Doctors' Choice Physical Medicine

Warning Schuylkill County: Back Surgery May Backfire

Back Surgery May Backfire, What This Study Found

In this study, half of the patients had back surgery to fuse two or more vertebra.  The other half had no back surgery even though they had comparable diagnoses.  After two years, just 26% of the back surgery group returned to work.  67% of the non-operative group returned to work.  There was a 41% increase in addictive pain medication for those who had back surgery!

Two Level Lumbar Spinal Fusion

Despite these poor outcomes, fusion back surgery is on the rise.  In July, another study in Spine reported that fusion surgery has increased 800% in the past 15 years.  Some areas in the USA are 300 to 400% higher than the national average.

Dr. William Welch, vice chair of the department of neurosurgery at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and chief of neurosurgery at Pennsylvania Hospital commented, “Even when the surgery is a success, it rarely dispels 100% of back pain.”

Dr. Doris K. Cope, professor and vice chair for pain medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine says, “the best results come about through a combination of approaches.  Each strategy may reduce pain by just 10 or 20%, but those percentages can add up so ultimately the patient’s pain is cut back by as much as 70 to 80%.”

Doctors’ Choice Physical Medicine and Rehab has a combination approach that includes manipulation, physical therapy, massage, therapeutic exercise, neuromuscular reeducation (balance and stability training) and nutrition. We refer out or work with the patient’s family doctor or specialist for medication and epidural, if necessary.

The MSNBC article can be found here:

Back surgery may backfire on patients in pain – Health – Pain center –

We are committed to help you or a loved one that is suffering with chronic low back pain, and sharing this information may be one of most evident acts of kindness you can give.

This information is solely advisory, and should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice.  Any and all health care concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a health care professional who is familiar with your medical history.