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Posted in: Surgery.

total disc replacement removed

Started by disabled mom on 08/17/2013 2:28am

Hi All,

I've not posted much here, but have been a member for a few years now.

I was one of the study participants for the charitee lumbar disc replacement in 2002. The first few year were pretty good and I took a lot less medication.

I eventually started slipping back and my GP was treating the symptoms with no real concern. He was really limiting any strong pain medication in favor of a different pill for every new symptom. This approach was not working, but he insisted I did not need to go back to the surgeon.

A few months ago I had gotten to the point of not being able to think because the pain was so high. I've not been able to lay down for the past 2 years. Finally he sent me to some specialist to diagnose my pain. This guy never looked at me or any xrays. He came into the room and started yelling at me demanding I go back to work. I've been unable to work from the original injury. After that my gp said I should not try pain management because that would only increase my addiction!

I went against his advice and went to a surgeon. They said my spine had been twisting around the implant for several years. They said I needed to have the artificial disc removed, but I could wait a little while if I could stand the pain. I was referred to pain management, but never actually got there.

A few days later I couldn't even walk because of the pain in my feet. There was absolutely nothing I could do to ease the pain. They sent me to the emergency room for an exam and new films. Next thing I know is I'm in a hospital bed and not allowed out except to use the bathroom. They wheeled me in that bed for more tests and removed the disc the next morning. The surgeon said the bone plates had worked 50% out and they were not touching at all. If one had worked all the way out I would have bleed out before I got to the hospital.

They went in from the front so they could remove the disc, fuse and cage the area, then from the back to clip my spine so it couldn't shift again and finally added screws to make sure nothing could move until the fusion sets. I am now 4 weeks post opt and other than walking and personal care I'm not allowed to do much. I do have to say I was in less pain after surgery that before.

Has anyone had this done? How long will my recovery be?

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2 Responses


Holly crap!! I'm sorry but I've had the Charite disc put in me in 2006 after a car wreak I've been in so much pain a few days after it was put in and the drs didn't believe me I have been fighting drs for a long time now for relieve and now I had a dr at UCSF that saw my spine and looked at the L5-S1 and decided to do a partial fusion he put rods and screws and bone graft but left the disc alone he only stabilized the back part of my spine so this crap disc is still in me still hurting!! I have read many articles and never thought I would actually get a chance to talk to another person with this disc in them I am in so much more pain now after this last surgery in September 2012 its been almost a year now and no dr that I've seen will do anything to help me nor will the dr that did this last surgery call me back I'm so tired I've lost all hope I've been so scared about my back and legs getting worse I am at a loss and have become very depressed I have fought to keep my five kids and have lost everything else including my wife I had at that time but now two years ago I found an amazing woman who took me the way I am and we married last march and together we have ten kids yes ten but now days I just can't think about anything but my loss of hope and all my pain I don't sleep anymore I beg for help I beg drs for mercy please keep me posted on how your doing after the removal I am almost excited to hear it I would love to hear that it help at least a little I wish I could find a dr to take all this out and put a cage in I need help I hope you read this and can reply and let everyone know your outcome and I pray for you I pray it helped thank you so much


Hey there, just thought I'd check in again with you to see how things are going?? I hope it's not bad and that you are recovering ok! I'm waiting for your info on how this is going and how you feel because like I said in the above statement, I too have the Charite disc and I'm supposed to have it removed so with all my fears about this I would love to hear back from you to maybe ease those and get some insite from you thank you so much and I will be praying for you take care