Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Overutilization of Low Back Fusion

A New York Times Article (free subscription required) observes that while low back fusion has not been demonstrated to be more effective than laminectomy, the procedure continues to be offered frequently. The article discusses the methods of the hardware manufacturers to market their product and the increased medicare and private insurance reimbursement doctors and hospitals receive. Read all the way to page three for the story of a medical director of a California insurance company with back pain from an extruded disk -- the key here may be no leg pain -- his choice: no surgery, with recovery in two months.

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