Lumbar fusion surgeries have increased 62.3%* since 2015.
Why? There are no checks and balances in the medical industry. This spinal fusion scam involves blatant workers comp fraud, $25k kickbacks to unscrupulous surgeons to perform fusions and counterfeit hardware that’s made in a regular machinists shop that’s seriously poisoning people. The result is more failed surgeries after the first and unfortunately lots and lots of pain.
Disclaimer: Not all surgeons are implicated and certainly there are some cases where surgery is appropriate.
My advice: Try all other therapies first. Spoiler alert: The company making non-FDA-approved screws has not been criminally charged
I'd try working with a therapeutic back pain specialist, a physical therapist, a neurokinetic therapist - try anything and everything before committing to spinal fusion surgery.
If you're leaning towards surgery, get multiple (2, 3, 4!) opinions.
If you're concerned paying for multiple opinions is too expensive, please consider that it’s much cheaper than paying for palliative care and dozens of pain meds for the rest of your life.
Spinal surgery is a HUGE decision, it should not be a frontline solution.
Yours in health, Dinneen
*Following is the source for the rate of increase
"RESULTS: Volume of elective lumbar fusion increased 62.3% (or 32.1% per 100,000 US adults), from 122,679 cases (60.4 per 100,000) in 2004 to 199,140 (79.8 per 100,000) in 2015. Increases were greatest among age 65 or older, increasing 138.7% by volume (73.2% by rate), from 98.3 per 100,000 (95% confidence interval [CI] 97.2, 99.3) in 2004 to 170.3 (95% CI 169.2, 171.5) in 2015. Although the largest increases were for spondylolisthesis (+47,390 operations, 111%) and scoliosis (+16,129 operations, 186.6%), disc degeneration, herniation, and stenosis combined to accounted for 42.3% of total elective lumbar fusions in 2015. Aggregate hospital costs increased 177% during these 12 years, exceeding $10 billion in 2015, and averaging more than $50,000 per admission.
CONCLUSION: While the prevalence of spinal pathologies is not known, the rate of elective lumbar fusion surgery in the United States increased most for spondylolisthesis and scoliosis, indications with relatively good evidence of effectiveness. The proportion of fusions coded for indications with less evidence of effectiveness has slightly decreased in the most recent years."