Scott had two neck surgeries in 2010, both with Medtronic bone graft implants. Scott’s doctor explained that he had one ruptured disc. “Just a few months after the first surgery, I needed another one because the disc above or below was bad,” says Scott. “I thought the first surgery fused the vertebrae but I think this bone graft caused damage to the next disc.
“I went back to the surgeon again. He told me that bone was growing outside the Infuse bone graft but there was no reason to do more surgery. Before having this surgery, I understood that the graft was going to contain everything but this isn’t the case with me.”
Scott, age 46, isn’t sure why his surgeon said it was okay or why bone is growing outside the graft. He is on disability due to a back injury at work and can’t afford the cost of co-pay to see another doctor.
“I’ve had problems swallowing for some time and it’s getting worse,” says Scott. “Now that I think about it, this problem started not long after the surgery. It happens sometimes when I eat dinner and when I eat too fast. If I am stressed, it bothers me too. It scares me when I get this swallowing problem with food because I think that I am going to choke. It is especially worrisome when I am by myself. When it happens, it is hard not to panic - imagine having a golf ball stuck in your throat. That’s what it feels like.”
Scott says he is also in constant pain, from his neck and throat and into his shoulders. Because the pain was getting worse, he filed a claim regarding problems with the bone growing outside the Infuse bone graft. Scott hopes to join a Medtronic lawsuit, along with other people who have similar complaints, including difficulty swallowing.
Medtronic’s involvement with its latest campaign to help those with swallowing difficulties and its purchase of a device to treat the problem is baffling, to say the least. And ironic?
READ MORE MEDTRONIC INFUSE BONE GRAFT LEGAL NEWS
“We are calling on people to support Lollipop Day, supported by Medtronic, by purchasing a lollipop and urging those experiencing swallowing difficulties…to attend their GP for advice.”
And another irony. If you experience swallowing disorders associated with the Bone infuse device, Medtronic can sell you another device (Sapiens Steering Brain Stimulation) it recently purchased to treat “side effects from existing U.S.-approved devices, including speech and swallowing disorders, muscle spasms and sensory disturbances.” Medtronic doesn’t go so far as to say its product is one of those existing US-approved devices.