A Story of Hope
As we close out another year it is more important than ever that we celebrate what we have and embrace hope.
So much bad news, tragedy, and through it all we survive we go forward and we celebrate hope.
And so as this New Year approaches I bring attention to a true story of hope and a champion who works every day to help others find their hope for a pain free future.
I present to you the Story of Colleen Gibson, Case Manager and advocate for Disc Replacement Surgery.
After a long battle with back problems Colleen found her solution, Disc Replacement, this is her story.
January 22nd, 2008, I left Prince George for Bremen, Germany. I arrived to a solid day of diagnostic testing and an MRI which revealed more wrong with my back that I had ever imagined. There were several herniations, one of which was going directly into my spinal cord. This wasn’t all in my head. There really was something wrong with my back.
On January 25th, 2008 my surgery was completed, which resulted in severe reduction of the pre-operative pain syndrome. It has been over seven weeks since my surgery and I can move more freely and only have some healing pain. The pain that used to rule my life is gone. I feel like a new woman. Hopefully even return to work after six months from the surgery!
It has been 8 years since my two level artificial disc replacement in my lumbar spine, the L4-L5 and L5-S1, and I am doing great working while enjoying my life.
In 2010 I started having pain in my neck radiating down my left arm. My arm and fingers were going numb and my neck was stiff with limited mobility. A CT scan lead to an MRI and a resulting diagnosis of degenerative disc disease with severe spinal stenosis of the C5-C6 and C6-C7 caused by a large herniation that was flattening my spinal cord. My family doctor referred me to a neurosurgeon in Vancouver, BC, whom I had seen in the past for my lumbar spine. Following my appointment he recommended fusing my C5-C6 and C6-C7 right away.
When I began to feel some numbing sensations in my face I knew it was time to contact Dr. Ritter-Lang again. I sent in a new MRI with x-rays and he confirmed my diagnosis and therapy plan.
We clearly advise against a fusion of the affected degenerated levels because it would decrease mobility and further increase the chance for future fusion surgery for Colleen Gibson
I scheduled my second Disc Replacement Surgery, this time with The Spinal Kinetics M6 Disc Replacement. I had my surgery in Bremen Germany with Dr. Ritter-Lang November 5th, 2015.
I am back to working full time as a Case Manager and Advocate for Disc Replacement. My headaches are gone and I am once again able to drive. My mobility is good. I can look up at the sky again. I do not have any problems reading and my numbness and tingling are all gone.
Colleen and the other Disc Replacement Case Managers work hard every day to bring hope to those facing fusion surgery and a lifetime of pain. We can all learn from their dedication and be inspired by their giving spirit of Hope!
Artificial Disc Replacement technology has come a long way and thousands of spinal fusions are now being avoided. Improved artificial disc replacement implants now provide a natural “Quality of Motion” unlike the early ball-in-socket disc replacement designs.
Just go to http://www.artificialdiscreplacement.com/m6-disc-replacement-study.html to read the full study results.
Many people ask me Disc Replacement vs Fusion?
or Why not Disc Replacement?
So the question, Disc Replacement versus Fusion Surgery?
Some may ask, Why go through a Fusion Surgery when it is rarely even a good solution? Mostly because they will never be told about the option of Disc Replacement.
The Spinal Kinetics M6 is designed to replicate the structure and performance of a natural disc. Its innovative design incorporates an artificial nucleus to allow shock absorption and a woven fiber annulus for graded variable motion resistance in all directions.
Artificial Disc Replacement implants now in use offer greatly improved safety and something called “Quality of Motion” that makes them truly deserve the title “Artificial Disc Replacement”.
We can now do multi-level artificial disc replacement, lumbar and cervical artificial disc replacement, even fusion with disc replacement hybrid procedures. These solutions come without many of the complications involved with fusion surgery and early artificial disc replacement products, many still in use today.
Are you confused about what treatment is the best option for you?
Exploring your international options will open your eyes to options you likely would not be offered locally.
Maybe you have been told you are not a candidate for Disc Replacement. You could be considering a temporary solution like discetomy, laminectomy or laser surgery. Some are told that fusion is their only option in error.
Evaluations can be done easily by mailing your images to us.
In order to determine what treatment is right for you, you need a comprehensive evaluation, done by our team of surgeons, who are experienced with the full range of globally available options.
Our surgeons will provide you a complete written evaluation (diagnosis and surgery plan) free of charge.
Tragically, patients with severe loss of disc space, previous surgeries, more than one level needed, and many other factors may be excluded from disc replacement surgery in error. Additionally, it is quite likely that single level procedures are often performed when multi-level indications exist, resulting in poor results and risky second surgeries. Don’t risk a single level procedure if you have multi-level indications. Read your reports! Many multi-level Disc Replacements are performed with great success, and L3-4 or Cervical disc replacements are quite common.
Quality of Life
The goal of disc replacement is to return the patient to an active high quality life.
Disc Replacement, developed in Germany over 20 years ago, is now the new gold standard, and has all but eliminated the debilitating tragedy of spinal fusion (except in the US, where this process has been slowed by regulation).
These surgeons have taken disc replacement to the next level, with improved implants (not yet available in the US) high risk revision surgeries have all but been eliminated, and disc replacement is now used to create multi-level solutions for both the lumbar and cervical spine. Even with fusion and adjacent to existing fusion!
Our surgeons can go beyond simple disc replacement or fusion to create a complete multi-level spine solution which can include combinations of the best disc replacment technology, stabilization, fusion, and other treatments, if needed.