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Spinal Fusion Inquiry Shows The Value In A Tempered Approach To Care

A couple weeks ago, CBS News came out with an analysis of spinal fusion surgeries being carried out around the country.  Their investigation sought to determine the prevalence of the procedure and address concerns that some patients may be led into undergoing this surgery when they maybe didn’t need it.  The number of such operations carried out has grown steadily since 2011.  CBS News readily acknowledged the limitations of their investigation, such as being unable to distinguish whether or not the operation was necessary or if a particular doctor received a lot of referrals.

Obviously, this story has a particular resonance for the DISC Sports & Spine Center.  Spinal fusions are available at our facilities, but we only advise patients to go this route after all non-surgical options have been considered.  An appropriate physical therapy regimen can often be enough to limit back pain, and if that doesn’t work, pain might be managed with corticosteroid injections or even aspirin.  It’s only once other avenues have been exhausted that we recommend patients explore the possibility of a minimally invasive spinal surgery.  Whenever possible, we seek to have patients home the very same day they come in.  That way, they can begin the spinal fusion recovery process as soon as possible.

If you’re ever experiencing back pain, make sure that you consult with a physician you can trust and that will work with you to identify the merits of every option, both surgical and non-surgical.


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