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Daily Archives: October 22, 2010

Startling New Study Reveals That Back Surgery Fails 74% of the Time

By |October 22, 2010|Iatrogenic Injury, Low Back Pain, News|

Startling New Study Reveals That Back Surgery Fails 74% of the Time

The Chiro.Org Blog


SOURCE:   SPINE (Phila Pa 1976) 2011 (Feb 15); 36 (4): 320–331

Nguyen TH, Randolph DC, Talmage J, Succop P, Travis R.

From the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics,
Department of Environmental Health,
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine,
Milford, OH


Researchers reviewed records from 1,450 patients in the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation database who had diagnoses of disc degeneration, disc herniation or radiculopathy, a nerve condition that causes tingling and weakness of the limbs. Half of the patients had surgery to fuse two or more vertebrae in hopes of curing low back pain. The other half had no surgery, even though they had comparable diagnoses.

After two years, only 26 percent of those who had surgery had actually returned to work. That’s compared to 67 percent of patients who didn’t have the surgery, even though they had the same exact diagnosis.

That translates to a resounding 74% failure rate! It also suggests that you have a 257% better chance of returning to work IF YOU AVOID SURGERY in the first place!

In another troubling finding, the researchers determined that there was a 41 percent increase in the use of painkillers, particularly opiates, in those who had the surgery. Last year we reported that deaths from addictive painkillers has doubled in the last 10 years. [6]

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