You are thinking about having lower back surgery or your physician has recommended it. Not sure what to do? Maybe you should think long and hard about undergoing the knife.
Consider these findings regarding lower back surgery from a medical review in a March 2009 article in Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine:
*Deyo, RA; Mirza, SK; Turner, JA; Martin, BI (2009). "Overtreating Chronic Back Pain: Time to Back Off?". Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM
According to the Mayo Clinic ("Back Surgery: When Is It a Good Idea?" Mayo Clinic, July 7, 2011.), "back surgery is needed in only a small percentage of cases. Most back problems can be taken care of with nonsurgical treatments,..."
Lower back pain is very common as is lower back surgery for its treatment. However, the Mayo Clinic also states the following: "back pain is extremely common ... surgery often fails to relieve it."
In my 33 yrs. Of practicing chiropractic I have treated patients:
In all of these cases there were but an extremely few that actually needed surgery.
There were patients that I did refer to surgery that I did not treat at all or maybe treated them for a brief trial period. When I was confident that they were not going to respond to my care I readily referred them for surgical consideration.
To be honest and to their credit, some surgeons after my referral were hesitant to operate and did in fact not perform surgery. They monitored these patients while they either received conservative medical care or no care. Albeit, these were extremely rare occurrences but none the less they did occur.
I have also witnessed doctors performing surgery when it was contraindicated due to age.
In one particular case a physician performed a “new” surgical procedure on an elderly woman. I had warned this woman's daughter about the grave risk and felt that her symptom (pain) was not severe enough to justify this operation. I told the daughter that I felt this patient would not survive the procedure.
Sadly, she passed away due to complications within a few days of the “successful” surgery.
It used to be that the criteria for surgery was:
Now surgery is recommended early in onset and often. One reason is due to the glut of orthopedic and neurological surgeons. It's what they do and how they make their living so it will be easy for them to recommend it when it really isn't needed.
To be fair, I have also witnessed some of my chiropractic colleagues failing to refer a patient for surgery when it was indicated or even referring for a surgical opinion.
Yes, it is probably for the same reason. Treating lower back pain patients is a lucrative business and the more they can see and treat and the longer they can retain these patients the more income the healthcare provider can generate.
These doctors, both medical and chiropractic, are the exception. Most are honest and caring individuals that only want the best for their patients.
It is because we healthcare professionals want what's best for them that we often are blinded due to our prejudices and fail to see that we can not, despite truly wanting to, help every patient that seeks our services.
The information to take away from here is:
Guard your health... It is a precious thing.
Never subject yourself to unecessay surgical procedures. Don't be fooled into believing that your pain and dysfunction will miraculously disappear after lower back surgery ...it never does. You will always be left with some degree of pain, dysfunction and disability following all lower back surgery.