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    What about North American Spine? (aka. Accurascope proceedure)
    littlebird30 posted:
    Hi all,

    Brand new to the board, so 1st off here's a quick what's wrong with me breakdown. I'm a 30 year old Canadian, with what started two years ago as a minor once a month pain in the left side of my hip/leg gradually increased to every waking/sleeping moment with some form of pain (any where from a 2-8 out of 10). Went to physiotherapy but that seemed to have no effect. Got a SC scan which called it a "classic sciatica" with a "mild posterior disc bulge in the L3-4, L4-5 area". The real fun is in the L5-S1 where is states a " degenerative disc space narrowing as well as calcification of the posterior disc margin." That being "eccentric, more prominent on the left side, suspicious for a focal left posterolateral protrusion, effacing the left lateral recess at the level of the traversing left S1 root."

    So with that my Doctor said to " exercise and not get fat" then prescribed some Acetaminophen-caffeine with Codeine. And that was it. He did send a fax to an Osteopath Doctor but said I probably won't quailify for surgery as it is for extreme cases (and would most likely do more harm then good as I found out researching). Right now the Codine works to take the pain down 2 notches and allows me to work for the most part (even so I'm on reduced hours).

    That being said I am looking for any info on the above mentioned Accurascope procedure. I'm looking for any 3rd party impartial info about it so any thoughts I would greatly appreciate. Being it's $20 grand out of pocket (as any Canadian medical insurance won't cover anything state side) and as I am now working on minimum wages this means a big chunk of cash, but would be well worth it if I could get my life back (and actually have a shot at doing something with it).

    Thanks for your time.
    bj1208 responded:
    hi littlebird30 -

    while there are great responses from people who have gone there I have reviewed their website and the only problem i have is their financing -

    you must pay for the program (whatever type of operation u are having) up front - they do have a financing department and am not sure how well they would treat someone who does not have 'perfect' credit - and as you are working on minimum wages i'm not sure how they would treat that or if you would qualify - don't get me wrong - i've heard a lot of good things about their procedures just don't like their payment options -

    i noted their site changed where as United Health (I believe) used to be in network and now they have no ins companies that list them as in network - which means even if u have insurance they would consider this to be out of network - your ins may cover 20-40% (may not cover any) and you would be liable for the rest and/or all - this is why they have their own financing dept - or you can try to get financing on ur own -

    i would check this out - here's the link regarding their financing stuff:

    i wish u the best - let us know how ur are doing - take care - Joy~~
    riterwings responded:
    Sounds like you have sciatic pain with your disc pain. i have the same. I, too am checking into the minimally invasive surgeries, to include North American Spine who does a little different and is not 'true' surgery as they go through the spinal canal like an epidural.

    I have my nephew who is an anesthesiologist checking into them, as they are anesthesiologists. The Laser spine institutes and those like them are orthopedists.

    I spoke with a lady who went to NAS. She had great success in lumbar and cervical areas. The thing I like over them than laser surgery is they can address all the lumbar discs through that one opening. The others can only address one level, or disc at a time. With cervical they use hollow needle instead of cutting into tissue and bone. Something even minimal invasive still has to do.

    I am really close to making an appointment at NAS. I'm waiting on a guy I met on facebook who is having surgery next week. I want to hear from him first. AS for money, well they are all like this. MOst insurance does not cover, so pay upfront and they have financing options. We cannot pay outright as we have daughter in college, etc. So I am financing and will repay at rapid rate. I was approved for amount for at least the lumbar procedure and that was based on my disability payment, no job. So I'm pretty sure you will be approved. Also, I will submit the claim myself to my insurance and they may pay some, maybe even half, that way. Maybe. j

    I look at financing like this. I will buy a car. I will buy a house. I will buy other things. When it comes to achieving no or little pain then I'm willing to invest in my spine and do what needs to be done. I don't hesitate in buying a car if I need it. But that's my take on my health.
    Knee surgeries used to not be covered by insurance. Maybe one day these will be covered also.
    CanadianGuy76 replied to riterwings's response:
    Please let us know how the guy you met on Facebook is doing after the surgery.

    I suffer from sciatic pain, 7 years after my surgery (compressed nerve from the scar tissue). I found the North American Spine website today and watched all the videos. It looks to good to be true.

    I'd be interested to see if there is any medical coverage in for us Canadians.
    canadatoo replied to CanadianGuy76's response:
    None in Alberta, likely none in Canada. Considering NAS. Had L4-5 MIS at MicroSpine/Florida in 2005...very successful. Now I need the right side done. I have referenced them to 7-8 future clients in the past 5 years but my initial contact with them recently was AMAZINGLY BAD! I had sent them my MRI, treatments, detailed symptoms etc and a month later received a used "form letter" that answered none of my questions and with the WRONG DIAGNOSIS. Its like someone from their mail room saw my information, picked out the biggest word from my MRI and responded. I was SHOCKED. Will be phoning them and speaking to someone in authority to determine if this is the new MicroSpine approach. NAS procedure is without doubt the least MIS on the planet. Amie Berryman from NAS has phoned me a number of times, send me emails of info and mailed info to me. Strong Customer Service. I am doing more checks. Did about 500 hrs of research before my last surgery...very important...Knowledge is power. Also interested in the Facebook persons results. Best Regards
    canadatoo replied to riterwings's response:
    Did you go to NAS?
    bj1208 replied to canadatoo's response:
    hi - just wanted to put a post here -

    if you want to know specifically how someone is doing it's best to do a post directly to them - at the top just hit start new discussion and address it to riterwing -

    FYI - I haven't seen any new posts from riterwing so not sure if he/she stuck around -

    and most people posting have a misconception regarding the NAS and that insurance won't cover it - this is not true - I have researched NAS's website and have reviewed their policy regarding insurance and financing - their website states at this time they ONLY accept United Healthcare's insurance -

    that does not mean that your insurance will not cover the treatments/surgeries - THEY WILL NOT submit to other insurance companies the claims - this is why they offer the financing - they want you to pay for it in full and what they will do is finance the portion of what your insurance would pay of usual and customary charges - you will then have to submit the claims to your insurance company for reimbursement.

    I have spoke with quite a few members over the last couple of years who have had GREAT results from NAS - my only concern is the financing as there are lots of people out there who have already exhausted their nest egg with other treatments and may not be able to afford NAS's treatments -

    I know that riterwing was waiting for the fb person to respond - riterwing's post was 1 month ago and the fb person was to have surgery in a week - so being 3 weeks post op I bet the fb person is not up to being on fb yet -

    take care and let us know if we can answer questions or offer a shoulder to cry on - we are a wonderful support group that considers ourselves to be a family -

    ___Thomas replied to bj1208's response:
    You may want to check this article out. Seems everything may not be as it seems with this practice.
    canadatoo replied to canadatoo's response:
    No .,.. but i'm sending back their questionnaire tomorrow and will talk again with Amie Berrymen. I have questions and will see their response. Little concerned as I have read that the Drs are not Surgeons but Anesthesiologists. However when your in pain and I have numbness in both legs after walking 2-4 blocks ... ones options are limited. All my problems are at left and right L4-5 so their surgery can address both sides. I've read about their problems in Ohio but have heard of some good results in Dallas.
    Conventional surgery is so invasive so I will probably proceed with NAS. I''m in good shape but I'm working out to get into better shape, every little thing to increase my odds. Its not a good feeing to be rolling the dice but pain and the chance for some quality life doesn't leave much choice for me anyway!
    Will post my results after speaking with NAS.
    melainsw replied to riterwings's response:
    DId you find out anything new from your nephew, etc. about North American Spine doctors. I too am looking at having cervical spine correction. Trying to weigh out all my options.
    bj1208 replied to melainsw's response:
    hi and welcome to the support group -

    you are responding to a post from a year ago - there hasn't been any new postings -

    it's against the rules and regulations of WEBMD to discuss and/or name doctor's, hospitals etc.

    All I can say is to research the type of treatment you need and the place you are questioning -

    keep us posted to how u are doing - take care - Joy
    ArtistWriter responded:
    Hello--I just found this thread. Has anyone else had any positive or negative experiences with NAS? There isn't much on the Web as far as reviews. Some complaints, though.
    Was curious if the procedure would help my 81-year-old mother's stenosis problem. She had "failed back surgery" a couple years ago. Thank you for any comments and for the commentary so far.
    bj1208 replied to ArtistWriter's response:
    hi and welcome to the support group -

    we are lay people who suffer from chronic pains - we cannot diagnose, state if a procedure will work etc., the only ones that can do this would be either Orthopedic Spine Specialist or Neurosurgeon Spine Specialist.

    also, per WEBMD's guidelines we cannot bash or lash out at certain places or individual physicians.

    the only advise we can give is for you to research the condition, seek advise from a spine specialist and research the clinic you are asking about.

    I hope you can find answers for you mother - take care - Joy
    ArtistWriter replied to bj1208's response:
    Thanks, Joy!
    I think my post was misunderstood. My apologies if my words were not chosen correctly. I was merely seeking personal experiences and opinions on what had already been expressed. And whether the procedure (already discussed) would be appropriate for an octogenarian.

    I didn't see any example of bashing or lashing out. If you see any, please call them to my attention so I may edit.

    bj1208 replied to ArtistWriter's response:
    hey Mike - no you didn't bash but there were other posts where someone had blasted this place and had mentioned names - could be that the post was removed as WEBMD does monitor these and will remove them -

    I'm not sure if some of these members are still around - what you could do is start a new post directed at their member name and see if they respond -

    hope this helps - Joy

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