Our surgeons use the latest 3rd generation artificial disc implants such as the ESP and M6.

People fly in from all over the world to access the technology and surgical expertise that is not available in their home countries.

From the evaluation & treatment plan to post-op rehabilitation, we have you covered.

Our experienced surgeons, patient liaisons, and hospital staff are there for you every step of the way

Why ONZ?

At ONZ, we offer a unique surgical experience that includes:

  • Highly experienced Neurosurgeons
  • State-of-the-Art Technology
  • Private (or semi-private) hospital room
  • Extended and structured MEDICOS Rehab program with personalized attention
  • Hotel stay at 4-star Marriott
  • All meals for patient and 1 support partner
  • Vascular Surgeon and General Surgeon always on Standby
  • Fully Equipped Hospitals with full diagnostics infrastructure, Neurology, and Emergency ICU staffed 24/7
  • Flouroscopic Guidance for most accurate placement
  • All hotels and transportation from Dusseldorf airport arranged and coordinated by our team

State-of-the-Art Implants

3rd Generation Artificial Discs

Cervical and Lumbar Disc Replacement

Cervical and Lumbar Disc Replacement

Please note that not everyone is a good candidate for ADR and sometimes fusion is still the best option. Our surgeons are highly experienced in all types of spine surgery including endoscopic procedures and anterior and posterior fusions with minimally invasive techniques. Our surgeons are unbiased and will recommend the best treatment for your unique case.


In Germany, all medical devices (which includes spinal implants) must have undergone extensive scientific evaluation and have a proven track record. Germany has a long tradition of over 25 years using non-fusion technology. We only use surgical techniques that have been approved by the German authorities and provide an advantage to other methods.

Rehab at MEDICOS auf Schalke

Official health-partner and contact point for ONZ patients and Germany’s professional soccer players

ONZ patients benefit from the unique rehabilitation competence of “MEDICOS auf Schalke,” Europe’s largest and top rehabilitation center. Here patients undergo physiotherapy and rehab while staying with their support partner at a 4-star Marriott Hotel which is physically connected to the rehab center.


Personalized patient care is what sets Medicos apart. The ONZ Team works together with Dr. Ulrich Vieregge and his staff at Medicos to provide daily massages and other types of physio therapy which provide the necessary foundation for the very best outcome in the healing process.

At Medicos, patients receive:

  • Lymphatic Drainage
  • Physiotherapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Deep Tissue Massage
  • Wound Management
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Electrotherapy
  • Daily Visits with Physician to address any issues

Building the foundation for recovery

Our Team

Experienced Spine Specialists

Dr. Thomas Bierstedt


Dr. Bierstedt conducts 350–400 spinal surgeries annually of all degrees of difficulty, about 50% are motion-preserving interventions, e.g. artificia [...]

Dr. Bernd Illerhaus


Dr. Illerhaus performs some 400 spine interventions annually. His special emphasis is on motion-preserving disc replacement surgery. Dr. Illerhaus [...]

Dr. Guido Ostermann


Dr. Guido Ostermann is a recognized expert for minimal invasive and endoscopic interventions of the cervical and lumbar spine. He performs about 350 s [...]

Malte Petersen

International Patient Director

For over 25 years Malte has been working as a mediator between thousands of international spine patients, hospitals, and surgeons in Germany. In 2012 [...]

Dr. Vieregge

Medical Director - Medicos

Dr. Ulrich Vieregge is the Medical Director at Medicos auf Schalke, where all patients learn to move confidently again after hospital discharge. Dr [...]

What Patients Are Saying

  • I was completely amazed at the entire process from the courteous and caring hospital staff to the pampering I received at Medicos. To be quite honest, I didn't want to leave!  Dr. Bierstedt gave me my life back and I'll forever be in debt to him.
    Tommy Tompkins (42) 2-level Lumbar ADR L3-5
  • I couldn't believe it. I was up and walking within a few hours of surgery!
    Louis (37) Minimally Invasive Laminotomy
  • This is what I've been told: There is nothing we can do for you. Live with it. Take drugs. Then I met Dr. Bierstedt and he proved them wrong.
    Christopher (43) Cervical ADR C5/6 and C6/7
  • It was truly a life changing experience in the best positive sense I will never forget and the results to date are flawless. As a patient, I would do it again without hesitation. Definitely the BEST decision of my life!
    Becky (32) ADR
  • I've gone on 16 hour hikes with a backpack and not a single moment of discomfort. I feel now that nothing can stop me. The doctors at ONZ essentially gave me my life back!
    Mike Manchulenko 3-level lumbar ADR L3-S1
  • I can't say enough! It was the best experience of my entire life and I'll never forget it.
    Ross Beach 2-level lumbar ADR

Our Unique Process

We're there for you from start to finish

First Contact

First, contact us by filling out the Contact Form. At this point, one of our experienced patient liaisons will be in touch to help guide you through the entire process.

Evaluation of Medical Data

Your liaison will help you prepare your Patient Data Sheet, MRI, X-Ray, and any other medical imaging files that you have.  After everything is ready, our senior surgeons will review your case.

Receive Obligation Free Treatment Plan

If our surgeons found you to be a good candidate for surgery, an evaluation report will be sent back that contains their findings, recommended treatment plan, and surgery package details including total package cost.

Treatment Plan / Tele-consultation

Your liaison will be in touch to discuss the proposed treatment plan and to help answer any questions.

Assist with Travel Planning

Your liaison will assist with all hotel arrangements and travel planning to help make your journey as painless as possible. We require some pre-op testing to be performed by your local doctor prior to coming to Germany, and your liaison will help coordinate that with you as well.

Airport Pickup

Our driver will be awaiting your arrival at the Dusseldorf airport. You and your support partner(s) will be transported to the first hotel to relax and get settled in.

Hotel Arrival / Hospital Admission

Our driver will pick you up from the hotel (typically the following day), take you to your pre-op appointments, and admit you to the hospital.

Consultation with Neurosurgeon

You will meet one-on-one with a senior neurosurgeon to discuss your surgery plan and address any of your concerns.


This is the day you’ve been waiting for.

Hospital Stay + Daily Physiotherapy

Your recovery starts here. Our goal is to get you back on your feet and ready for more advanced rehab at the Medicos AufSchalke rehab center. The hospital stay is typically 7 days but varies from patient to patient.

Move to Medicos Rehab Center

You and your support partner(s) will be transferred from the Elisabeth hospital to the Stays by Friends hotel which is connected to the Medicos AufSchalke rehab center. Here you will undergo more advanced rehabilitation and physiotherapy. Your stay at Medicos is typically 6 days but varies from patient to patient.

Final Checkup with Surgeon

Your surgeon will review your X-rays to ensure all is healing well and address any questions or concerns.

Return Home with Ongoing Support

Before you fly home, you’ll be given a packet that contains orders for new X-Rays (typically 3 months and 6 months post-op), a letter of medical necessity, and an itemized list of all medical services provided. After you return, your primary care doctor should order your X-Rays at the intervals requested by your surgeon and continue to prescribe pain medications (only if needed). In almost all cases, there is no need to return to Germany for follow up. The required X-Rays are typically all that’s needed for follow up care. Most issues can be addressed digitally over email.

Begin the Evaluation Process

Take the first step towards getting your life back and contact us today.

ONZ visits canada

Patient Seminars Canada
August 2024

Pre-registration is now open

Leave your frustration behind. Start your journey to a better life now!