How to Solve Back Pain
How to Solve Back Pain – In May of 2022, Professor, Dr. Rudolph Bertagnoli performed a four-level lumbar ADR (artificial disc replacement) surgery to fix my severely deteriorated lumbar discs (I’ve suffered with pain from lumbar disc issues for 20 years.
How to Solve Back Pain – I am happy to report the surgery was a complete success, with post-op Xray after 12 weeks and then again after 16 weeks to confirm correct placement of both Pro-DiscL devices and correct alignment.
How to Solve Back Pain – This surgery was anterior approach through an approximate 12-inch vertical incision to the left of and below my belly button, moving all muscles and organs aside to access my spine from the front.
How to Solve Back Pain – Then, 2 weeks later a posterior surgery was performed to insert the screws to secure the discs (this left two more 12 inch incisions on my back).
How to Solve Back Pain – The BackMaster – Dr. Rudolph Bertagnoli
Prof. Dr. Bertagnoli is viewed as the world’s leading artificial disc replacement surgeon by medical professionals and patients.
Added to these impressive credentials, he teaches spine surgery to other doctors from all over the world, having instructed more than 3,000 doctors from more than 55 countries.
Also, he has innumerable consultations with major institutions, such as the Mayo Clinic and Cedars-Sinai and his research associates maintain the largest database on Artificial Disc Replacement in the world.
Prof. Dr. Bertagnoli’s patients come from all walks of life and from all over the world – many of his patients are medical professionals from the United States.
I consulted with some of the finest Orthopedic surgeons in the U.S. (Cedars Sinai, Cleveland Clinic and UCSF) and I appreciate and respect that these surgeons communicated that I was not an ideal candidate for them to perform a surgery or multiple surgeries that they were confident would have a very high probability of success.
However, they believed Dr. Bertagnoli was my best option and they shared a high level of confidence that the surgeries would be successful.
Since the procedures are performed in Europe the costs are significantly lower than in the United States (My Orthopedic surgeon estimated that the price I paid for a multi-level disc replacement was about 1/4 of the cost of having the same operations performed in the U.S. by a surgeon who had a small fraction of the experience that Dr. Bertagnoli possess.
How to Solve Back Pain – All About Scoliosis
With most scoliosis cases, the spine will rotate or twist in addition to curving side to side.
This causes the ribs or muscles on one side of the body to stick out farther than those on the other side.
Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine.
It is most often diagnosed in childhood or early adolescence.
The spine’s normal curves occur at the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions in the so-called “sagittal” plane.
How to Solve Back Pain – What are 4 Symptoms of Scoliosis?
Signs of scoliosis include:
a visibly curved spine.
leaning to 1 side.
1 shoulder or hip sticking out.
the ribs sticking out on 1 side.
clothes not fitting well.
How to Solve Back Pain – Types of Scoliosis Based on Spinal Curve
Thoracic scoliosis: The curve is located in the mid (thoracic) spine. …
Lumbar scoliosis: The curve is located in the lower (lumbar) spine.
Thoracolumbar scoliosis: Vertebrae from both the thoracic and lumbar spinal sections are involved in the curvature.
Pain related to degenerative scoliosis can range from a dull back ache to shooting pain in the legs, known as sciatica.
Again, symptoms like pain can vary greatly, depending on factors such as the patient’s age and severity of the condition.
Mild scoliosis is often managed simply with exercise, medical observation, scoliosis-specific physical therapy, and chiropractic treatment from a chiropractic scoliosis specialist.
For some people with scoliosis, yoga or pilates is also recommended to decrease their pain level and increase flexibility.
Adult scoliosis and kyphosis can be caused by age-related wear and tear on the back or complications from past surgeries.
Moderate deformity occurs when the facet joints and discs deteriorate over time and are no longer able to support the spine’s normal posture.
How to Solve Back Pain – Facts About Scoliosis
Scoliosis treatments vary, depending on the severity of the curve.
Children who have very mild curves usually don’t need any treatment at all, although they may need regular checkups to see if the curve is worsening as they grow.
Bracing or surgery may be needed if the spinal curve is moderate or severe
For adults, after your scoliosis diagnosis, you’ll be referred to an orthopedic doctor, who will work with you to determine the best way to treat your curved spine.
How your condition is managed depends on your age, the type of scoliosis you have, the measurement of your back’s curve, and your other medical conditions.
Approximately 4 out of every 100 people have some form of scoliosis.
The most common form of scoliosis is idiopathic scoliosis, which occurs in approximately 2% the population.
In around 8 in every 10 cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown – This is called idiopathic scoliosis.
Idiopathic scoliosis cannot be prevented and is not thought to be linked to things such as bad posture, exercise or diet.
Your genes may make you more likely to get it though, as it sometimes runs in families.
How to Solve Back Pain – An Example of Scoliosis
The image to the left is a sideways curvature of my spine.
Scoliosis occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty.
Scoliosis is quite common as there are more than 3 million US cases per year.
Most cases are mild with few symptoms.
Some children develop spine deformities that get more severe as they grow.
In more than 80 percent of cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown — a condition called idiopathic scoliosis.
In other cases, scoliosis may develop as a result of degeneration of the spinal discs, as seen with arthritis, osteoporosis or as a hereditary condition that tends to run in families.
Severe scoliosis can be painful and disabling.
Treatment can help, but this condition can’t be cured – unless you have surgery by Dr. Bertagnoli who runs ProSpine in Germany.
Sometimes a brace or surgery is needed.
3 Top surgeons in the country that have treated prestigious athletes and olympiads stated that in the U.S. there was not a surgery or even a series of surgeries that if successfully completed would yield a high probability of eliminating my back pain.
In this case, I was spending 15-18 hours per week riding a bike, walking, performing core strengthening yoga exercises for 20-30 minutes per day, weight training, seeking chiropractic care twice a month, seeing an Acupuncturist and Physical Therapist 3 times a month, massage twice a month, using Tylenol, CBD (pills and cremes), placing Lidocaine patches on their back using Theragun on their back and legs as well as electronic stimulation.
In addition, I was sleeping on a mechanical bed that can be adjusted to raise and lower the legs or back to eliminate pressure in a specific area.
And, I spent 20-30 minutes in a jacuzzi tub with the jets pushing water on the back and sciatica provided relief.
Fortunately, one of the surgeons I consulted with studied with Dr. / Professor Bertagnoli in Europe and they connected me with Dr. Betagnoli.
Luckily, Dr. Bertagnoli reviewed my case file and concluded he could provide relief for me with what he called 360 degree mobility or multi-level disc replacement surgery which he has completed successfully thousands of times!
How to Solve Back Pain – Dr. Rudolph Bertagnoli’s Multi Level Disc Replacement
The image to the left is the same spine from above, except, Dr. Bertagnoli performed multi-level-disc replacement and removed the degenerated discs between L1-L5 and inserted Pro Disc L’s to create the right curvature and the proper distancing between discs.
Dr. Bertagnoli has implanted over 10,000 Artificial Disc Replacements (ADRs).
To view a video about Pro Dic L and the actual operation to implant click here >>
Dr. Rudolph Bertagnoli’s Surgery to Secure the Artificial Discs
The image to the left is the spine from above, except, Dr. Bertagnoli screwed the discs into place.
This was accomplished by making two incisions on my back about 12″ long.
Then the muscle is pushed aside from the bone and the screws secure the discs in place.
I have 4 Pro Disc L, Centinel Spine in my back between L1 and L5 (I actually have 6 discs in my lumbar – most people have 5).
In the U.S. there is a tendency to push fusion and bone on bone not only takes longer to heal than a Pro Disc L but FUSION LIMITS YOUR MOBILITY FOREVER.
From the day after ADR (Artificial Disc Replacement surgery I have not had back pain and I had 4 discs inserted.
The only issue I had to overcome in rehabilitation was healing the nerves in my left quadricep – it ached like multiple toothaches for about 3 months although the ache and throb decreased each day but it was a minor decrease each day.
This did require 6 weeks of physical therapy, acupuncture, massage and several visits to the hot tub.
For me, I did not really need narcotics to kill pain after the first month.
By week 10 my accupuncturist and physical therapist believed the pain in my thigh was nerve related.
The nerves to my sciatica on my lefthand side and my psoase muscle were the route of the problem.
As a result, My orthopedic surgeon in the US who works with Dr. Bertagnoli gave me a prescription for a nerve blocker (Gabapentin) and the pain dropped from a 5 or 6 to about a 3 – very tolerable.
A month and a half later the pain came back so I stopped PT and switched from Gabapentin to Duloxetine (50mg) and added an anti-inflamatory (celecoxib – 200mg) and the pain became manageable again (I could sleep through the night).
How to Solve Back Pain – Rehabilitation
There will be new/different pain as I heal-muscles that must adjust to the new spacing from the new discs and facet joints of the spine that will be forced to work after years of limited motion.
Not to mention that I had 2 surgeries: one to insert 4 disc (6.5 hours of surgery) and a second surgery 2 weeks later to insert the screws to secure the disc (3.5 hours of surgery).
So, I was not able to exercise (other than walking for 9 weeks so there was significant atrofy (I worked out like maniac for a year before the surgery to be in the best shape to recover from the surgery).
Over time these issues will resolve. For me, 13 weeks was a key milestone as I can walk, drive a car, work at a desk, sit through a dinner, watch a movie but I have limited range in turning, bending and lifting weight.
My physical therapist believes by 16 weeks I will hit another milestone.
Dr Robert G. Watkins IV (consultant for many professional sports teams) has a Back Doctor app that you can download and he believes that you may be able to start the “Watkins Back Program” at 12 weeks.
As a guideline (consult your Dr. or Physical Therapist), I started with 10 reps of one exercise and if there is not pain I added another exercise or I did two sets of one exercise and then I continued to add exercises and sets if there was no pain.
I also ride a stationary bike each day for 15 minutes to warm-up and then I walk for 30 minutes after dinner.
So, now I must be very careful, slowing increasing my walking (weight-bearing) exercise over the next 3-7 weeks to allow my body to once again rebuild the natural bone density in these areas.
I am at 14 weeks and I still wear Dr. Bertagnoli’s back brace when I drive or if I am walking in a populated area as people may bump into you.
The brace limits twisting and torsion and it reminding me that I had a massive, invasive and complicated surgery and that I am recovering and will not be 100% for 6-12 months.
However, in the house or if I am out to dinner I do not need a brace and I try to avoid it at this stage as I need my core to strengthen and not be dependent on artificial support.
I owe Dr. Bertagnoli so much for accepting me as a patient, performing two surgeries that my orothopedic surgeon at UCSF just marveled at and said he could see what Dr. Bertagnoli diid but had no idea how to perform several parts of the surgery.
Again, thank you to Dr. Bertagnoli for being the best in the world and allowing the patients he treats to increase the quality of their lives immensely!
How to Solve Back Pain – US Insurance Companies Are In The Dark Ages & Back Patients Suffer
Due largely to outdated, self-serving, and biased insurance company policies, patients who everyday face chronic, non-responsive back pain have very few and very poor choices.
Either they continue to live with the pain – many unable to work or even conduct the normal activities of living without highly-addictive pain control drugs like oxycodone – or they face spinal fusion, a risky, drastic surgical procedure which will leave them with limited spinal mobility, a proven risk of further spinal degeneration, and a long and difficult recovery period.
Why? Because despite the existence of ADR (Artificial Disc Replacement) surgery, a long-proven, thoroughly studied alternative procedure with clearly demonstrated better patient outcomes, significantly shorter recovery time, and lower costs, their insurance companies refuse to cover it, branding the procedure “experimental” or “investigational.”
Examination of the Medical Policies regarding ADR for major insurers such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Aetna and others reveals that the basis for the “experimental” or “investigational” designation is an outdated body of research that has been “cherry-picked” to support the insurer’s bias for supporting spinal fusion over ADR.
How to Solve Back Pain – The Solution is The BackMaster – Dr. Rudolph Bertagnoli
How to Solve Back Pain – I researched for years, consulted with the premier Orthopedic surgeons in the US (The Ortho’s for Tiger Wood’s, NFL, NBA and MLB players, as well as as Olympic athletes).
How to Solve Back Pain – Unfortunately, the insurance companies in the US do not approve ADR for the back – some say it’s because many surgeons were not successful in the past with ADR surgery.
How to Solve Back Pain – Don’t be on painkillers the rest of your life – Dr. Bertagnoli has a cure.
How to Solve Back Pain – Dr. Bertagnoli is viewed as the world’s leading artificial disc replacement surgeon by medical professionals and patients.
How to Solve Back Pain – Added to these impressive credentials, he teaches spine surgery to other doctors from all over the world, having instructed more than 3,000 doctors from more than 55 countries.