AARP Warns Its Subscribers to Avoid 4 Spinal Surgeries...
Spinal fusion surgeries are very common surgeries, especially when there is significant degeneration and compressed nerves. I see patients on a daily basis that have complications and/or complete failures from these procedures that are looking for anything that could possibly improve their pain from these failed procedures.
In these procedures, the vertebrae are "fused", or bolted and screwed together, and connected by rods. The idea is that you can keep the bones apart, and make room for the nerves.
A recent study of medicare patients showed that the number of Spinal Fusion surgery had increased 1,400 percent between 2002 and 2007 although the risks associated with this surgery are very high. Some of the complications associated with spinal fusions are that the fusion never takes, or does't heal. In this case you have bones that are broken, in fragments, and there is nothing that can be done. Other complications are infections, reactions to the anesthesia, nerve damage, and of course death.
Some of the most significant issues when considering these surgeries are:
- You are 3 times more likely to have life threatening complications, than with less invasive surgeries.
- Most of the patients that have had spinal fusions don't do any better with pain or function than those that have physical medicine treatment like physical therapy or chiropractic care.
- Floyd J. Fowler Jr., Ph.D., states, “There is even some evidence that [complex fusion surgery] is worse than other surgeries.” “The vertebrae right above and below the fusion have to do a lot more bending, and it puts stress on your back above and below.”
I tell every patient, go from least invasive to most invasive procedures, and not to skip anything! With these types of complications, you absolutely must exhaust every option possible or you are putting your health at serious risk
We have had several patients that have been told they need surgery, you can listen to their stories here: