Artificial Disc Replacement - Toronto, Canada

I am a 57 year old male living in Toronto, Canada. I want to get the word out to all Canadians that there are alternatives to spinal fusion being performed in Canada. Pro. Dr. Bertagnoli performed a very successful three level ADR surgery in my cervical spine in July 2013. It has taken one and half years for my spinal cord to recover. But, I am very grateful that I still have mobility in my neck, rather than being fused in 3, possibly 4, levels that was offered by my Canadian surgeon. This would have severely limited my movements and active life style.

In short, I had a ruptured C5/6 disc due to degenerative disc disease and possibly compounded from the stretching of my neck by a physiotherapist. I had emergency surgery at a Toronto hospital where they performed fusion on the C5/6 level. Six months later I started to feel the pain, numbness and burning sensation in my hands and feet again. After getting a MRI in Buffalo NY, I discovered that the adjacent discs, C4/5 and C7/T1 had ruptured as well. I went back to the original surgeon and he informed me that the only procedure they would do is to fuse those levels as well. As far as he knew no other hospitals or surgeons in Canada perform ADRs. (Even at present we are unaware of any Canadian surgeons that are performing ADRs and we have spoken to may people who are suffering back problems.)

My wife, for whom I will be forever grateful, conducted extensive search on the Internet as to the best spinal cord doctors and alternatives to fusion. We were surprise to find that alternatives to fusion have been available in the U.S. and abroad for a number of years. We did not understand why Canada does not offer this procedure. After reading a lot of medical web sites and discussion with several people from support blog sites, we decided to go with ProSpine. After sending in my MRI images and X-Rays, ProSpine replied that they were able to help me and in a very timely manner. We booked the surgery and have not regretted it since.

I would like to thank Prof. Dr. Bertagonli, Dr. Fenk-Mayer, Tim Vicknair and the staff at ProSpine for all the care they have shown me and the extra efforts they have gone through for me. I really appreciate the hour and half that Pro. Dr. Bertagonli spent with my wife and me, before the surgery, to explain how the surgery is going to be performed and answer all my questions. It made me feel at ease and gave me great confidence in the person and the surgeon he is. I would also like to thank Tim for replying very quickly right after we posted our message on the web site and for arranging a timely surgery date. He called and explained each step of the process so that we did not feel lost at any point of the journey.

Everything you read on these testimonials are true, even to the point where you should bring your own pillows if you want to get some good nights sleep. We took a leap of faith with ProSpine when we wired the money. However, everything unfolded as it is set out in the web site, from the point of being picked up at the airport by Mr. Hoch, to the stay in the hospital, to the stay at Straubing and to being discharged by Prof. Dr. Bertagnoli. The whole trip, including the stay in the hospital and the operation, went very smoothly with no problems at all.

I would highly recommend Prof. Dr. Bertagonli and the expert care at ProSpine. One year after the surgery, we went back to Buffalo again to get another MRI and a set of X-Rays. The radiologist informed us that the implants look very good and whoever the surgeon was did a very good job. This is a third party validation of Prof. Dr. Bertagonli’s work. To help others in deciding on getting an ADR surgery and whether to go with ProSpine or not, my email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

T. Wu
Toronto, Canada