From the New York Times:
“Spinal-fusion surgery is one of the most lucrative areas of medicine. An estimated half-million Americans had the operation this year, generating billions of dollars for hospitals and doctors.
But there have been serious questions about how much the surgery actually helps patients with back pain and whether surgeons’ generous fees might motivate them to overuse the procedure. Those concerns are now heightened by a growing trend among some surgeons to profit in yet another way — by investing in companies that make screws and other hardware they install.” http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/30/business/30spine.html?ex=1325134800&en=9c70b96244b5dfc9&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
Now, added to concerns about medicine’s poor musculoskeletal training and dangerous statistics, we have to wonder if the orthopedist might be motivated to install 6 of those $1000 screws in your spine because they are a stockholder in a lucrative medical device manufacturer that produced them.
The sanest and safest approach is to use conservative approaches like chiropractic care first. You can always resort to drugs or surgical approaches as a last-ditch resort, but the statistics suggest that most low-back and neck pain can be successfully managed with lower costs and higher patient satisfaction by chiropractors.
If chiropractic care helps patients get better faster and costs the patient and/or insurance company less, shouldn’t EVERY low back pain patient FIRST see a chiropractor before any other type of doctor?
On October 20, 2009, a report was delivered on the impact on population, health and total health care spending. It was found the addition of chiropractic care for the treatment of neck and low back pain “…will likely increase value-for-dollar in US employer-sponsored health benefit plans.” Authored by an MD and an MD/PhD, and commissioned by the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, the findings are clear; chiropractic care achieves higher satisfaction and superior outcomes for both neck and low back pain in a manner more cost effective than other commonly utilized approaches.
The study reviews the fact that low back and neck pain are extremely common conditions consuming large amounts of health care dollars. In 2002, 26% of…
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