Friday, January 7, 2011

CT-Scan of my M6-L, 2-months Post-op

Boy this is awesome. My brother is dating a girl who's parents own an diagnostics & imaging center in my city. I got the hook up and got the royal treatment is selecting any time of scan I wanted. I told them I wanted plain x-rays of flexion and extension of my M6-L Artificial Disc, but they had no idea what I was talking about so they just put me though a CT-Scan. Right out of the scan they let me sit down and see the results... AMAZING VIEWS OF THE DISC. I got back a CD and compiled 20 images of a 3D scan and plugged them into iMovie on my mac, then to youtube, to create this transitional 3D-view of my M6-L (seen in red in this video):


Pause the video at any time to look at the image in more detail. But for a bigger video and more detailed view, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aD01rBLh_og

Those horizontal protrusions coming from the M6-L are just distortions in the imaging.. the titanium is so strong under the x-rays that it distorts the fields around it. You can see the distortions in the first image below, and the 3d-ized in the still images from the video.

I needed plain old x-rays to see the disc up close and see the bond with the bone, but i'll probably get those with Dr. Zigler in Dallas in the coming weeks. I'm sending this CT-scan to Mr. Boeree.. lets see what he says!

Here are more images from the scan (click on them to make them bigger):




And the still images from the video (click on them to make them bigger):



















I never thought i'd see my disc this way. It looks like placement is optimal and the vertebrae are maintaining their structure really well (no osteophytes.. for some reason I've always feared these, even in my dreams! even though they are never mentioned in any ADR material i've ever read).

I also went ahead and got an MRI of my shoulder since it was bothering me.. they found some problems, but not too serious and they said it won't require any surgery. Looks like that's my next 'medical endeavour'.

Good luck to everyone. I'll keep you posted on any updates!

14 comments:

  1. nice update... did you say the resultant sciatica was from stretching the height of the vertebral space between your L5-S1 during implantation of the device? Did you have slight scoliosis prior to surgery as a result of chronic back issues prior to the implant? do you still have a slight case of scoliosis post op? If so is it improving? Thanks for the running updates and also i was wondering if you had any issues with your bladder (frequent or infrequent urination) or sexual side effects from your herniated or bulging disc condition.

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  2. What are the horizontal protrusions coming from the M6-L visible on your CT scans Mike? I take it they are artifacts of some sort.
    Cheers
    Mirx

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  3. To the first questions:
    -The resultant sciatica is quite like the old one but to a lesser degree. The increased disc height might've been the reason it is still bothering, but I was told nerves take 9 months to settle.
    -No scoliosis
    -No issues with bladder or sexual side effects.. my herniation wasn't that big and i didn't have an excessive amount of disc height loss

    To the second poster (Mirx):
    -Those horizontal protrusions coming from the M6-L are just distortions in the imaging.. the titanium is so strong under the x-rays that it distorts the fields around it.

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  4. Assuming I am correct in thinking that you only had issues with the L4/L5 level, can you tell me about your symptoms before the op Mike?
    Did you have pain only in the lower back? Did the pain extend to the buttock or/and down the leg too?
    Thanks again
    Mirx

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  5. Sure no problem! I'm here to help.

    My symptoms were mild most of the time. They would really flare up after a night of drinking or partying and I would lie in bed all day the next day.

    I mostly had sciatica down my left leg and general throbbing pain on my lower back. Mr. Boeree said the latter pain was due to the annular tear that would release chemicals from inside the disc and irritate the nerves all around the L4/5 area. The sciatica was due to the protrusion pinching the nerve. Eventually I got some sciatica down my right leg as well.

    Please don't hesitate to ask more questions!

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  6. So after 3 months can you lift weights and begin to do more athletic endeavors or do you anticipate being at least somewhat cautious forever?

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  7. After three months I will begin to incorporate my daily activities more rigorously. I expect to start lifting light weights after 4 months. I expect to start jogging then too.

    I will live a more cautious life, but it's all relative. I won't do skydiving anymore. I'll try and avoid soccer and tennis. But this is all in anticipation of further problems down the road with other levels, meaning, I want to take care of the rest of my back now. I don't want to be in my 50's with back pain. I will incorporate cervical traction as part of my daily routine within a couple of months, just as a precautionary measure.

    My sex life will be as crazy as before, so no worries there. I'm just trying to avoid 'impact' sports.. I know the M6 can handle it, but it's the rest of my back that i'm worried about. This whole ordeal gave me a new perspective on preventive health.

    I've heard of pro football players getting prodiscs and returning to full time work without a problem. Imagine the possibilities with the M6.

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  8. Mike, any info if the M6 can be implemented on two levels?

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  9. It can be done in three levels or even more, depending on the doctor's experience level. So yes, it can definitely be done on two levels.

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  10. Hey Mike,

    Do you know what they did to the anterior longitudinal ligament during the surgery? Did they cut it and then suture it back together or just cut it and leave it that way. That ligament which runs vertically along all the vertebra helps maintain stability and hopefully keep spondylolthesis from happening. I am interested in how Dr. Boree dealt with that issue. You may not have been informed of that or care though. Thanks.

    ~Kevin

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  11. i often wonder about cutting ligamenture myself in opperations such as these, also do you know where i might find more info on the pro-disc L in football players?

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  12. Hi Mike! These posts are just fantastic. Thanks a lot for writing them.

    What does Drs. Boeree and Zigler have to say about the scans?

    Thanks!

    Best, Chris

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  13. I actually never got a reply from Mr. Boeree. Also, Dr. Zigler cancelled the appointment 30 minutes before the scheduled time. I don't want to make a big deal out of this, but i'm pretty much out in the blue with the operation..

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