AP’s six-part series on overtreatment in U.S. health care turns to back pain and spine surgery with a great lead line, “Why did they cut on you?” It was a question a spine surgeon asked a man who came to him still in severe pain after an earlier back operation. Except:
“Even though only a fraction of people with back pain are good candidates for surgery, complicated spine operations are on the rise.
So is the hunt for any relief.
By one recent estimate, Americans are spending a staggering $86 billion a year in care for aching backs — from MRIs to pain pills to nerve blocks to acupuncture. That research found little evidence that the population got better as the bill soared over the past decade.”