Spinal Decompression - Testimonials

Read what Tyrone Sharp wrote to the President about Spinal Decompression
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I am writing to you about the problems I encountered with my medicare wellcare health plan of Florida and spinal decompression, an alternative treatment to neck and back surgery which could lead to increased universal heath care funding.

I am a retired Chicago Police Sergeant since February 1991 and I now currently reside in Florida.

I was blessed with good health until 2008 at the age 70. In August 2008, I began having pain in my neck and shoulder. I scheduled an appointment with my primary doctor. She scheduled neck and shoulder x-rays. From the x-ray results, she informed me I had some narrowing or bone degeneration. She recommended that I take physical therapy three times a week for twelve weeks. Unfortunately, after the first three treatments the pain that I experienced increased.

At this time, I realized that it was necessary for me to consult an orthopedic surgeon. I again had to visit my primary doctor so that she could provide the authorization for me to see the orthopedic surgeon. Prior to my consultation with the orthopedic surgeon, an MRI was required and requested.

Unfortunately, I was unable to undergo a regular MRI because of the pain I was experiencing prevented me from lying on my back and remaining motionless for the required 30 minutes to complete the MRI.

I was allowed to see the orthopedic surgeon without the regular MRI and he recommended that I take a stand-up MRI, gave me a steroid shot and a neck brace.

Again, I needed permission from my primary doctor who had to get authorization from my insurance company to take the stand-up MRI. This eventual approval process took another 10 days during which I was still in excruciating pain.

After obtaining the stand up MRI, the orthopedic surgeon reviewed the films and informed me that the MRI films indicated several bulging and herniated discs in my neck. He suggested I see a neurosurgeon.

It again took another ten to fourteen days to get authorization and make an appointment with the neurosurgeon.

When I visited the neurosurgeon, he also read the MRI films and concurred with the orthopedic surgeon's finding that I had bulging and herniated discs. He prescribed, prior to me undergoing any neck surgery, that I receive physical therapy 3 times a week for 12 weeks and a steroid 6 pack. He also scheduled a future appointment for me to see him in 3 weeks.

It took between ten and fourteen days to schedule the physical therapy. After three treatments of physical therapy, there was no difference in my pain level.

On my next scheduled appointment day with the neurosurgeon I was told that he was unable to see me because I again needed authorization from my primary doctor. We attempted to contact my primary doctor but her office informed us that she was on vacation. It took five days to obtain the required authorization for the second visit with the neurosurgeon.

While waiting the five days for another authorization, I spoke with my massage therapist, who suggested that I try spinal decompression, alternative treatment to surgery, at Spinal Restoration Inc., located in Winter Haven, Florida.

I then consulted with the director/owner of Spinal Restoration, Angie Horton, who after reading my stand-up MRI results explained that the suggested treatment was a non-surgical, non-invasive, spinal decompression on a DRX9000C unit and that it is for correction not temporary relief. She also informed me that I was an excellent candidate for the treatment. It cost $250 per treatment with a twenty-treatment protocol.

When I finally was able to see my neurosurgeon, I told him that the prescribed physical therapy was not working and asked him about spinal decompression. He was aware of spinal decompression but the indicated insurance company refused to pay for it. (The procedure code is S9090, which is vertebral coxial decompression. Insurance companies reject code alleging that is experimental or investigational; even though FDA "Cleared" them many years ago. It is a safe and painless procedure. John Hopkins Hospital and Mayo Clinic did independent objective clinic trials on its effectiveness, which had raving positive reviews.)

I told the neurosurgeon that despite the insurance company's refusal to pay for it, I preferred to try the alternative treatment to neck surgery. He wished me luck, and said call him, if I needed him.

Angie Horton, the Director/Owner of Spinal Restoration, Inc., was God sent. She saw the unbearable pain I experienced. The pain started in my neck and radiated down my right arm into my hand. She knew my insurance company would not pay for the treatments, but she did not care. She said she would not allow anyone to be in such pain. She told me that for the spinal decompression I could pay what I could, when I could. Thank God for Angie Horton. She will always be blessed. (She did and is willing to explain the treatment in its entirety to anyone who is interested. Her phone number is (863) 294-2000, website is www.spinalrestorationinc.com.)

After four treatments of spinal decompression, I could finally sleep and drive my car. Ten additional spinal decompression treatments allowed me to reduce the medications that I had been required to take that had me drugged and in pain for hours.

After completing twenty treatments of spinal decompression, I only have occasional pain, and take medication only as needed. THANK GOD, I NO LONGER NEED NECK SURGERY.

In the United States we spend approximately 200 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR ON NECK AND BACK SURGERIES. How many neck and back surgeries are performed each year that could have been prevented with the ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT OF SPINAL DECOMPRESSION?

Currently the only alternative treatment to surgery, we have is physical therapy and acupuncture. Insurance companies will approve payments of $300 a treatment for physical therapy, but will not approve payments of $250 for a spinal decompression treatment.

Additionally, insurance companies pay between $80,000 and $100,000 for a single neck or back surgery. This does not include hospital costs of additional costs if any complications arise. Also 50% or more of spinal neck and back surgeries are not successful and require an additional surgery. This is known as failed back syndrome. Spinal decompression treatment, if approved, would reduce neck and back surgeries at least by 1/3, or more. This would be a savings of approximately 66 billion dollars a year. The savings could help toward funding of universal health insurance.

I am requesting the Secretary of Health Kathering Sebelius investigate the use of spinal decompression as an accepted alternative treatment to neck and back surgery.

Thank You for your consideration in this matter.


Tyrone Sharp

Read the President's response

Dear Friend:

Thank You for taking the time to share your views. I appreciate hearing from you and value your input.

My Administration is working to address the serious challenges our Nation faces. Some say we are moving forward on too many issues too quickly, but give our unprecedented circumstances, swift, deliberate action is needed. I am committed to taking immediate steps that generate job creation and economic recovery, and I am determined to make investments that lay a new foundation for real and lasting progress.

To build this new foundation, I have called for health care reform-this year-that reduces costs, protects health care choices, and assures quality, affordable care for all American. I am committed to building a clean energy economy that creates millions of job, helps to achieve energy independence, and reduce pollution as we tackle the effects of global warming. To prepare our children to thrive in the global economy, we must guarantee every child a complete and competitive education. We need to secure our homeland against threats by preventing terrorist attacks and planning for and responding soundly to emergencies. We also have an obligation to rein in our budget deficit by cutting wasteful spending and ineffective programs. We can do all this, and change the way business is done by Washington, by building the most open, transparent, and accountable government in our history.

Unfortunately, the only way to solve the problems is to involve all Americans in shaping the policies that affect our lives. Thank you again for writing. I encourage you to explore http://www.whitehouse.gov/, which is regularly updated and more interactive than ever before.


Barak Obama

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