Tuesday, January 18, 2011

CT-Scan Review from Mr. Boeree

So I sent over the CT-Scan images and the youtube video over to Mr. Boeree a few weeks ago. There was a slight mishap on the outbox front, and apparently his response never reached my inbox, so I messaged him again today and got a response a few hours later.

His response:

"I guess you didn’t get my earlier reply, but I was really impressed with the CT scans which I looked at both from your images and the YouTube posting.  Your radiology friend clearly has a great set up, providing 3D images of that quality, with artefact suppression that is so good!  Maybe part of that is the fact that the metal parts of the implant are titanium, which gives less artefact, at least on MRI.  I’m not sure it makes any difference on CT, which makes the quality of the images all the more impressive."

I guess he likes the images! Nonetheless, he requested a "check x-ray (15° up angled AP and lateral flexion and extension views centred on L4/5) at about six months post surgery. The flexion and extension radiographs show us that the implant is moving as we would expect. The amount of movement is normally only about four or 5° in most adult males."

On another note, I went to Dallas last Thursday January 13th for a follow-up appointment with Dr. Zigler at the Texas Back Institute. The appointment was scheduled for 9:45AM. I was heading out the door when at 9:15AM I get a call from the hospital telling me my appointment had been cancelled.  I wasn't given a reason except a few comments on how he never referred me to Mr. Boeree, and that I could see Dr. Blumenthal on Monday instead, and how Dr. Blumenthal had been an ADR pioneer and what not. I was in Dallas for that day only so I couldn't have my follow-up appointment on Monday, which left me out on the blue and on my own regarding my condition. The good thing is that I feel really well so i'm not too worried, but I could use some reassurance from an experienced surgeon, which I finally got with the response from Mr. Boeree, especially when he mentioned: "You are clearly a very motivated young man and I was sure from the outset that you would do well. The CT scan shows the implant is in a very good position and at this stage it is good to know that that is very unlikely to change now" and that "The implant position looks really good from the CT.  You can see that it is not protruding at all into the spinal canal or the neural foramina.  A little sciatica is common after disc replacement.  I think it is usually because the nerve roots have to get used to the new way the segment is moving, and they may also have got a little stretched as a result of the surgery."

As for my condition, I've been carrying suitcases off of the conveyor belt at the airport. I've been packing and loading boxes on my car for my move to Miami. I've been driving around for hours and hours. I think i'm doing pretty darn well!

As for my sciatica on my left leg, it's barely happening anymore. But Mr. Boeree said that if it gets troublesome then I should contact him.


  1. How are you feeling? Sciatica getting better? Are you feeling confident in the artificial disc to the point where you aren't thinking about it much? You know, not afraid to move more normally... Will you ultimately have some sort of lifting restrictions when you are past the 3 month mark and for life?

    Thanks for your time to reply.


  2. The sciatica is definitely getting better! It was minimal and now it's barely noticeable. I haven't gotten a flare in over a week!

    I don't think about my back too much, but I am being careful with the way I handle myself. I think things twice now, for instance when picking up luggage I use proper posture and lift with my feet.

    I'd never though i'd be picking up luggage again lol

    My back is feeling awesome.. there's no other way to describe it.

    As for lifting restrictions, i'm not sure. I'll ask Mr. Boeree. He did say that i'd be back to normal and to avoid bungee jumping.. that's about it. I wouldn't take it to that extreme though!

    Thanks for keeping up with my posts. I'll write one again soon!

  3. Sounds great Mike! I too hope to be able to pick up something (properly) without knowing that I am going to pay for it later. I think my L4/L5 disc has no more rigidity to it anymore. I've had more steroid injections than I want to remember, not to mention oral steroids/pain pills/2 micro surgeries/PT etc... and I still get jolts down the legs if I bend backwards and slightly to either side. I am just having trouble convincing my preimary care doctor to seek another surgical solution. He is an opponent of surgery for the back, which is generally a good thing, but should not keep him closed-minded to a patient who may really need it.

    I really appreciate your blog and am sure it will help many people who are experiencing the same type of back injury without any relief.

    Wishing you all the best and a full recovery~


  4. Thanks for the wishes! But I find your story very sad, and I feel bad that i'm doing so well while other people aren't.. but i'm glad this blog has helped you, it's the least I can do for people like you!!

    You should definitely consider talking to another surgeon. There ARE options out there, and unfortunately the US still has the 'stay away from surgery mentality', which is right because US surgeries are terrible, but is wrong because of it's lack of open-mindedness.

    What do you think you'll be doing? How's your insurance situation?

  5. Well,...I am a worker's Comp patient. I got hurt on the job and I will probably (ultimately) have to see Dr. Boree like you did and see what he says. I believe the disc needs to come out eventually. I believe you were having similar symptomatology with the jolts from your back to your feet. Right? These conservative measures just aren't working and I would like to function normally and maybe even run again someday. My heart needs the workout. I'm young still (40) and I never imagined I would be living this way at my age. One thing I have learned in this life,..you don't get what you deserve, you get what you get. :/


  6. I will have to pay for it out of my pocket (surgery) and then go to court (more than likely) to be reimbursed. Ugh...

  7. Well you know my thoughts on him already. He's great. But with every surgery there is a risk, and that's the decision you'll have to make.. but with your level of pain I can imagine this decision will be easier for you. It wouldn't hurt to have a phone consultation for a thorough review of your problems and possible solutions. There are other doctors too, like Dr. Clavel in spain, and even some other ones in the UK, but I only have experience with one so that's all the info I can provide.

    Please do let me know how things go. Email me at mike.spineblog@gmail.com if you want quick answers to any questions.

  8. Well I think the worker's comp people are getting a deal out of a $32,000 surgery.. a similar procedure in the US would cost over $80k.. ouch.

    If you're in Texas, my uncle deals with plenty of these cases.

  9. Will do. Thanks, Mike.

    Take care,

  10. Unfortunately, they are not looking for deals, they are looking NOT to pay at all. :(

    Oh well, I gotta fight the fight...


  11. Get yourself a decent lawyer to fight with you. Without one you're toast!

    Good luck Kevin. Best of wishes to you. If I hit the lottery i'll send over some cash :)

  12. Hey Mike,

    How are things going, almost 3 months out?

    Can you jog on a treadmill?

    Thanks a lot!


  13. I will write up a new post tonight. Sorry for the delay, it's been a hectic move to Miami.

  14. Thank you for sharing your personal experience. I'm sorry to hear about your state. Keep writing. disc replacement surgery Houston, TX