Artificial Disc Replacement - Pennsylvania
State College, Pa
At the age of 35, I was diagnosed as having two-level Degenerative Disc Disease in my cervical region. In August of 2001 I started to have symptoms of left arm numbness and tingling. That October I underwent a posterior cervical laminectomy. The recovery was extremely painful but the numbness and tingly began to fade. I was able to return to work in January of 2002. Working full time, I was able to finally feel normal again by the middle of 2003.
The year 2004 began great and my life and career was getting back on track when a milk tanker truck decided to rear end my small convertible. This started a quick slide for me and the outlook was not good. I had numbness in both arms and severe pain in my left arm. The migraine headaches were often and seemed to get worse every week. I was told that they only option was to have a two or possibly three level fusion from C-3 to C-6. I was miserable and in pain constantly. I went to see a doctor that told me about the Pro-Disc but explained that it was not available for my condition in the United States. He pointed me in the direction of Pro-Spine.
I did a lot of research and had made up my mind that I wanted the replacement rather than fusion. After quite a lot of research on which doctor to see, I decided to contact Pro-Spine. Dr. Bertagnoli and Dr Fenk-Meyer received all my files and x-rays and made me feel like I had a chance at life again. The trip to Germany was the best decision I could have made. They were helpful and confident in their process, which made me confident as well. The experience of being in a German hospital was not as strange as I had expected. The Pro-Spine staff made me feel at home. I was blessed to have met with Dr. B both prior to surgery and after. He is not only a brilliant and talented surgeon, but also a down to earth man. I ended up with a two level disc replacement at C4-5 and C5-6. The recovery was much easier than the previous surgery and after two days at St Elizabeth Klinikum, I proceeded to walk all over the Bavarian area.
I returned home and continued my therapy and today I am working full time again and actually coaching my daughter's soccer team. I am riding bike again and have my life back. I have learned that as long as I continue exercising and doing my stretches my pain levels are never close to what they were and are manageable. I thank Dr. B and the Pro-Spine team for giving me my life back.
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