benefit of being in a milf rich environment.

Counting down to the 6 week mark to get the control x-ray done.
 
#89
According to the Doc the nerve damage takes a month per inch of damage down the arm to repair...
That seems a bit low? We had a medical student in our club*, diagnosed me when I managed to screw up the ulnar nerve in my left arm at the elbow** (Note: if it really hurts when you're shooting, don't keep on firing until half your hand stops working).

Anyway, my vague memory thirty years on is that she quoted "nerve damage recovers at about 30cm per month", and sure enough my little finger was working properly five or six weeks later...

* Went on to be a multiple Commonwealth medallist, now a consultant neurosurgeon...
** Try to hold up a sheet of paper between your (straight) little and ring fingers. If you can't hold the fingers together sufficiently to hold on to the paper, congratulations...
 
#90
The lesson I've taken away from this thread is, don't jump out of planes unnecessarily
 
#91
That seems a bit low? We had a medical student in our club*, diagnosed me when I managed to screw up the ulnar nerve in my left arm at the elbow** (Note: if it really hurts when you're shooting, don't keep on firing until half your hand stops working).

Anyway, my vague memory thirty years on is that she quoted "nerve damage recovers at about 30cm per month", and sure enough my little finger was working properly five or six weeks later...

* Went on to be a multiple Commonwealth medallist, now a consultant neurosurgeon...
** Try to hold up a sheet of paper between your (straight) little and ring fingers. If you can't hold the fingers together sufficiently to hold on to the paper, congratulations...
I should think it depends on the location, level and duration of aggravation the nerve has had.

All comments I have had from Doc's and people recovering from this kind of surgery all seem to be around the month per inch mark. That is after prolonged and direct pressure in the spinal canal, not at the wiggly end of an appendage. I have spoken with a couple of individuals who had the surgery some years ago and they both reckoned it took about 2 years for full effectiveness of the nerve from the toes back up the leg to gradually improve.

I have been told I should notice, or rather stop noticing, small twinges and tingles over the next 12 months as things gradually withdraw back up my arms as the nerve kicks in again fully.

(Note: if it really hurts when you're shooting, don't keep on firing until half your hand stops working).
I had comment from my shooting coach that I was just under an eighth of a second behind the rest on drills. So I shall be looking to pick up on my times and start kicking some bottom. My triceps used to hurt like buggery sometimes after a full day out.
 
#92
Five weeks post-op today. Feeling great, just a tad still duffed up around the internals of the neck but, that is less and less every day.

Off to my GP tomorrow to get an x-ray arranged for next week the big 6 week marker. That is to check bone growth into the prosthesis is more or less done. Bone grows into titanium, did I mention that, so the two prosthesis plates are titanium alloy to allow bone growth. That means once growth is complete the prosthesis is fused in place by natural bone growth.

In other good news I just received the final accounting from the hospital. I paid 18,273 euros upfront and have just received the final account for 16,770 euros with the difference of 1502 euros coming back to my account.

I tried to sort the x-ray for posting but it will not let me mess with the image on the disc so I will scan the paper copy and get that up.
 
#93
Bone grows into titanium, did I mention that, so the two prosthesis plates are titanium alloy to allow bone growth. That means once growth is complete the prosthesis is fused in place by natural bone growth.
I'm assuming the plates have little holes in them? I've had bits of titanium whipped out of me that had bone growth over the top but nothing inside them.

I tried to sort the x-ray for posting but it will not let me mess with the image on the disc so I will scan the paper copy and get that up.
Easiest method I've found is to open them full screen, hit the print screen button, paste into paint and then save as a jpeg. I would post some of my holiday snaps (pun intended) but anyone who's seen them before would know who I am in a second.

Glad to hear it's all going well though :)
 
#94
I'm assuming the plates have little holes in them? I've had bits of titanium whipped out of me that had bone growth over the top but nothing inside them.


Easiest method I've found is to open them full screen, hit the print screen button, paste into paint and then save as a jpeg. I would post some of my holiday snaps (pun intended) but anyone who's seen them before would know who I am in a second.

Glad to hear it's all going well though :)
The way it was explained to me is that the bone just grows into the Ti to enough depth so that it effectively fuses.
 
#96
I had the same type of operation by Dr Bruce Hall in The Mater Hospital in brisbane about 15 years ago, I had 10 wonderful p-ainfree years, but then the implants started damaging the vertebrae above and below the fiddly bits, this situation is inoperable ,we got a second opinion at the Aachener klinikum last year, we were informed thatafter 8 years the condition of the vertebrae in contact with the implants start to deteriorate,resulting in limited movement of neck and shoulders,and severe pain, needing constant pain management, daily doses of tramadol, supported by liquimorph,both german and australian specialists reckon this is a recurring condition that returns with age
 
#97
I had the same type of operation by Dr Bruce Hall in The Mater Hospital in brisbane about 15 years ago, I had 10 wonderful p-ainfree years, but then the implants started damaging the vertebrae above and below the fiddly bits, this situation is inoperable ,we got a second opinion at the Aachener klinikum last year, we were informed thatafter 8 years the condition of the vertebrae in contact with the implants start to deteriorate,resulting in limited movement of neck and shoulders,and severe pain, needing constant pain management, daily doses of tramadol, supported by liquimorph,both german and australian specialists reckon this is a recurring condition that returns with age
Sorry to hear that.

Do you remember which prosthesis it was? I know that the Pro-disc prosthesis has had many years of success with many people thus far enjoying over 25 years of success. I had the ESP-cervical prosthesis, since inception these have been used for 18 years with no problems. Early style prosthesis have a keel, or even multi-keels, like on yachts, to hold them into the vertebrae. This however requires corresponding slots to be cut into the vertebrae - IMHO effectively weakening the vertebrae and exposing the softer, inner part, of the bone to the world.

I chose the ESP prosthesis for the reason that it did not have a keel. It just has 4 (I think) barely raised pointy bits that help anchor it in place without having to cut bone.

Here we go, a picture is best.



Compared to



The legal bit so I do not get sued: This is just my opinion, and was my choice, as a lay person I am not medically qualified and a Dr would be able to better inform you.

The thing with ADR is that if it does fall to shite there is normally the possibility to do a revision and have fusion.

I got on pretty well with my Doc and he spent a few visits with me at the end of shift just waffling about cars for an hour or so as we both have a thing for Porkers and other exotics. That resulted in him telling me 'industry gossip' and me being invited along to his office to be shown his collection of discs implanted by other Dr's that have failed and he has remedied with fusion. I cannot name the discs as I would get sued from here to eternity but, they were not the discs he is implanting - the main culprit has been dropped by most european Doc's as it has proven (in the opinion of two Docs I spoke with) to be inherently unreliable, it is however presently undergoing the approval process for a large western democracy.

You should fire off your most recent MRI to my Doc and see what he says. He don't charge for looking and telling by email. Do you want his info?

I first found ADR around 12/13 years ago and have watched it closely ever since. It has now progressed to the point where the procedure is considered a standard procedure in Germany. Even in the last 12/13 years they have leapt forward in the identification of patients physical markers to ensure success, they have improved methodology, and tooling for insertion has been further developed to make accurate placement easier.
 
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#98
Lumbar disc (the big one) and a cervical disc (the little one) - they are my Doc's show and tell pieces. The PVC thing is a couple of model vertebrae.



Edit: You can see that the surface is roughened and that there is a white (now more dirty than white) coating. This is a bone growth promoter to speed up bone growth into the disc/prosthesis.
 
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#99
to encourage bone growth grafts were taken from the collarbone, it was marvellous watching over a period of 12months the new growths cover the implants,the grandkids even took me to school for show and tell ,when I had the clips in my throat I did look abit like frankenstein ,wish you all luck with your modern metal and plastic bits,
 
Alright, 6 week x-ray sent, received and I have been given the ALLES GUT.

Still get some mild aching and twinges but, much, much, better than before and like the man said it will take around a year for everything to settle in and the old nerve damage to heal.

Happy.

 

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