My Prodisc - Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR)
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I am an extrememly active guy in my early fourties that experienced major disc failures in my lower back, March 03 MRI.  In September 2004 I had two Prodisc devices installed as part of an FDA study. One at L3-L4 and the other at L4-L5.  Here are pictures of the prodisc installation tool.

Only the Charite has been approval for use in the United States.  All others are in some stage of FDA trial.  Many folks have gone to Europe to have ADR procedures.

Links to helpful sites:

Texas Back Institue

Spine Universe

Spine Health

Spine Disorders Discussion Forum

ADR Support Org
Xrays and Fluoroscopy

A pre-surgery
xray from the front.  These are x-rays of the prodisc devices immediately after surgery. Side view and front view.  These are xrays taken 36 day post-op, side, front.

Vertebrae

Ever wonder what the surface of the vertebrae really looks like?  All those models in the doctors office show nice smooth surfaces. This is a weathered
vertebrae from a beluga whale. I was suprised at how rough the surface really is.
Progress Reports

updated 5/31/2005
Discography

Discography is a very good diagnostic tool.   It is a procedure where the doctor inserts needles into the disc and fluid and dye is pumped in.  Xrays, flouroscopy, is used to guide the needle and view the dye movement.  The resulting pressure will cause pain in a problem disc and discomfort in a good one.  Just becasue a disc is 'bad' does not mean it is the source of pain.  The best procedures are done 'blind', that is the doctor tests several discs, usually above and below the suspected problem disc(s) and the patient is not told which disc is being tested.  Discograms are VERY painful procedures.  Other important information gathered from the test are opening pressure, the pressure inside the disc before fluild is pumped in, and max pressure.

These are images from my discogram procedure. You can clearly see the dye leaking from the ruptured discs. 
S1/L5-L3/L4L4/L5-L3/L2
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