Artificial Disc Replacement - Levine

My name is Charles Levine and I am 59 yrs old; after 25 years of every increasing low back pain, Dr. Bertagnoli performed a multiple disc replacement and fusion on March 6, 2006. On March 27, 2007 I returned to the Golf course, completing my first 18 hole round since December 2004. My score for that round was 75, four over par. I had a 6 handicap when I stopped playing in December 2004. My life is no longer ruled by pain and I am enjoying life once again.

As a scientist and consultant by profession, I conducted an in-depth investigation into my treatment options and concluded that the option proposed by Dr. Bertagnoli and the extensive experience of him and his organization was by far the best. My procedure included artificial discs (Pro-Discs) at levels L3-L4 and L5-S1 and a fusion at L4-L5.

My surgical procedure and post operative recovery were uneventful. I was discharged from the hospital in Straubing on March 11 and flew back to the US on March 15. I was able to discontinue the use of Fentanyl patch for pain relief within 10 weeks of the surgery. I had been using the 50 mcg Fentanyl patch for 6 months prior to my surgery. I followed the rehabilitation instructions very closely (walking several times a day and wearing my brace) and resumed business travel (transatlantic air) in July 2006. I began physical therapy in July and am continuing to follow a strengthening and flexibility program, which is enabling me to continue to gain strength and flexibility, now 13 months after the surgery.

Today I occasionally take Tylenol for pain, but for the most part I only experience the normal aches and pains of a 59 year old athlete.

The entire Pro-Spine organization was not only extremely professional, but also very friendly and willing to make a difficult situation as comfortable as possible for both the patient and his/her family.

I want to express my heart felt thanks again to Dr. Rudolph Bertagnoli and his staff, especially Dr. Tomas Kucera, Dr. Andrea Fenk-Mayer, and Anita Peludat, the patient coordinator and the great nurses at St. Elisabeth Hospital.