2007 - M6 Cervical Disc Replacement C5/6 above fusion

    After 4 years of increasing pain, Kirk had a fusion of C6/C7 in 2002. Nov 2006, after seeing more doctors than he can count, Kirk has been diagnosed with DDD (Degenerative Disc Disease), the failure of discs to maintain the normal spacing between the vertebrae. Combined with a moderate level of spinal arthritis, the fusion has put increasing pressure on the nerve roots leaving the spine, especially at C5/6. After much deliberation, Kirk scheduled a disc replacement surgery on January 11, 2007 in Germany... 

    ... Jan 11, The most painful part was the insertion of the first IV (which really wasn't too bad, thanks to Dr. Gellert). The surgery took about an hour and a half. Next thing Kirk knew, he was in the wakening Room, just adjacent to the surgical theatres. Jan 12, after getting off the morphine pump much earlier than normal, Kirk was walking around and generally annoying the other Americans. Jan 17, Kirk is finally out of the hospital! Jan 22, Kirk's neck is doing pretty well, getting slowly better each day. The train ride wasn't as much of a problem as it might have been a few weeks prior, and the walking wasn't bad either. Each day is different, but it seems like there is some hope that the surgery had a significant positive effect. Update; April 2008, Work has kept Kirk quite busy, but he has managed to do some light construction projects, expanding his parachute service facility. With the weather warming up, Kirk is planning to do some jumps, as time permits. This may take a little warming up, but it is now quite reasonable to consider. It is hard to even remember that, before surgery, the pain made these activities, simply, unthinkable.

    Contact Kirk at or call 815-252-5515.