Ali is one of our younger patients who travelled to Germany for ADR. He is strong willed and travelled with his good friend Mohammad who also had surgery on the same day.
Ali had a herniation in his L5/S1 disc for many years, pushing into his spinal canal where his spinal cord runs. His local surgeons advised for him to wait as long as possible before they would offer a spine fusion.
When asked to describe his pain Ali said,
“It started in my back in mid-2010 and by the end of that year it ran all the way down my leg and foot. Since then there is continuous pain on my back, leg and foot.”
Previous Discectomy Surgeries
Ali had already had a discectomy surgery in Australia some 4 years earlier, which is a partial removal of the disc impinging the nerves. Unfortunately, once the Annulus (outer layer) of a disc is compromised, the pressures of daily wear and tear usually cause ongoing herniations over time.
As spinal discs do not have a blood supply to help repair themselves, some patients have 20 years relief after a discectomy, and some don’t have 20 days. From our patient experience, most require further surgery within 5 years.
Due to his young age and wanting to have a long active lifestyle ahead of him, Ali wanted to avoid restrictive fusion surgery at all costs.
We informed him of his options in Germany coordinated his assessment of his case.
Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) L5/S1
Total Discectomy by anterior surgical approach and disc replacement of L5/S1.
Ali discussed his options with his trusted personal physician at home, and decided to proceed with the surgery alongside his lifelong friend, Mohammad.
Malte Petersen (ONZ Patient Coordinator) met up with Ali during his recovery at Medicos Aufschalke – Europe’s largest rehab centre, where Ali shared his experience travelling from half a world away.