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Thread: Surgery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Moldova/Romania, Chisinau
    Posts
    43

    Surgery

    Hello
    I had an appointment last year with an orthopedist but back then I haven't asked anything about surgery. But that's beside the point.

    I've been reading the forums and I've seen these extraordinary sums - 100k$ for surgery. The way I understand it, that is the norm in the US. I guess they overprice things. So, I'm not interested about prices in US. What about fusion surgery outside US? And no I don't have insurance. I mean I have sort of a state insurance but the health care in my country(Moldova/Romania, citizen of both, eligible for both health care systems) is crappy. Basically the doctor said something like- go to Western Europe for surgery. Do you know anything about pricing in Europe? Basically I guess(anyway I don't know) the surgeons would have to fuse quite a lot considering that I have ~70+ degrees of thoracolumbar curvature. Are you all from US? If so do you know of any European forums where I could talk about this? Well I intend to have another appointment very soon. I guess that another x-ray is in order to check the progression. Thanks!

    Do you know what exactly drives the cost high- is it the recovery care, the instrumentation(all the rods are actually patented, right?) or the surgeon fees?

    EDIT:well, there are some xrays in the signature, I hope these could clarify the situation a bit.
    Thanks!
    Last edited by Delta107; 04-10-2014 at 08:06 AM.
    Attachment 1493 Coronal plane
    Attachment 1494 Sagittal plane

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,930
    Quote Originally Posted by Delta107 View Post
    Hello
    I had an appointment last year with an orthopedist but back then I haven't asked anything about surgery. But that's beside the point.

    I've been reading the forums and I've seen these extraordinary sums - 100k$ for surgery. The way I understand it, that is the norm in the US. I guess they overprice things. So, I'm not interested about prices in US. What about fusion surgery outside US? And no I don't have insurance. I mean I have sort of a state insurance but the health care in my country(Moldova/Romania, citizen of both, eligible for both health care systems) is crappy. Basically the doctor said something like- go to Western Europe for surgery. Do you know anything about pricing in Europe? Basically I guess(anyway I don't know) the surgeons would have to fuse quite a lot considering that I have ~70+ degrees of thoracolumbar curvature. Are you all from US? If so do you know of any European forums where I could talk about this? Well I intend to have another appointment very soon. I guess that another x-ray is in order to check the progression. Thanks!

    Do you know what exactly drives the cost high- is it the recovery care, the instrumentation(all the rods are actually patented, right?) or the surgeon fees?

    EDIT:well, there are some xrays in the signature, I hope these could clarify the situation a bit.
    Thanks!
    $100K won't cover the costs in most major US cities. It's mostly the cost of implants.

    You might want to consider going to Ghana for surgery. The FOCOS organization does low cost surgery performed by some of the leading world experts. Fill out the form HERE for more information.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    32
    I know people in Russia go to Germany a lot for the fusion. I'm not sure how much it costs, but heard the name of the clinic - Karlsbad-Langensteinbach. I'm sure the US has the most expensive surgery (not just surgery, but any medical services, still can't quite forget my $500 x-ray + 5 minute appointment). If you live in Eastern Europe, why would you go to the US for surgery? I imagine it would not only be prohibitively expensive but problematic for the recovery period to be so far from home.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,245
    I have nothing to add to this conversation but wanted to wish you good luck.
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Moldova/Romania, Chisinau
    Posts
    43
    Quote Originally Posted by mashkine View Post
    I know people in Russia go to Germany a lot for the fusion. I'm not sure how much it costs, but heard the name of the clinic - Karlsbad-Langensteinbach. I'm sure the US has the most expensive surgery (not just surgery, but any medical services, still can't quite forget my $500 x-ray + 5 minute appointment). If you live in Eastern Europe, why would you go to the US for surgery? I imagine it would not only be prohibitively expensive but problematic for the recovery period to be so far from home.
    I guess the sentence was badly formulated. I don't want to go to US. Because I know its extraordinarily expensive.


    I wanted to ask one more thing. I know that after fusion rotation is out of the question. But assuming a full fusion took place and the patient tries to make a rotation move. Can you break the spine or the instrumentation if you turn too much?
    Last edited by Delta107; 04-16-2014 at 06:35 AM.
    Attachment 1493 Coronal plane
    Attachment 1494 Sagittal plane

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,163
    Hi Delta,

    there are some movements that one simply can not do after fusion. I am fused T8-sacrum, and I can not bend in the middle at all. I can of course still bend from the hips, and can bend a little in my upper back, but if I try to bend in my actual middle I simply can't. I doesn't hurt, you just can't move that way. Same thing for twisting. If you try to do it you just can't. I don't think there is much risk of hurting your spine/fusion once fusion is complete by trying these things, but you will just be unable to. Surprisingly I have gained back a fair amount of flexibility 2 years after surgery. By this I mean I can now bend against my fusion and manage to clip my toenails, something which seemed and was impossible in the first year after surgery. You should check out TiEd's signature which has photos of his ability to bend and twist after a full spine fusion. Amazing how the body can accommodate such a major surgical alteration to the spine!

    Best of luck,
    Gayle, age 50
    Oct 2010 fusion T8-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation
    Feb 2012 lumbar revision for broken rods @ L2-3-4
    Sept 2015 major lumbar A/P revision for broken rods @ L5-S1


    mom of Leah, 15 y/o, Diagnosed '08 with 26* T JIS (age 6)
    2010 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
    2017 curves stable/skeletely mature

    also mom of Torrey, 12 y/o son, 16* T, stable

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,568
    Gayle said it well. I am 1 year post fusion and don't think about doing something involving movement with my back, I just do it! I do occasionally try to twist to see ongoing traffic from the left when I am trying to merge to the right. I can twist slightly, but my muscles respond by pain immediately and for the next few days. Now, I completely turn my whole body and turn the car to the right for a better view.

    I have thought a lot about how we always ask, "What can't I do?" Instead of "What can I do? And how can I change things to accomplish what I need to do?". I am amazed at how much I can do and miss nothing. I wanted to do lap swimming and was unsuccessful because I could not lift my head in the breast stroke, my favorite. My son suggested using a snorkel and mask. Bingo! Success!

    Good luck to you, Susan
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal Spinal Cord Injury T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone
    2018: Removal L4,5 screw

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    570
    Quote Originally Posted by susancook View Post
    Gayle said it well. I am 1 year post fusion and don't think about doing something involving movement with my back, I just do it! I do occasionally try to twist to see ongoing traffic from the left when I am trying to merge to the right. I can twist slightly, but my muscles respond by pain immediately and for the next few days. Now, I completely turn my whole body and turn the car to the right for a better view.

    I have thought a lot about how we always ask, "What can't I do?" Instead of "What can I do? And how can I change things to accomplish what I need to do?". I am amazed at how much I can do and miss nothing. I wanted to do lap swimming and was unsuccessful because I could not lift my head in the breast stroke, my favorite. My son suggested using a snorkel and mask. Bingo! Success!

    Good luck to you, Susan
    Susan,

    Love your glass is half full attitude!
    I am stronger than scoliosis, and won't let it rule my life!
    45 years old - diagnosed at age 7
    A/P surgery on March 5/7, 2013 - UCSF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,899
    It looks as if travel is in your future......

    I mention this because it was in my thoughts many years ago and knew that some day I would need surgery and that surgery had to be done by the best I could find. I had no doubts about this and knew that I wouldn’t let anyone operate unless they were qualified scoliosis surgeons with an active history. Having one level worked on by a regular orthopedic wasn’t an option. I wouldn’t let anyone touch you down the road unless they are qualified scoliosis specialists.

    Unless you can get someone like Dr Boachie in Ghana or someone else to do it for free, your going to need to find a group of surgeons someplace, get good insurance somehow, and prepare. I know it might sound like a lot to emigrate, but many people do migrate around the world for many different reasons. Surgery is one of them.

    You will think about this.....in the meantime, you will have to manage your pain somehow. There are many different things you can do.

    I would get an exercise ball for starters...

    Rising prices are mainly due to extreme greed. A little bit of greed is ok, it drives economies, too much greed is bad.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 60, the new 55...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

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