360 Motion Preservation - 6 years After

It has been 6 ½ years since my back surgery on July 9, 2013, by Prof. Dr. Bertagnoli, in Bogen, Germany, and I could not be more pleased.

I had a very complicated 8 ½ hour lumbar surgery & spent 9 days in the hospital in Bogen, which was clean, small & quiet and ideal for recovering. I then spent 19 days at a nearby hotel in Straubing where Dr. Bertagnoli’s patients regularly recuperate & it was a wonderful place to convalesce. I found overall experience to a very positive one!

In my opinion, not only do I recommend Dr. Bertagnoli, but I consider you fortunate for having found him and believe it will be one of the best decisions in your life. I am amazed that most days I forget I even had surgery.

My condition was:
Class 2 spondylolisthesis at L4-L5. (Unstable L5 with 6mm slippage against the nerves)
Degenerative Scoliosis at L2-L3 and L3-L4
Spinal stenosis (Narrowing of spinal canal which puts pressure on nerve roots)
Right Forward rotation of the spine

Surgery performed:
8 ½ hour Hybrid-360 motion-preservation utilizing ADR and DSS technology, which required a ventral and dorsal (Front & Back) surgery.
L4-L5 360-fusion, which required a anterior fusion cage and DSS with fixed couplers
L2-L3 Non fusion motion preservation couplers (posterior) with anterior Prodisc ADR
L3-L4 Non fusion motion preservation couplers (posterior) with anterior Prodisc ADR
(In total 8 pedicle screws embedded into the bone of the pedicles (the part of the vertebra, which connects the lamina to the vertebral body.) AMP vertebroplasty bone ceramic injection was used to strengthen my vertebrae.

Within 2 weeks following my surgery, I felt strong enough to accept a request that I do a video discussing my experience to make it available to those wishing to learn.
My post-op video is here: https://www.dr-bertagnoli.com/artificial-disc-replacement-video.html
My post-op x rays are here: https://www.dr-bertagnoli.com/360-motion-preservation-surgery.html (pictures #3 and #5).

For some time prior to my surgery, I found myself unable to sleep in bed. Instead I was trying to sleep on the floor & ice my back with my legs up on a bolster. I could not stand very long or sit at dinner with friends, could not engage in normal activities with friends & with my husband. I had stopped golfing, skiing, swimming, my 2 times a week work outs & basically was in pain constantly.

I had consulted with several orthopedic surgeons who had taken x-rays, MRI’s, and analyzed my condition. After soft & deep tissue therapy, acupuncture, drugs, voodoo & epidurals the consensus was to fuse two vertebra. After talking with numerous friends & acquaintances who had suffered with back pain, I came to the conclusion that a fusion was a short term “band aid” fix & it would not address all of my problems & that many people who had a fusion at one level would find it later affected the adjacent areas requiring more fusion surgeries in 3 to 5 yrs increments which meant limited mobility.

Needless to say, at this point I felt desperate, confused, and exhausted from the pain. I was fortunate to encounter a friend, a former major league baseball player, who had 5 artificial discs replaced in his back by Dr. Bertagnoli to alleviate his pain. I met him thru my husband who was playing golf with him two years after his surgery. He shared with my husband that he could not swing the club before surgery, and now was able to play without pain and competitively. He was extremely happy with his surgery and his council & encouragement for me to pursue Dr. Bertagnoli was invaluable.

This was not an easy decision to pick up & go to Germany for back surgery. But when you world gets smaller & smaller & your pain increases in spite of epidurals & you realize your back issues are only going to get worse & you are not getting younger you might decide as I did. I can just tell you, I would gladly do it again to get where I am now.

After researching Dr. Bertagnoli on line, I sent in my medical records and worked with Tim Vicknair, his US intermediary, who was most knowledgeable & helpful. I then called Dr. Bertagnoli’s previous patients & found they had successful surgeries & highly recommended him. His vast experience, a degree in mechanical engineering (which allows him to understand the mechanical forces at play) along with being one of the designers of DSS convinced me he was the doctor. His preventative approach to giving the overall spinal area the best chance for healthy “LONG TERM” mobility was the answer for which I was looking.

For my level of surgery, I think you must have someone stay & help you the first couple weeks, especially so you do not bend over. The support of a loved one, in my case my husband who travelled to Germany with me & stayed the entire time, will make the event less stressful & the recovery more successful.

Recovery, first couple days are rough, then you start walking and working out the stiffness. After the surgery , I was sore and stiff but the nerve & back pain were gone. There are no short cuts, it is long recovery. The 1st three months is only walking as you let the bones heal. Followed by 6 to 9 months with a qualified Physical Therapist. Then go live.

I feel you must Commit to a post surgery rehabilitation. I used Randy Bauer, Bauer Physical Therapy, Laguna Hills, CA www.bauerpt.com.
I still get sore & stiff, but I attribute that to overdoing it and general wear and tear.
All my conditions were fixed and I am now living an active pain-free life.
I have adjusted some of my activities. I walk, I don’t run. I swim, but I don’t do kick turns & I use a snorkel so I don’t twist. I ski, but on blue bird days, no more moguls or heli-skiing.
I golf but don’t skip a 5 par or quit if tired and don’t play multiple days in a row.
I swear by abdominal work outs by Tammy Lee Webb – Abs of Steel.
I dance, travel, entertain, get dressed up, & work at my computer, go to dinners & events.
I truly was given my life back & can again be a companion to my husband; for this I will be forever thankful to Dr. Bertagnoli & his team for the part they played in this miracle.

Magic Passo – Back Patient