Does MayoClinic do Lumbar Disc Replacement? 2 Levels?

Posted by tomj5 @tomj5, May 29, 2019

I have been given the "option" of 2 level fusion or 2 level disc replacement (LUMBAR). Does anyone know if Mayo Clinic does LUMBAR disc replacement? Do they do it for 2 levels or just 1 level? Anyone out there have this done and share results?
I have done extensive research and seems both surgeries are legitimate but I am really nervous about disc replacement if it doesn't go well and what options down the road after several years if problems arise.

Hello @tomj5, welcome to Connect. While I am a not a medical expert and cannot speak to the specificity of what treatments Mayo Clinic's orthopedic surgeons would recommend or offer, I can provide some resources. Here are a few things you may want to check out:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/back-pain/expert-answers/disk-replacement/faq-20057995
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/herniated-disk/doctors-departments/ddc-20354103

Some of the listed surgeons list disc replacement as an area of focus. If you read through some of the materials and recommended treatments, it states, "in rare cases, cervical disc replacement may be recommended." If you'd like more specific answers as to what kind of surgery or replacements Mayo Clinic may offer, it may be best to contact the appointment office to inquire about either an appointment, or if this is something that is offered. The appointment coordinators are best-equipped to answer more specific questions and triage you to the correct information and whether or not Mayo Clinic can help if appointments are available, http://mayocl.in/1mtmR63.

@tomj5, did your current medical provider offer any information on what each surgery would look like? Recovery time, physical therapy, and long-term mobility/pain improvement?

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Thank you for the info above. I see plenty of references to CERVICAL disc replacement but none for LUMBAR. I saw someone post about recently having a lumbar replacement on this site but no details. Also, I did try to get an appointment but was rejected due to the MayoClinic "not being able to offer a different treatment or additional options". The appointment desk just told me they don't know if Mayo Clinic does or does not do lumbar replacements. Knowing this answer (even though I can't get an appointment) will help be determine if the MayoClinc thinks LUMBAR disc replacements are a VALID option (in general) or if they think it isn't. That's my main goal right now…just to know if they do them…because that will tell me their view on if they are VALID options for some people of INVALID. any help would be appreciated.

Liked by grandmaR

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@tomj5

Thank you for the info above. I see plenty of references to CERVICAL disc replacement but none for LUMBAR. I saw someone post about recently having a lumbar replacement on this site but no details. Also, I did try to get an appointment but was rejected due to the MayoClinic "not being able to offer a different treatment or additional options". The appointment desk just told me they don't know if Mayo Clinic does or does not do lumbar replacements. Knowing this answer (even though I can't get an appointment) will help be determine if the MayoClinc thinks LUMBAR disc replacements are a VALID option (in general) or if they think it isn't. That's my main goal right now…just to know if they do them…because that will tell me their view on if they are VALID options for some people of INVALID. any help would be appreciated.

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@tomj5
Hi Tom,
First let me say that I have never been accepted as a patient at Mayo, but I did find a FANTASTIC neurosurgeon.
I had 2 discs replaced in my cervical spine about 1-1/2 years ago (C5/6).
The surgery was a success as far as neck pain and horrible headaches, as well as finger tingling.
I had an X-Lift fusion about 9 mos. ago on L34.

I was told by my surgeon that at this time, disc replacement for the lumbar spine is not being done on a regular basis.
Some hospitals might be testing it out, but it is not a regular choice of surgery for the lumbar spine, only the cervical spine.
I did read the article and it did not talk about replacement for the lumbar, only the cervical.

Good luck!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@tomj5 I was looking through surgeon profiles for their area of interest, and I didn't find anything about lumbar disc replacement. The issues at the lumbar end of the spine will have the effects of adding most of the body weight as well as twisting and bending that puts an extra load on any hardware. Rather than call scheduling, you could call the spine center phone numbers and ask if any doctors perform the procedure or call the neurosurgery department. Here is a link with numbers for the Spine Center at all 3 campuses. https://www.mayoclinic.org/departments-centers/spine-care/sections/overview/ovc-20426369

I found these links about trials with lumbar disc replacement.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6159637/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5435628/
https://journals.lww.com/spinejournal/FullText/2015/12150/Lumbar_Total_Disc_Replacement_for_Discogenic_Low.1.aspx
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5637205/

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@tomj5

Thank you for the info above. I see plenty of references to CERVICAL disc replacement but none for LUMBAR. I saw someone post about recently having a lumbar replacement on this site but no details. Also, I did try to get an appointment but was rejected due to the MayoClinic "not being able to offer a different treatment or additional options". The appointment desk just told me they don't know if Mayo Clinic does or does not do lumbar replacements. Knowing this answer (even though I can't get an appointment) will help be determine if the MayoClinc thinks LUMBAR disc replacements are a VALID option (in general) or if they think it isn't. That's my main goal right now…just to know if they do them…because that will tell me their view on if they are VALID options for some people of INVALID. any help would be appreciated.

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Hi Tom,

Here’s my experience before and after with a 1 level ADR at L5/S1 performed back in 2006.

During September of 2003 (31 years old) I was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident where I ended up rupturing my disk at L5/S1. By Spring of 2005, I had complete collapse of the disk space since the disk no longer existed.

My goals were simple, be narcotic free and get as much exercise as I could. Adrenaline is one of the best pain killers, but when you literally lose all feeling in a leg temporarily, there isn’t much you can do until your feeling starts creeping back.

I won’t get into details about all of the pain I was in, but I can empathize with anyone with severe back pain, I truly get it.

In April of 2006 I had my ADR performed at St. Mary’s hospital in Duluth by a neurosurgeon by the name of James Callahan.

Fast forward to today… the last time I had serious back pain (other than normal wear and tear soreness for a highly active 47 year old) was when I was laying on the table getting ready to receive anesthesia.

ADR has been a life altering experience for me in such a positive way…but I do baby my spine and body in general for aftercare. No high impact sports, skiing, running, etc. but I’m extremely active in the outdoors and I have complete range of motion like I had prior to my auto accident.

One word of advice, see the best surgeon you can and it will be a neurosurgeon.

If someone is good enough to work on a 6 month baby with a traumatic head injury where precision and smarts/experience are paramount, they’re good enough to work on you.

You want the very best hands and head on a surgeon touching you so choose wisely, it makes a difference.

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@montowibo

Hi Tom,

Here’s my experience before and after with a 1 level ADR at L5/S1 performed back in 2006.

During September of 2003 (31 years old) I was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident where I ended up rupturing my disk at L5/S1. By Spring of 2005, I had complete collapse of the disk space since the disk no longer existed.

My goals were simple, be narcotic free and get as much exercise as I could. Adrenaline is one of the best pain killers, but when you literally lose all feeling in a leg temporarily, there isn’t much you can do until your feeling starts creeping back.

I won’t get into details about all of the pain I was in, but I can empathize with anyone with severe back pain, I truly get it.

In April of 2006 I had my ADR performed at St. Mary’s hospital in Duluth by a neurosurgeon by the name of James Callahan.

Fast forward to today… the last time I had serious back pain (other than normal wear and tear soreness for a highly active 47 year old) was when I was laying on the table getting ready to receive anesthesia.

ADR has been a life altering experience for me in such a positive way…but I do baby my spine and body in general for aftercare. No high impact sports, skiing, running, etc. but I’m extremely active in the outdoors and I have complete range of motion like I had prior to my auto accident.

One word of advice, see the best surgeon you can and it will be a neurosurgeon.

If someone is good enough to work on a 6 month baby with a traumatic head injury where precision and smarts/experience are paramount, they’re good enough to work on you.

You want the very best hands and head on a surgeon touching you so choose wisely, it makes a difference.

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So happy you had a great experience..
Everything you said, ditto for me.
You need to do your research and find a neurosurgeon that specializes in spine and brain.
Why brain? Because if you are having cervical surgery, it will be close to the brain.
I also agree about babying your spine AFTER surgery and FOREVER!!!
Too many people start doing things that are detrimental to your back as soon as they feel good.
Then, they think their surgery failed.
The surgery didn't fail, the patient did.
I think it is also important to remember that we still age and we will still get the aches and pains that often comes with age.

Thank for the reminders!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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