5 Years!

Wow, it’s been 5 years!  Just a quick update until I find the time to see a doctor and have new x-rays done…

In short, all is well.  I played two seasons of hockey since the last post with no issue (aside from my crappy goaltending – i’m getting old!). 🙂

I’m leading a busy and normal life with young kids, here in New York and my back doesn’t limit me.  Knock on wood, and I appreciate it every day.  Yoga, walking, kids and some hockey.  So far, so good.

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While I wait to hear back from Mr. Dare, I’m a little worried about the start of my Fall/Winter hockey season, this coming Monday.  I might hold off playing until I hear back.  I hope I get to wear this new mask soon!

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4 Years Out

I’m a little late on the post, but I finally got my xrays done today.  I’ve emailed them over to Mr. Dare in the UK and hope to hear back in the coming weeks.

Today marks our 1 year anniversary of moving to New York from Canada.  Crazy how time flies.  All is still going well!  We won our hockey championship, I’m doing yoga twice a week, walking ~10km a day and going on bike rides with the kids.  I still feel weird about having this M6-L in me and I feel like it’s probably going to fail me one day… but I cherish every day I’m able to run around with my kids.

I’ll update my post when Mr. Dare gets back to me.  To my untrained eye, all appears to be unchanged.  For all of you armchair surgeons, please see the photos below. In order of appearance: Flexion, extension and a couple of neutrals.

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View from the observation deck of the Freedom Tower:

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Update 1: I just heard back from my doctors office with some abnormal results on the xray:

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I guess the takeaway here is that it’s good to include all previous xrays you’ve had when you get a new one done in a different country/health care system.  To my eye, everything looks as it did in July 2011, but I’ve emailed Mr. Dare these results and look forward to hearing back.  I hadn’t ever heard of or been diagnosed with retrolisthesis before, so I’m a little anxious.

Update 2: I just heard back from Mr. Dare and everything is normal… or as normal as it should be an ADR in your back!


Howdy from the Big Apple!

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I’m at 3.5 years out of surgery and doing well (knock on wood).  New York has been incredible so far and we’ve been here since late August, 2014.

I’m still keeping up to date on ADR and found two links I wanted to include in my blog:

1) You can find the abstract here:

Cervical artificial discs (CADs) represent an established surgical option in selected patients with cervical spinal disc degeneration. Though CADs have been available for many years, there is a lack of information concerning long-term safety, durability and implant-related failure rates.
The authors describe the failure of a M6-C CAD (Spinal Kinetics, Sunnyvale, CA, USA).
Eight years after implantation of a CAD of the M6 type, a 39-year-old female presented with new clinical signs of cervical myelopathy. Radiologically, medullar compression due to posterior core herniation was the suspected cause. The damaged CAD was removed and the segment fused. During revision surgery, rupture of the posterior structures could be detected. Possible mechanisms leading to implant failure are discussed.
As there is no standard regarding clinical and radiological follow-up for patients with CADs, radiological long-term follow-up investigations seem to be justified for exclusion of implant failure.

This is the first mention of an M6 failure that I’ve found in a legitimate, peer reviewed journal.  I’ll be keeping an eye out for more.

2) Intervertebral disc prolapse – A neat slideshare on the spine and disc injury.  Yoga gets another nod in here! 😉

I’m still doing yoga a couple times a week, core work twice a week, walking an average of 1.5 hours a day just in my NYC commute with kid pickups and drop-offs (more when I walk the dog) and playing hockey once a week.  Still holding roughly @ 172 lbs and just over 6′ tall (185cm).

Also, we scored a new bed from Casper Sleep and it’s been so nice for my back.  I would highly recommend one for anyone else with back pain.

3 Years

I’m a little late on the 3 year update as our lives have been a whirlwind this summer.  The long/short is that my back is doing well, I have my yearly physical/xrays scheduled for Monday and we’ve accepted a relocation offer from work.

So, my back is being put to the test one more time for ANOTHER move.  The good thing is that we won’t be taking very much and have sold off all the large, awkward, heavy stuff. The bad news is that our new place is only 1100 square feet.  That’s a big change for our family of 4 and dog in our current 3000-ish square foot(developed) house in the burbs. We’re very excited to be moving to Manhattan though!  I still can’t believe that it’s 1/3 of the space for twice the price we are paying per month in Calgary!

We accepted the offer about 2 weeks ago and are moving around Aug 27th – if all goes well with the visa applications.


I’m still playing hockey and doing yoga, but I’m going to have to find a new team in NY, so I’ll probably not be playing as much anymore.  I’ve also been troubled by a few reports of failed M6’s in the forums as of late, but I think more information is needed before anyone draws serious conclusions.

I’ll post the results of my xrays as soon as Mr. Dare sees them.  I hope everyone else is doing well.

Keep your stick on the ice!


Edit: Here is my back as of today: 

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*Just waiting to hear back from Chris Dare now.  Looks good to me, though the technician sure wouldn’t take my art direction on the shots!

**I heard back from Chris and everything looks good.

Return to the Slopes

Not much new to report on the back front – still doing ok and crossing my fingers!

However, I did finally make it out once with my daughter to the local ski hill for her first time on planks!  She loved it and I hope it is the first of many outings. 🙂


The icing on the cake was our annual trip down to Whitefish, Montana, where I partook in some “real” skiing with my wife and father for the first time since 2009.  When they were finished for the day, I ventured off on my own into my special little spot on the hill and snapped a couple of photos.  I finally made it back!



There is nothing like steeps and some pow to get the blood moving.


2 Years Post-Op

I wasn’t sure if I should do another update as everything is going well(knock on wood), but I figured 2 years is another milestone.  My life is hectic and pretty much as normal as any other father of a young family!


I’m still playing hockey multiple times a week, practicing yoga, walking/hiking and ALWAYS working my core.  I’m going to try returning to skiing this winter… a sport I haven’t tried since my original back injury.  I grew up on ski hills, so I hope it will be like riding a bike.  Fingers crossed as I have to teach Nora how to ski this year! 😉

Xrays are ordered and I should have them done for Mr. Dare to view next week.

IMG_20130712_004940.JPGI was getting a sore tailbone for a while if I sat in one position for too long, but that seems to have almost totally subsided as well.  That happened gradually over the past 6 months I think.

Everything feels pretty good in there still.  I can certainly tell when I’ve worked it too hard and need to rest, but I’m pretty sure that is normal.  Nothing else really new to report and I hope you are all doing well!




EDIT: I just heard back from Mr. Dare and I got the all clear on my 2 year x-rays.

Golf = OK

Well, I made it out for my first real round of golf this week.  2 to be precise.  I lucked into a once-in-a-lifetime business trip to Pebble Beach and Pelican Hill.  We flew on a private jet!  I’m so unbelievably fortunate to have been able to participate… and wouldn’t have been able to think about a trip like this back in 2010.  I’m still in awe and my back didn’t even flinch.

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1.5 Years Out

Well… I thought I’d give a brief update though not much has changed in the past 6 months.  I’m still playing hockey a few times a week, doing yoga and pretty much anything I wasn’t able to do pre-surgery.  Having said that, I refuse to lift anything “heavy”.  34lbs is the most I’m lifting now and that is my 3 year old daughter!

We finally sold the house, paid off the back surgery and moved out to the burbs. 🙂  The move/lifting went off without a hitch.

I’ve found another slight decrease in pain when I sit crouched or cross legged for a long time after getting up quickly… this happened around December.   No clue how, but it was a welcome feeling.  Again, I’m not 100% pain free, but I feel great.

I’ve halted the gluco/chond/msm pills because of a study posted on ADR support about it actually wrecking discs instead of helping.  I’m erring on the side of caution right now even though it did relieve some knee/shoulder pain for me with prolonged use.

I hope everyone else is doing well! 😉


1 year, 3-ish Months

I thought I’d do a brief update for anyone that is still reading my site:

Not a day goes by without me thanking the late Nick Boeree for my back!  I’ve sent my scans off to his successor, Mr. Christopher Dare, to make sure everything is going well in there.  It’s been over a week and I haven’t heard anything back yet.  To my untrained eye though, it looks to be unchanged from my 6 month xrays.  I’ll update this post when I officially get word.  I wasn’t sure what Nick’s former patients should be doing going forward with the closing of the Spine Clinic in Eastleigh, but it sounds as though Mr. Dare will still be operating out of the same facility, with a new clinic name/branding.  If it doesn’t work out with Mr. Dare, I think I’ll contact Dr. Zeegers out of Germany to do my follow-ups.

I was officially denied by our government healthcare system after taking it all the way to the Health Minister and the Overseas Health Services Committee in Alberta.  At least I tried!  I got a little back from Alberta Health and Wellness for the regular hospital stay and some more back from income tax… so all was not lost.  After all is said and done, I’d say I got back ~$8000 out of $30000.

Interestingly, I’ve also been officially barred from seeing my local ortho surgeon, Dr. Bouchard, because I had surgery overseas.  I was a little taken aback by this, as I was assured beforehand that I would have access to a surgeon on the Canuck side when I got back, if needed.  I really just wanted him to see my follow-up xrays going forward with the loss of Mr. Boeree.  I’m going back to the triage doc to have a chat on the 25th of October.  I’m pretty sure this might violate the Canada Health Act.

I’m still playing hockey, though I sprained my left MCL in a crease scramble when another dude’s skate got caught on my pads!  I should be back on the ice in a couple of weeks.  I’ve been able to do pretty much everything else I wasn’t able to do pre-op.  I’ve even inherited a hand-me-down road bike to start riding next season.  That flexion position made my feet go numb instantly pre-op and now there is 0 discomfort on the bike.

We’ve decided to sell our house to find a better family home and in part, to pay off the rest of my back debt.  A house move should be a pretty stringent test for my little M6-L.  I don’t really lift heavy things any more and am still tremendously aware of my movements to avoid any further injury.  I might hire packers and movers this time around, instead of just movers. 🙂

I hope the rest of your are doing well and wish you all the best.

Edit #1: Still nothing back on my x-rays, but on Tuesday, I took part in my first yoga formal yoga class since August, 2010.  I took it very easy and did a lot of “child’s resting pose”, but it sure felt good!

Edit #2: Mr. Dare just wrote me back…

You will be pleased to know that your xrays are perfect, no migration, subsidence of the the disc which is functioning well. Essentially at this stage you can engage in all activites without restriction.

I’m relieved to hear this and still feel great!  I really hope it stays this way!

Our house has finally sold and we move out the burbs on the 26th.  🙂