Tuesday, April 12, 2011

So far, my recommendations for anyone with back problems..

-Get a good diagnosis from a respected TOP orthopedic surgeon in the US, preferably someone that does ADR's.. don't do local doctors that only do fusions and discectomies.

-Try out physical therapy for 6 months, especially traction and inversion tables. I wouldn't recommend the stem cell route just yet, not until mesoblast has some good preliminary results. If you can get in on the trial, then great! Avoid regenexx for now, I had 0 results and the troubles I went through  flying 5 times to denver weren't worth the hassle or money. Once you have an annular tear, it's almost impossible for it to repair itself. It might help a degenerative disc but you have to remember that the degenerative disc space has very poor conditions for stem cell growth.

-Avoid any lifting during these 6 months, do a lot of walking and buy a heating pad for your lower back and use it A LOT to promote blood flow in the area.

-If physical therapy fails, go straight to ADR, but only the M6. First get a telephone consultation with at least two respected surgeosn abroad to confirm that this is the best route for you.

-Avoid discectomies as these will make you disc fail further down the road, almost guaranteed.


  1. Hi Mike,
    For those readers who haven't been following your trials and tribulations since the Regenexx trials this is probably sage advice..... another tip to add in if people are unsure as to who is actually the best person to speak to in their country then ask the respective doctor 1) "if you were in my position who would you get to consult on this" 2) "what is the latest direction in treatment of my symptoms". The rationales for these being that you will ultimately arrive at a consenus of the best person and most refined treatment path..... at that point in time.

    Mike, onto the functional side of your M6-L ADR, did Mr Boeree give you a list of activities to "forget about trying to do ever again". Sensibly speaking Pro Bull Riding, Powerlifting and Parkour (streetstyle acrobatics) are probably out, but I'm interested in the expected limits of these ADR's. I've done some research and haven't really unearthed anything. FMI, did Mr Boeree say anything about loading the ADR at it's limit of range of motion - such as say an advanced Yoga practitioner may be able to do? I just want to know if the manufactuerer believe that the vertebral contacts are at least as strong as normal connective tissue to anchor the ADR between the vertebrae when the ROM limits are sequentially applied (but not in an abrupt violent way such as with a trauma).

  2. It's hard to say what the limits are on the ADR, but test show that it should last 100 years based on 'normal activity', which includes a few 'extreme' bends and compressions per day. Some guessing would put that figure at 30 years if you were a football player.. but then again, that's only a guess coming from me!

    He told me I can do anything I want, but then reiterated 'just don't go off bungee jumping'. This would indicate to you that their is a concern when it comes to the disc being securely attached to the bone.. If I were to do anything extreme, I would thing about this issue first and then decide if I want to go through with it. But because I only get to have ONE adr and because it can't be replaced, I think i'll stick to normal day to day activities and steady sex.

    I only get once chance a this, and I have to give my back some time to get used to this new item in my body, despite it resembling a real disc very well.

    I'm not 100% recovered just yet.. my symptoms are about 90% gone. It's the nerves that need a little healing, and those are the slowest.

    Hope this helps!

  3. Hi Mike:

    This is Anonymous II,(I don't know how to sign in). I'm the lady with the hubby hell bent on going to Denver.
    There are a lot of good insights in what you said.

    Hubby's problem is knees (but lots of similarities).

    Also: re:your artificial disc. I just had a total knee replacement and it takes at least 4 months to get to 100%. I have some scar tissue problems, but I am breaking down the scar tissue every day with PT.

    Thanks for keeping this blog!

  4. I've had a consultation with Mr. Boeree as well. Like Mike said, everything but the extreme stuff. As an advanced yoga practitioner too, I asked about Asthanga and he wasn't sure because he isn't familiar with it. I'm guessing Plow/camel are never going to happen again for me.


  5. Chris, stem cells might work better on the knees.. that seems to be more of their focus. If you have the cash to burn, why not give it a try?

    Brett, i've started reading your blog again: http://backup.goldentaco.org/ interesting stuff on the NSAID's, I had a similar feeling about them too.

  6. Mike, are you still taking any pain killers or NSAIDs for your back?