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Charite ADR - Are You Having Issues With Yours?
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AF20PLUS posted:
I'm a newbie to forums, so if fail to follow etiquette, I apologize.

I'm looking everywhere for info, studies, etc., (and have found a lot/many) re: Charite ADR. I had a Charite disc inserted at the L5/S1 in Dec 2005. I was fine for about 2 years, but have been having increasing pain issues and peripheral failure (a blown L4 and a bulging L3 (and convinced that both are a result of compaction issues)), so I'm hoping to start a discussion here with others who are in this same boat. I'm maxed out on the Happy Pill chart and injections/blocks don't work. I'm considering neurostimulation, but I see that as a stop-gap measure to the inevitable failure of the artificial disk, i.e. it won't help my declining situation, but it'll help with the pain (I hope). Any thoughts or feedback will be appreciated.
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trs1960 responded:
There really is no formal etiquette here so welcome. Usually Joy gets the Welcomes in before I do though. She's a long timer here and may be able to chime in with more help?

I'm not familiar with the actual Charite ADR, but in general, what we call the dominoe effect is bound to happen. Sooner if you don't have proper post surgucal therapy and later if you really take care of yourself.

So I beleive it may be likely that the Charite ADR worked successfully and that over time the discs above and below are showing the signs of wear and tear as the extra impact and stress from articulation made up from the artifical disc not wanting to bend.
You may need another surgery, you may need some therapy or epidurals...I have no idea. But I do know (at least my opinion is) you need a good orthopedic or nuerological MD. Someone that can take a super close look at what's going on with your spine and make sure you correct the problem as best as possible.
One thing people don't realize that even under perfect conditions, say you have a perfect spine and happen to only blow out one disc so you have the artificial disc implanted. That does not mean your spine is normal! Any back injury requires a life changing way of treatment.

Best of luck and God bless,

Tim
 
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bj1208 responded:
HI AF20PLUS - welcome to the support group -

I had Anterior Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 2/25/08 - I did not have anis y artificial disc etc. Only hardware, screws and cage. They did inject some type of medicine into the cage area to help my body produce bone growth.

I too did everything I was supposed to do and was doing very well for the first couple of months then my pains came back worse than before surgery. I even asked my surgeon about the domino effect and he said it's a 50/50 chance. Family history plays a big part - whereas some family members don't realize that Degenerative Disc Disease can be passed down. So if this is a factor in your family then there's a good chance the effect will have on your spine. This was my problem as bad backs are on my mom's side so my bro and I both have it.

Getting a couple of opinions from both Orthopedic Spine Specialist and Neurosurgeon Spine Specialist will let you know if you are a good candidate for either the SCS Implant or Pain Pump Implant so this may be the way for you to go if a good candidate.

I have problems now with my mid and upper back, all non-operative at present, but may be looking at surgery in the near
future.

Oh you can research these on the internet - just GOOGLE and type in what you are looking for - be sure to type in good results and bad results etc as this will return quite a bit of info to read. this is one of the best ways to actually find out all you can.

keep us posted what you do find out~~
~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

~~ Joy ~~
 
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trs1960 replied to bj1208's response:
Joy you reminded me. I went for over 3 years after my first major surgery and injury without even needing pain meds. I was considered a miracle and then I got rear ended in a traffic accisent. Not a bad fender bener. I had a Suburban and got hit in the trailer hitch. Didn't even scratch my paint. But instantly knumbed my back and then pain ever since.
Classic trigger event
 
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AF20PLUS replied to trs1960's response:
Tim and Joy,

Thank-You for your quick responses. My best wishes to you both. I'm always amazed at how upbeat people in bad situations are .... I don't think it's an American trait, by any means, as those who've struggled around the world have risen to bigger and better outcomes. It makes me appreciative that there are these forums to turn to ... so many people (immediately family included) don't understand what I'm dealing with. Anyway, enough of that. As I've read various forums re: the Charite disc, I've come to the unfortunate conclusion that this thing's going to give way sooner rather than later. I like to think outside of the box, so here's a question I'd like to pose to you both: Have you ever heard of anyone being proactive to try to head off the inevitable failure of artificial hardware? In my readings, the solution to a failed Charite disc was (and still is, to some degree) revision surgery (take the darn thing out), but that's extremely dangerous surgery, so it seems that an alternative method has been developed where they leave the hardware in place and cage it off (Joy, I think you're familiar with the cage?). To me, that's the worst of all worlds ... that BAK cage is no laughing matter. I digress ... I'm thinking of talking to a Neurosurgeon, et. Al., about the possibility of heading off the failure by getting the Charite disc shored up now. It seems silly to me to wait for the inevitable ... let's fix this now as best as possible and deal with the outcome while I'm younger and can heal better. It's a radical idea, I know, and probably not one any surgeon's willing to participate in, but if I start the conversation now, maybe, just maybe, they'll come around to my way of thinking. My future with this thing's a foregone conclusion when you read the forums. In case you don't know, the Charite disc was finally taken off the market in 2011 after 7 years and hundreds of lawsuits. I look forward to your input.

Scott
 
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bj1208 replied to AF20PLUS's response:
Hi Scott -

well this may be the first of this kind - not sure if I've heard of this being done but there are always the first!

I'm not sure what type of cage I have but it's there permanently unless if I have to have a multi-level fusion - then they would take out all hardware etc and start from bottom - not something i'm looking forward to but always a possibility.

I had asked one of my surgeons if I could have my hardware removed to see if the pains would stop - he gave me a detailed vision of what they would have to do by cutting away at all the growth etc on and around the hardware. And instead of just having another Anterior approach it would be both Anterior and Posterior (or as we call it the 360 FLIP!!) and that doesn't sound too appealing.

I would research as much as you can on the internet - do a GOOGLE search of: REMOVAL OF CHARITE DISC - you may be surprised that it has been done etc.

Hope you can find the answers you are looking for - keep us posted - take care~~
~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

~~ Joy ~~


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