I opted to have a free review of my MRI done at the Celling Treatment Ceneters in the US. Their head surgeon informed me that my disc isn’t really all in that bad of shape and that my best bet would be a minimally invasive laminectomy (removal of bone/tissue causing my stenosis). The European surgeons I’ve spoken with have all recommended ADR. I have no idea what the correct course of action is, but I think its good to get as many opinions as possible.
His take on my condition:
- Disc is dehydrated. It might help for him to inject it with some stem cells during the other procedure – but there is no garuntee it will help as stem cell therapies are in their infancy
- Disc is now stiffer, not moving properly and has lost about 10% of its height
- My facets at L4-5 are picking up the slack and being overloaded
- They are hypertrophic at L4-5 and contributing to central canal stenosis and foraminal stenosis
None of this is news to me, as my MRI report indicates… BUT, where the ADR surgeons want to unload the facets through disc arthroplasty, he thinks my disc isn’t too bad and wants to shave down the points of impact on my nerve roots(2 surgeries). From what I’ve read, this is minimally invasive, but there are 2 issues I can see developing:
- Most people that have a laminectomy of this nature see a weakening of the facets to the point where a fusion is inevitable down the road
- Increased risk of scar tissue forming between the shaved portions and your nerves – very bad
My big quesiton now is if the ADR surgeons really think the ADR can help with the stenosis. I hope I’m not being lead astray because those are the only surgeries they specialize in. Buyer beware!
I’m really looking forward to speaking with my local specialsts on the 8th to get their take. I’ve also contacted Dr. Pimenta in Brazil to see if its possible for a review of my condition. He is one of the pre-eminant spine surgeons world-wide (not just ADR) and the more opinions I have, the bigger the picture I’ll be able to see. I’m still the most comfortable with Mr. Boeree’s assessment – but it’s my spine and my life we’re talking about here. I’m approaching this situation as critically as I can… you only get one back. It is the doctor’s job to provide me with options and my job as an informed patient to make the final decision.