More Evidence That Fusion Surgeries Often Don’t Work

An article on MSNBC discusses a personal story of two back fusion surgeries where it seemed like the surgery was helping and then it the pain just got worse.

Finally, Scatena made an appointment with another surgeon, one whom friends had called a “miracle worker.” The new doctor assured her that this second operation would fix everything, and in the pain-free weeks following an operation to fuse two of her vertebrae it seemed that he was right. But then the pain came roaring back.

Based on the statistics in the article it certainly makes sense to avoid fusion surgery at all costs.

After two years, just 26 percent of those who had surgery returned to work. That’s compared to 67 percent of patients who didn’t have surgery. In what might be the most troubling study finding, researchers determined that there was a 41 percent increase in the use of painkillers, specifically opiates, in those who had surgery.

Another study finds that minimally invasive fusion surgery is better then regular surgery, but that probably does not change the end result too much,

If you have a case about fusion surgery please visit the lumbar back spinal fusion surgery page.

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18 Responses to More Evidence That Fusion Surgeries Often Don’t Work

  1. Mimi says:

    Overall it’s worth it! Probably too soon for you though. You’re still going to have some minor body cagehns though your early 20s. I waited until my mid-20s. If your prescription has been stable for a few years though you should be good. You doctor will be able to advise.If you go to a reputable surgeon the risks are minimal, but always there. You will have to read the disclaimer packet, or at least sign off that you read it, of everything that is likely to go wrong.As to what treatment that depends on your eyesight and your doctor. If your sight is really that bad your only option may be RK, if I recall correctly. I believe that is the most aggressive treatment.As to what to expect. On the way home, If you eye-numbing drops wear out before your pill pain-killers kick in it is going to feel like someone put out cigarettes in both of your eyes. It happened to me, and I will label it as extreme discomfort just under true pain. Hopefully the valium will still be in your system and you won’t care as much as you normally would. (This is the only thing I wished I was warned about that I was not) The first week or two of post operation care is a pain in the ****. Lots of eye drops, but better than getting an infection. You will probably need to keep a bottle of re-wetting drops on-hand for about 5-7 months after the surgery. My doc put me on Restasis for two weeks before my surgery to really get the tear production going into overdrive. I think this helped quite a bit with getting over the dry-eye factor after the surgery.

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