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Bryan Cervical Disc Removal C5-6

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    Bryan Cervical Disc Removal C5-6

    Hi Everyone,

    I would like to share my situation here and see if anyone else has anything to add. I elected for the Bryan Cervical Disc to replace a herniated disc at C5-6 level back in April 2008. It took me almost a year to recover form the injury and minor SCI damage at C5-6 level.

    Over the years I developed Facet Joint Arthrosis from the hypermobility of the Bryan disc, and in Late January 2013, I suffered a second SCI at C5-6 level. The Bryan disc has not adequately protected my spine. The white space in my ventral and dorsal horns has significantly increased in height from the constant edema that the disc has caused.

    I am now frightened that this Medtronic device is far too dangerous to continue and I'm looking to have it explanted.

    My Baselines in my spinal cord are lowering and my surgeon is not willing to discuss or admit that there is a problem. Probably because he's afraid of any liability on his behalf or Medtronic's.

    I live in Canada and I'm seeking to find a good solution to remove the ADR and fuse my C5-6 and possibly C6-7 levels. and I am realizing that I may need to fly out of Country and Pay out of pocket to explant the device and preserve what is left of my spinal cord.

    Any advice form members is welcome and appreciated.

    Sorry I can't help you. Your post makes me feel better about the fusion I'm going to have on the 8th this month. I was looking at alternatives to fusion.I guess the Doctors I have are right that fusion is the way to go for me. I'm having C4-5 and C5-6 done.
    I hope someone comes along to help you out.


      Thanx CraigO

      I thought the Bryan Disc was a good way to go 5 years ago. The Other Surgeon I consulted with prior to my decision said he would never implant some foreign object without at least 20 years of field tested data available.
      That Surgeon is the highest rated Neuro in Toronto, Canada on RateMD's. You can find his name easily by looking up the top 10 Neuros in Toronto on RateMD's. I wish I listened to him, I'd be in better shape today.

      Don't settle for the gimmicks these Corporations try to perpetuate online. Their main interest is to raise the stock price when the "4th Quarter Earnings" report is made public. All the Doctors who install these implants and run studies for the corporations are in some way or another on the Corporate pay roll to exaggerate the effectiveness of these devices for the benefit of the Corporation.

      We are in the Infancy of artificial Disc replacement. It will take half a Century to Perfect these Implants in my view. The Bryan disc can be likened to A Model T Ford in that sense. Lots of room for improvement.

      Fusion is the "Gold Standard". Protect your Spinal Cord and preserve the Disc Height, Neural Foramen and mostly, protect your spinal cord with an Arthrodesis.

      Sure, you might have to fuse another segment or Two by the time you're 65 with the new additional stress you're gonna have on your adjacent discs. In my experience that's a small price to pay when compared to increased signal change in the spinal cord. Remember the skull pivots through the Atlas and the lower Cervical Vertebral bodies are not involved when looking from side to side or nodding your head. To me it's a small luxury to be able to do the "funky chicken" manoeuvre with your neck, so don't worry about it too much.

      I'll keep you posted on my efforts to find a surgeon who I can trust to take this over-hyped crap out of my spine and stop the constant motion that is causing inflammation, hyper-extension and flexion pain.

      I can feel my spine has very little support at C5-6 level from hyper-extension due to my Anterior Longitudional Ligament being cut to place the Implant, so accidental hyper-extension is sometimes a problem that crushes my facet joints together at the rear. Hyper-extending the cervical spine is the most compromising position that narrows the spinal canal the most and irritates an already scar-tisssued spinal cord constantly.
      Last edited by Marcuslv; 3 Apr 2013, 9:19 AM.


        Dr. John Regan in the Los Angeles, CA area is a top-notch surgeon who does artificial disc removal.


          Thanx Kari

          I have been reading CareCure Forums since 2008, and I have picked up plenty of valuable info here.

          This Community is an amazing collection of some insightful and resourceful people who collaborate to ease the suffering of SCI. This place really takes the words "Care" and "Cure" to the next level.

          I'm starting to communicate with Medical Travel consultants. I'm planning on looking for consultations in Places like Bumrungrad Hospital in Thailand, Apollo Hospital network in India, Wooridul Spine Hospital in South Korea, and Private Hospitals locally in Canada. I already received one quote from Fortis Hospital in New Delhi India, but I'm not in a rush before I have thoroughly examined all of my options.

          Prices for Private Uninsured Spine Surgeries on US soil are way out of any normal person's budget, and some of the aforementioned countries have excellent standards of care in their private hospitals at fractions of the cost. Also, the South Koreans have been implanting Bryan discs way longer than the 2009 FDA approval of them in USA.

          Here in Ontario there are about 120 Neuro Surgeons practising and 60 of them last year have closed their doors to new patients because their waiting list has grown to a length of up to 3 years. The shortest wait time is one year for a spine surgeon consult here under the Public system.

          Cancer patients are seen much sooner, but there is a pertiicularly long wait now for spine surgeons. This is most probably due to the pressure from the aging population and the fact that 9 out of every 10 patients that a Family Physician sends to a Spine Surgeon are not candidates for surgery and are sent home. So the patients who may really need surgery doesn't get seen for a long time.

          I'm really a beginner at all this so I do welcome and appreciate any member here who has insight and experience to share about spine surgery hospitals and Surgeons Globally at an affordable cost.


            Marcuslv, Thanks for all the info it really eased my mind. I really was afraid of going backwards and not being able to move again. I actually had C3-4 & C4-5 done. I may need C5-6 done later as it is ruptured also but not as bad as the others. My surgery lasted 4.5 hours and when I woke up I had a lot of pain. It took them a while to get the pain under control so they had me spend the night. I have noticed it is a lot easier to pee now but I still have numbness in my right hand fingers, right foot,and burning with hypersensitive right side from my chest down to my foot, front and back. Anyone know what vitamins I should be taking to help speed the fusion (bone growth)? Thanks again for any and all information.


              Your Post Op

              Hi CraigO,

              It took a few days for the general anasthesia to fully wear off after my surgery. These procedures are usually upto 5 hours long. Now that u fused 2 levels you are going to be putting more stress on your C5-6 and it already has wear and tear on it. I don't know how much loss of motion you're going to suffer, but that's far better than spinal cord compression in my view.

              Depending on the amount of damage you have to your spinal cord and your age will determine how well your spinal cord will recover. So your over all Neurological "plasticity" level will determine that to some degree. Your Axonal Pathways will over time reroute themselves and your ambulation will improve.

              Recovery after Spinal cord signal change is the rule and not the exception.

              It took me 9 Months to get back to normal after my Surgery. Bear in mind that I was compressed 30% in my spinal cord for a total of 18 Months. (Canadian Public system drags their heels when it comes to Spine stuff)

              I had minor signal change at C5-6 at that time. Bear in mind the overall height in Millimeters of your signal change (on MRI) will determinwe how much damage you have in your cord. My signal change height has gone up fro just a couple of Millimeters to like 7-10 millimetres, so my challenges are beginning all over again.

              I worked on walking every day and riding a bicycle and eating a paleolithic low carb low sodium diet. Cause when you're not active enough you will put on plenty of weight fast if you're still throwing in as many calories.

              As far as your Bones are concerned, don't smoke eat healthy and sleep lots. Bones are among the most regenerative tissues in the body. If you used your own auto-graft you have like a 98% chance of fusing and if you used fibular allograft you probably have like a 95% chance of fusing. If I had a choice I'd go for the cadaver donor bone allograft. The Complication rates of autologous Illiac crest bone harvesting site are like upto 30% with pain and nerve damage for years after the procedure. Now with anterior plating the rates of fusion for allograft bone are way up.

              Nerve roots recover much better than spinal cords do, something like 1 millimetre every Month or so, so as long as your nerve roots are decompressed you will see continuous improvement.

              You can PM me and we can exchange MRI Scans if you like.


                Originally posted by CraigO View Post
                Marcuslv, Thanks for all the info it really eased my mind. I really was afraid of going backwards and not being able to move again. I actually had C3-4 & C4-5 done. I may need C5-6 done later as it is ruptured also but not as bad as the others. My surgery lasted 4.5 hours and when I woke up I had a lot of pain. It took them a while to get the pain under control so they had me spend the night. I have noticed it is a lot easier to pee now but I still have numbness in my right hand fingers, right foot,and burning with hypersensitive right side from my chest down to my foot, front and back. Anyone know what vitamins I should be taking to help speed the fusion (bone growth)? Thanks again for any and all information.
                There is a lot of info on the web about natural and herbal remedies. trust info by naturopaths N.D's. There are many good books out there. A good starting point is a Cal/Mag/D supplement. All the B vitamins are important for nerve communication and function especially 6/9/12 (9 is folic acid). Vitamin C will help speed healing. Most of those are safe with medications but ALWAYS check with your prescribing physician before you start any vitamin or herbal therapy.
       This is one of my favorite books.
                CCS/Walker's a long story


                  Thanks Marcuslv and Lavenderthistle for the info. Looks like I have some homework to do and a lot to learn. Marcusly I'm not really computer savvy enough to send MRI scans. And I would not know what I was looking at if I saw yours. I think my next X-rays of the metal plates may be interesting to look at. I do have a disc of my MRI's. But I'll have to wait until my daughter comes over to show me how look at it on the computer. Ha Ha I'm lucky I can turn this thing on.I still have trouble sometimes.
                  Thanks again guys this Care Cure place is sure a big help.


                    I sent you a pm with more natural remedy info
                    CCS/Walker's a long story


                      with your permission I would like to forward this to Dr Young to comment on

                      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


                        Thank You Kindly, I would feel fortunate to have Dr. Young review my files

                        I received a treatment plan the other day from Dr. David Vincent, Neuro Surgeon in Norfolk, Virginia through AMIS Spine in Cyprus. He commented after reviewing all my scans and reports.

                        The Email reply is as follows:

                        It is a pleasure and honor to be able to assist you with Dr. Vincent’s review and recommended treatment for your clinical condition.

                        Dr David Vincent has reviewed your MRI. Dr Vincent is a board certified, fellowship trained neurosurgeon with Neurosurgical Specialists, Inc. in Norfolk, Virginia. He specializes in the treatment of spinal disorders; including degenerative disease, tumors, fractures, and deformity. He has a strong focus on minimally invasive techniques for the treatment of these disorders, with key emphasis on motion preservation and non-fusion procedures. Please follow the link to learn more about Dr. David Vincent

                        DR VINCENT

                        Dr Vincent has reviewed your MRI images and there are findings which need treatment. The MRI of your cervical spine shows cervical spondylosis and degenerative disc disease at levels C5-6 and C6-C7 Taking this into consideration, Dr Vincent recommends removal of the Bryan disc, with anterior cervical approach and cervical plating fusion using a Peek cage and allograft at C5-C6 and C6-C7 levels with complete decompression. The surgical procedure will include implantation of autologous centrifuged bone marrow stem cells to further enhance the fusion process. Throughout the surgery, Intraoperative Nerves Monitoring System will be utilized to provide real-time, precise, and reliable feedback to ensure nerve and spinal cord safety. The surgery lasts about 2 hours, there is minimal blood loss and usually involves one day hospitalization. We need you stay in Cyprus for follow-up for only 7-8 days after surgery and then you can safely fly back home. Please notice that prior the surgery you will need an ENT evaluation to assess your vocal cords since you already had an Anterior Cervical Surgery.


                          I've uploaded my data for Dr. Wise and others to comment on

                          These are the links to my MRI's and Radiology reports.

                          Last edited by Marcuslv; 14 Apr 2013, 9:48 AM. Reason: Too Personal for everyone to view


                            Marcusly, Im glad I did not see these videos before my surgery. After watching them I looked up the surgery I had done on Y-tube. OUCH..If I had seen them before I would have been more aprehensive than I was already. It just looks so brutal. Not at all what I had pictured in my mind. Now I understand why I was in so much pain after surgery. Thanks alot...Ha Ha Ha HA ....


                              Haha. yeah, having your head cut off and put pack together is no joke.

                              But seriously the main risks are damage to laryngeal nerve, trachea and and spinal nerve roots. SPinal cord damage is a 1-3% risk factor from the procedure. It's a pretty standard procedure, even though Spine surgeries are major procedures. To any trained Neuro Surgeon it's like changing a tire on a car.

                              Tissue and bone pain is not as bad as nerve and spinal cord damage. You will improve dramatically now that you are decompressed.

                              Also, one gets accustomed to watching surgeries over time. It takes repetitive exposure and continued interest. After a while you will view surgical procedures with enthusiasm.