I am now 8 weeks post op from lumbar disc replacement

  1. Thank you to all those who answered my questions about lumbar disc replacement. I am now 8 weeks post op and am thrilled with the results. I have gone from 20mg of morpine every 2 hrs to 2 paracetamol per day. I had L4/5 and S1 discs replaced using Charite II prothesis' via an anterior approach.

    The operation was less painful than a laparoscopy I had years ago, thanks to a morphine infusion for 24 hours then oral narcotic pain relief for 4 weeks. I was discharged 4 days post op, but was ready for home on day 3.

    I have spent the last week gardening and packing up my house to move, not something I would have dreamed of previously.
    Anyone contemplating this procedure should go for it, I am now looking forward to a new start and getting back to work.

    Tassie Nurse
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    About Tassie Nurse

    Joined: Sep '02; Posts: 17
    Registered Nurse


  3. by   deespoohbear

    Is this the disk you are referring to?

    My husband has been told by his pain specialist that he would be a good candidate for disk replacement. Your post gives me hope that maybe someday my husband will be able to find relief from his constant pain. The FDA has yet to approve the disks here in the states, but I hear that approval should occur in the next year or two. Thanks for the update. Hope your recovery continues to go well.
  4. by   Tassie Nurse
    Dear Deespoohbear,

    Yes thats the one, and if I were you I would check again to see if it has been FDA approved because my surgeon told me that it had. Good luck with it.
  5. by   Tassie Nurse
    PS. I forgot to mention, I am now 2 inches taller and have lost 2 stone in weight.
  6. by   deespoohbear
    My hubby has an appointment on April 29th to see his pain specialist. Oh, I hope you are correct about it being FDA approved. It just tears me to pieces to see him in so much pain. I hope he still is a candidate for this surgery. He does NOT want a fusion but he said he would be willing to try this. The incision is through the stomach, huh? That's interesting.
  7. by   Tassie Nurse
    Please ask about the FDA approval, but I am sure that is what my surgeon said.

    To do the anterior approach I was tipped head down on the table so that the abdominal contents went up under my ribs as far as the fat would allow (not very dignified) then he made a vertical incision, split the muscles and took the retroperitoneal trip back through to my spine. If you would like to give me your email address I can scan the consent form I signed which contained a very thorough discription of the whole op as well as listing all the complications.
  8. by   CajunMan
    Dee; I am due for the "experimental" disc to be installed in a few months. It is not FDA approved, yet, our wonderfully slow, footdragging Governement. I am having my "ProDisc" installed at the Back Institute in Plano, Texas. These folks are allowed three per month, hence, the waiting period.
  9. by   CajunMan
    Tass: I am scheduled for the disc on March 4, 2004. It will be installed in Dallas, Texas at the Back Institute, by Dr. Richard Guyer.
  10. by   Cindee
    I too am going to recieve the Prodisc implant. Here in California by Dr Rick Delamarter in Santa Monica. I did here that the Charite will be approved as soon as this summer. So hang on this is going to be wonderful.
  11. by   WDSmith
    I'm curious as to how all of you qualified for the ProDisc or Charite procedures. I've been told by TBI that I have to pay for the procedure out of pocket. I currently have an pending appealed WC case. If I win my case, the chances that their doctor will suggest or even approve my having that procedure done is very slim.

    About the FDA, if you go to FDA.gov and do a search on ProDisc you will not find it (Well I couldnt find it). However you will find the Charite. Does anyone have any new information or documentation regarding the Prodisc? I have some docs from TBI written by Dr. Ziglar, but have not been able to find any substantial documention regarding FDA approval with the Prodisc.

    Thank you,
    Dave Smith
  12. by   Cindee
    I suppose that having a W/C case dosent help. I have BC of Ca. It authorized over 60% of the procedure. I just had the surgery 11 days ago in Santa Monica by Dr Rick Delamarter. I am dont know anything about the FDA site...but I can only speculate that you will not find ProDisc there, because it is not FDA approved, yet. The Charite is going be approved in the states in about 6 months. Since the FDA has givin its okay to be approved in June. Getting auth'd is the hardest part, and like I said having W/C will only make it harder, since FDA hasent approved. Good luck.
  13. by   Thunderwolf
    Tassie Nurse, please clarify for us Yanks. You lost "2 stone in weight"...that's about 28 pounds, correct? What do you believe contributed to your weight loss?
  14. by   geekgolightly
    All about the Charité artificial disc: now approved for use in the U.S.

    The Charité artificial disc
    On October 26, 2004 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Charité™ artificial disc for use in the US. This device treats severe, chronic low back pain by replacing the damaged or worn out spinal disc in the lower back with an artificial disc. The device is made by DePuy Spine, a division of Johnson and Johnson, Inc. The Charité artificial disc is also currently used in disc replacement surgery in more than 30 countries throughout Europe, Asia, North America, Africa and Latin America.

    The Charité artificial disc is a sophisticated implant made of two metallic endplates and a plastic center that is designed to help align the spine and maintain the spine's natural flexibility. This means that the artificial disc mimics the role of a natural spinal disc--both in maintaining the normal position of the spine and allowing the spine to bend and twist. See Figure 1.

    The artificial disc has been created as an alternative to the current surgical treatment for treating chronic low back pain from degenerative disc disease - lumbar spinal fusion surgery. In spine fusion, the surgery is designed to stop motion at the painful level of the spine. Usually, implants are used to help provide initial fixation, such as metal screws and rods and/or cages that are inserted between the vertebrae. Because the fusion eliminates the motion in the lumbar spinal segment, the pain caused by the motion is reduced or eliminated. When done correctly for the right indications, a fusion has a high success rate in reducing or eliminating the patient's pain. However, because it limits range of motion it may transfer extra stress to discs above and below the fusion site. Because the artificial disc allows continued motion in the spinal segment, it is theorized that this may be a preferable alternative to spinal fusion surgery for patients with the right indications.

    The Charité disc has been approved for use in patients who have severe lower back pain caused by degenerative disc disease and have obtained little or no pain relief after at least six months of non-surgical treatments, such as pain medications, physical therapy, injections, and/or manipulation. The FDA clearance for disc replacement is for one level of the lower spine, and it must be done at one of the two lowest levels of the spine (L4-L5 or L5-S1).

    Charité artificial disc study results
    The objective of the US FDA clinical trial on the Charité artificial disc was to determine whether the Charité artificial disc was any less safe and effective than the currently available spinal fusion surgery with a cage and bone graft, called an anterior lumbar interbody fusion.

    The study involved a total of 375 patients enrolled in 15 spine centers located across the U.S. The initial five patients treated with an artificial disc at most centers (71 patients) were considered training cases and were not included in the results of the study. During the randomized study, 205 patients received the Charité lumbar artificial disc and 99 patients received the control surgery (anterior lumbar interbody fusion). Both operations require a similar incision in the belly. Patients were not told which type of surgery they were going to have--the fusion surgery or the artificial disc--before the surgery.

    After two years of follow-up on the 304 patients in the randomized study, patients who received the Charité artificial disc did no worse than patients treated with anterior lumbar interbody fusion. The rates of adverse events from use of the artificial disc were similar to those from treatment with fusion. Based on these results, the FDA approved the Charité for commercial use in the U.S.

    At the annual meeting of The Spine Arthroplasty Society, the Texas Back Institute, the principal spine center investigating the device, presented an overview of the study results. Several measures were used to determine outcomes of the study, including a 0 to 10 scale to assess pain intensity, a report by patients about their daily activities (using the Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire). In both the artificial disc replacement and the fusion patient groups, it was found that both the patients' pain and functional scores improved significantly after surgery.