Artificial Disc Replacement - Ohio

David in Ohio
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www.dhwaldron.net -> to David's blog about his experience.

I had been “living with” DDD at L4/L5 and L5-S1 for about 8 years before I decided that I could no longer accept my standard of living as “living anymore” (constant back pain; depression; inability to live my life the way I wanted to). I realized that back surgery was my best (and only!) option available.

Knowing that my spinal health was of utmost importance to my standard of living, my happiness, and, to a certain extent, my sanity, I knew that I could not possibly spend enough time researching all possible alternatives. At the end of the day, I knew that I had two very important decisions to make:

1. What (if any) surgical procedure is in my best interest?
2. Which surgeon (if any) has the experience and best track record to fix my back?

I spent about a year investigating point #1, as I quickly discovered that the more I knew, the better informed I became concerning all possible alternatives. This research included a fair amount of time in different doctor’s offices here in the United States, and a lot of time learning everything I could online about the spine, and potential candidates for spinal procedures.

Based on everything that I had learned, I eventually realized that multiple-level Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR) surgery was my best (and only) option.

I then spent the following 8 months investigating ADR surgeons in both the United States and Germany to find the best candidate for the procedure. A few of the required attributes were:

1. Experience: spinal surgery is an extremely complex procedure. I knew that I needed to choose a surgeon that had enough experience with multi-level ADR to give me peace of mind (and a successful outcome!)
2. Surgical staff: A surgeon is only as good as his surgical staff / team members are. I knew that I needed to select a surgeon that had a talented and experienced staff of team members to support him or her.
3. Availability: I knew that I had to select a surgeon & surgical staff that would be available for questions and patient care before, during, and after the procedure.
4. Artificial Disc choice: Besides the experience of the surgeon and placement of the implant, my opinion has always been that the disc chosen for implantation is also a critical decision, especially for multi-level ADR surgery.
5. Infection rate at the hospital: in this day and age, one cannot be too careful about selecting a hospital that has the lowest infection rate possible!

Based on these criteria, I eventually realized that Dr. Bertagnoli, his staff, and the Klinikum St. Elizabeth (Straubing, Germany) would be my best choice. Not only was I selecting a world-class surgeon and hospital, but I was also selecting one of the rare surgeons that actively teaches the ADR procedure to other surgeons across the globe!

Fast forward two years after the procedure, and I could not be happier with the results! (to be honest, I was extremely satisfied with the results at the 3 month mark).

I no longer have any lower back pain; I no longer take any prescription medication (I actually was able to stop around the 3-6 month mark), and I no longer have any issues with depression… Most importantly, I am as physically active as I want to be, when I want to be!

In essence, Dr. Bertagnoli, his staff, and Klinikum St. Elizabeth have returned my ability to live my life on my terms, and not on the extremely limiting terms dictated by my back pain.

Dr. Bertagnoli not only returned my life to me, but he helped turn my personality around 180 degrees. Once I found out that I could enjoy living again, I became a completely different person (ask my new wife… I am certain that she would agree!).

I honestly cannot thank Dr. Bertagnoli enough for quite literally, saving my life.

Learn more at ==> Artificial Disc Replacement