In 1975 I had a cervical fusion at level C5/6 with C4/5 also damaged. I continued to coach wrestling and competitively water ski jump until 1990 when I ruptured another disc but this time at level C3/4. Again I received a fusion and had many problems which started to show up from 1995 on. Numbness and loss of strength in my arms. Luckily my arms slowly came back but all the doctors said I needed a multi level fusion at levels C4/5, and level C6/7. Finally I heard about Dr. Ritter-Lang. After much research by myself and my neurosurgeon in Chicago I felt confident in going with Dr. Ritter-Lang. My decision was made by the number of operations performed, the openness and accessibility of the doctors and staff for evaluation and discussion of my situation and options. I also liked the disc that they were using. I was a little apprehensive at first about receiving medical treatment abroad but a neighbor of mine in Fla. who was chief cardiovascular surgeon at Mayo Clinic in Jaxonville, Fla. told me to not worry as he had operated there with german surgeons and that in his estimation they were as good or better in neorosurgery and heart and brain surgery. Armed with these assurances and having phoned and had conversations with other patients from the US my wife and I went to Germany on November 23, 2006, The whole experience was very well orchestrated from my arrival at the airport through my departure. It was a great experience from the fact that we were more relaxed to see other American and foreign patients there at the same time. They schedule the foreigners on the same days. Since I already knew the routine from two previous operations I was able to ditch the walker after about an hour. The staff and anesthesiologist came every day to regulate your pain. Great care was given to constantly monitor everything especially making sure you had heparin to prevent clots. I never had such well educated caring people as the staff there. They were always right there in a moments notice and genuinely showed their high level of expertise and desire to make me comfortable and safe. I was supposed to spend a week there in the hospital and a week in recuperating in Bremen at a 5 star hotel (very excellent I might add) but I was able to progress rapidly and left on Monday morning for the hotel. On Tuesday I walked with my wife around downtown Bremen for around five hours. I would be less and less sore each day. We stayed a week and then went back to our home in Chicago. I had pain levels of 8-10 every day for 12 years. After the operation the burning down my arm slowly went away and rarely ever is noticible. I have gained strength and sleep much better. I used to not be able to sleep for hours after getting in bed now I sleep soundly and my wife says I even snore. Most days are a 0 pain level with the worst ones being a 2!!! This is a far cry from the pain I used to have when every minute of every day used to occupy my mind with thinking of the pain. I can't tell people enough about the level of care I received, I have golfed a little with no soreness. Can ride my motorcycles again with no numbness in my arms which used to occur after 10 minutes!! I have started to water ski again (no jumping ever again) and look forward to snow skiing again. My general condition and strength have improved without ever having to exercise. If any one is contemplating surgery I would highly recommend Dr. Ritter-Lang. I would not even consider having another spinal operation anywhere but there. I believe they are 5-10 years ahead of the U.S. doctors. I have no pain at all from the discs and everyone who knows me tells me they can't believe how much more mobility I have gained. I would again like to thank everyone for giving me my life back. If any prospective patients would care to call I would be happy to share my experiences with them.
Contact Chuck at (815) 482-8384 cell.