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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

new to this board. my husband has following:
through extensive Physical Therapy , Chiropractic treatment, Therapeutic Message, Rolfing, and Nerve Block Steroid Injections none of which have proven helpful.

bulging discs in 4/5, 5/6, 6/7, bone spurs all along
(since June 2000)

Neck pain both sides
Upper trap pain both sides but mainly on right
Arm pain and weakness in both sides, mostly left.
Right hand numbness, mainly digits 4,5. Right thumb pain. Right wrist pain.
Left hand numbness, mainly digits 4,5. Left wrist pain.
Pain, sensitive to pressure (driving) right side middle back, immediately next to spine running down to lumbar area.

He has had MRI's, myelogram, all tests. neurosurgeon suggests either laminectomy, fusion, or trying one of the minimally invasive techniques, specifically Dr. Jho in Pittsburgh or the guy in Florida. They go in with an endoscope and just kind of suck out some of the disc. Also can suck out some bone spurs
My concern is, won't it start to bulge again? He is in so much pain is out on short term disability right now. Waiting to hear from this Dr. JHO - anyone ever go to him??
Although ACDF is more conventional, part of him wants to wait to see if artificial discs will come available in next few years...

Any advice? We are racing against time for relief before disability runs out.
I have heard really excellent things about Dr. Jho, very much in demand, I am sending my MRI to him now, only problem is that he is not going to be available until Sept. I was told that by the hospital, when I called to find out what the procedure was in seeing Dr. Jho. There is a Dr.Kleeman at New Hampshire Spine Institute, does what they call port-hole decompression who I am also sending my MRI's to. hope this helps a little Bell.

Dr. Schiffer is a very nice doctor who can offer a lot of minimally invasive stuff. I don't think that they can "suck out" bone spurs, however. I have a herniated disk and a degenerating disk space with bilateral bone spurs. To help the bone spurs Dr. Schiffer offered to perform an ACD. He removes the disk and grinds off the bone spurs. Apparently you can do this without fusion and plating and still have very good outcomes. The space fills with granular tissue or fuses naturally without pressuring other levels.

The Cons for Dr. Schiffer are really his price and lack of contract with any insurance provider. A simple CED to suck out herniated disk material cost around 13k with only half covered by insurance. The problem is that Dr. Schiffer charges more than what most insurances will consider "reasonable" and "customary." Even if you have an out of pocket limit or insurance that will pay 80%, that's only of what they consider reasonable and customary. For the simple CED it was nearly $6,000 out of pocket for me. The ACD is more complex and probably would cost more.

Look into the insurance first. I've heard great things about Dr. Jho and he's in most insurance networks, but those wait times are kind of insane to me if you're having serious problems.

I'm looking into Dr. Reuter in Florida. It seems like a discover someone new who does disk trimming fairly often. So look around.

I hope he begins feeling better soon.

How long has it been, by the way? It took me about 4 months before I really started to improve. Take care and best of luck.

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