Your denial of Billy's artificial disk operation is not only unethical,it is poor business. Artificial Disks will make fusions obsolete just as hip and knee replacements made the fusion of these joints obsolete. Billy's fusion will cost at least as much, if not more than, Artificial Disk. You can bet that he will need another operation down the road if
he fuses because of the fusion-induced domino effect. Look at the claims records of your fusion patients. Go look now. That's Billy's future, and your costs, with fusion. You should hope that your contract with Billy doesn't include disability. With the road you are traveling now, that's next.

Artificial disks are no longer experimental. A very large, prospective 2-year study showed results comparable or superior to fusion. This was a large, multicenter, statistically robust study. As a result, artificial disks are now approved by the FDA. Of course, I have no doubt you are aware of this. Exactly how many more studies do you require? And how
long has Nationwide been funding fusions (20-40 years)? Were there studies on fusions of the same rigor and quality as the current Artificial Disk studies back then? No, I didn't think so.

Lastly, I do not know Billy but I know his situation. I had an artificial disk last year. They are amazing devices. No doubt at this moment you are reading this, sitting (comfortably) in your chair, without horrible unending spinal pain 24/7. How lucky this is for you.  If what happened to me or Billy happens to you, I can guarantee you that you will be begging and screaming for an artificial disk. Think I am exaggerating? You have no idea. Take your worst pain you have very had, multiply at by 10.and imagine that all day long, every day, without any respite. Think that's exaggerating? Think again. Day in, day out, and then being forced to fuse with the likelihood that the rest of your back will fail because of the domino effect, bringing you back again to horrible spinal pain. How luck you must be not to worry about such things.

You can be guaranteed that I will never recommend NATIONWIDE to ANYONE I know unless I hear Billy's claim is settled.


Dr. Paul Stewart
Oswego, NY