Resources and legal help for Brain & Spinal Cord Injury Survivors

Call for legal help: 1-866-611-BASC

basc_header_phoneiconCall us: 1-866-611-BASC

BrainandSpinalCord.org

Newsome | Melton
Resources and legal help for Brain & Spinal Cord Injury Survivors

The High Cost of Spinal Fusion Surgery

More than 100 million Americans suffer chronic back pain, a staggering figure that costs hundreds of billions annually in lost productivity and medical intervention.

Over the past two decades, U.S. patients have increasingly resorted to spinal fusion surgery to deal with chronic back and neck pain, but studies in recent years have shown a surprising outcome: over the long-haul, the surgery is ineffective.

According to the National Institutes of Health, spinal fusions increased by 137 percent between 1998 and 2008, more than any other surgery, including hip replacements, knee replacements and heart bypass.

What is Spinal Fusion Surgery? How is Spinal Fusion Surgery Performed?

Spinal fusion fuses (or welds) vertebrae so they become a single bone. Additional bone is placed between two vertebrae — a procedure known as a bone graft — and metal plates, screws and rods are inserted to hold the vertebrae together.

Spine Model, Parts of the Spine, Spinal Cord Parts, Interactive Spinal Cord, Vertebrae Sections, Vertebra, Spine for PoliticiansThe surgery is intended to alleviate pain caused by bulging or herniated discs, spinal stenosis (degeneration of the spine often caused by aging) and a variety of other conditions resulting in chronic back pain.

No Long-Term Difference for Surgery Patients

A study published by the National Institutes of Health— which looked at two-year outcomes of lumbar fusion surgery patients versus an equal number of patients with chronic back pain who opted for non-surgical treatment —found the former group had markedly greater rates of permanent disability, complications, future surgeries and opiod use.

In 2007, the non-profit Center for Medical Consumers cited two landmark studies showing that patients who went under the knife for severe back and leg pain caused by a herniated disk saw a quicker respite from pain, but two to four years out there was essentially no difference. Another study cited by the Center for Medical Consumers netted similar results as did a Norwegian  trial published three decades earlier.

And the respected peer-reviewed medical journal publisher BMJ (formerly known as the British Medical Journal), which focuses on the evidence-based practice of medicine, published the results of a study comparing the long-term effectiveness of surgical and non-surgical treatment in patients with chronic low back pain. Long-term improvement was no better for spinal fusion patients than it was for those who tried other forms of intervention and exercise.

One leading researcher characterized the increase in spinal surgeries as “excessive,” charging that the phenomenon is “directly attributed to the supply of spine surgeons.”

Back Surgery in America; Are We Going Under the Knife Too Often?

“The rate of back surgery in the United States was at least 40 percent higher than any other country and was more than five times those in England and Scotland,” according to Dr. Richard Deyo, a professor at Oregon Health and Science University and a leading researcher in the inappropriate use of medical technology.

Deyo referenced a 1994 study he and a colleague conducted that compared international rates of back surgery with America’s.

They found that “back surgery rates increased almost linearly with the per-capita supply of orthopedic and neurosurgeons.”

It’s implausible, he added, that “the number of patients with the most complex spinal pathology increased 15-fold in just six years.”

He has suggested that as many as 90 percent of disc surgeries are unnecessary and ineffective.

Financial Gain at Core of Surgery Increase

So why the monumental uptick in surgeries?

Deyo and many others believe that the explanation lies in the money to be made by surgeons and hospitals who perform the procedures.

As reported in a 2006 expose in The New York Times, spinal surgery has become one of the most lucrative areas of American medicine, generating billions for hospitals, doctors and the burgeoning medical device industry.

There are great financial motivators for doctors to recommend spinal surgery, according to the Times, which pointed out that many doctors have skin in the spinal parts makers game. The profit-margin on medical devices is enormous, the story noted, citing a $1,000 price tag for a single spine screw, at least 10 times more than the cost to manufacture it.

University of California at Irvine spine surgeon Dr. Charles D. Rosen was so troubled by the practice of doctors having a financial stake in the products they use that he formed the Association of Ethical Spine Surgeons.

Rosen told the Times that doctors who are paid consultants and/or who invest in the medical devices that they use have a conflict of interest. Using a spinal part that one profits from can “bias the doctors’ choice for what is best for the patient,” he added.

You may be interested In:
Get a free case evaluation

Newsome Melton has been specializing on personal injury cases for over 20 years

You could be eligible for compensation. Find out more about your rights.

Brain Injury
Basic Facts About TBI
How the Brain Works
Brain Function
Left Hand Brain Function
Right Hand Brain Function
Cognitive Brain Function
Executive Brain Function
Brain Injury Symptoms
Do You Know Your Brain?
Glasgow Coma Scale
Brain Injury Prognosis
Basic Facts about TBI
3 Things You Must Do
Top 3 Things to Know
Types of Brain Injury
Aneurysm
Anoxic Brain Injury
Closed Head Injury
Concussions
Brain Contusions
Diffuse Axonal Injury
Hypoxic Brain Injury
Causes of Hypoxic Brain Injuries
Detection and Diagnosis of Hypoxic Brain Injuries
Prognosis of Hypoxic Brain Injuries
Focal Brain Injuries
Hematoma
Infarction
Intracranial Pressure
Mild Brain Injury
Moderate Brain Injury
Open Head Injury
Persistent Vegetative State (PVS)
Second Impact Syndrome
Severe Brain Injury
Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
Acquired Brain Injury
Frontal Lobe Brain Injury
Occipital Lobe Brain Injury
Organic Brain Injury
Additional Causes of Organic Brain Injury
Brain Trauma and Organic Brain Injury
Cardiovascular Issues with Organic Brain Injury
Degenerative Disorders and Organic Brain Injury
Drugs, Alcohol and Organic Brain Injury
Infections and Organic Brain Injury
Respiratory Issues and Organic Brain Injury
Parietal Lobe Brain Injury
Temporal Lobe Brain Injury
Brain Injury Complications
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Balance Problems
Behavior Problems
Cognitive Disabilities
Coma
Depression
Causes of Depression
Coping with Depression
Related Emotions
Symptoms of Depression
Treating Depression
Difficulty Swallowing
Epilepsy and TBI
Language Difficulties
Nerve Damage
Personality Changes
Psychosis
Seizures
Sensory Problems
Frequently Asked Questions
Brain Injury Recovery
Neuropsychology
Brain Injury Statistics
Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal Cord Injury Facts
Facts
Symptoms of Paralysis
Paralysis Prognosis
Diagnosing Paralysis
Types of Paralysis
Complete (Traumatic) Paraplegia
Incomplete (non-traumatic)
Monoplegia
Diplegia
Hemiplegia
Paraplegia
Quadriplegia
Flaccid Paralysis
Facial Paralysis
Partial Paralysis
Sleep Paralysis
Periodic Paralysis
Todd’s Paralysis
Tick Paralysis
Alternating Hemiplegia
Muscular Dystrophy
Level of Function in SCI
C-1 to C-4
C-6 Spinal Cord Injury
C-7 and T-1
T-1 to T-8
T-9 to T-12
Spinal Cord Injury FAQs
Complete vs. Incomplete
Cure for Paralysis
Normal Emotions?
Paraplegia vs. Quad
Peripheral Nerve Re-routing
SCI Numbers and Letters
Scar Formation and Spinal Cord
Spinal Cord Injury & Sports
Spinal Cord Role
Causes of Paralysis
Botulism
Post-Polio
Polio
Stroke
Syringomyelia
Trauma
Spinal Cord Injury
Spina Bifida
Diagnosis & Prognosis
Spinal Cord Injury Stats
Early Treatment
Penetrating Injury
Spinal Cord Injury Statistics
Causes
Brain Injury
Causes of Brain Injury
Motor Vehicle Induced Brain Injury
Stroke Induced Brain Injury
Preventing TBI
At-Risk Activities for TBI
Cause of Paralysis
Spinal Cord Injury Prevention
Preventing Spinal Cord Injury
At-Risk Activities for Paralysis
SUV Rollovers
Polaris RZR
All-Terrain Vehicles
Trampolines
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Slips and Falls
Acts of Violence
Gun Shot
Stabbing
Degenerative Spinal Disease
Inflammation and Infection
Sports Injuries
Research & Cure
Clinical Trials & Studies; What to Ask Your Doctor Before Participating
TBI Research
Spinal Cord Injury Research
Guide to Clinical Trails
Groundbreaking Developments
Stem Cell Treatments
Rehabilitation/Treatment
Alyssas Story
Brain Injury Treatment
Brain Injury Treatment
Acute Treatment for TBI
Sub-Acute Treatment
When to Seek Medical Advice
Recommendations
Brain Specialists
Treatment Options
Brain Injury Treatment
TBI Rehabilitation Facilities
Top Ten Hospital
SCI Rehab and Treatment
Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation
SCI Rehabilitation Facilities
Medical Expenses for SCI
Spinal Cord Injury Treatment
Finding Rehab
Physician Directory
Alabama Doctors
Birmingham SCI Doctor
Birmingham TBI Doctor
Gadsden SCI Doctor
Gadsden TBI Doctor
Huntsville SCI Doctor
Huntsville TBI Doctor
Mobile SCI Doctor
Mobile TBI Doctor
Montgomery TBI Doctors
Northport Doctor
Tuscaloosa TBI Doctor
Alaska Doctors
Anchorage SCI Doctor
Anchorage TBI Doctor
Fairbanks SCI Doctor
Fairbanks TBI Doctor
Arizona Doctors
Mesa SCI Doctor
Phoenix SCI Doctor
Phoenix TBI Doctor
Scottsdale SCI Doctor
Scottsdale TBI Doctor
Tempe TBI Doctor
Tucson SCI Doctor
Tucson TBI Doctor
Arkansas Doctors
Fayetteville TBI Doctor
Little Rock SCI Doctor
Little Rock TBI Doctor
California Doctors
Alhambra SCI Doctors
American Canyon SCI Doctors
Anaheim SCI Doctors
Anaheim TBI Doctors
Atascadero SCI Doctors
Bakersfield SCI Doctors
Benicia SCI Doctors
Berkeley SCI Doctors
Beverly Hills SCI Doctors
Brawley TBI Doctors
Burbank TBI Doctors
Carmichael SCI Doctors
Chico SCI Doctors
Chula Vista SCI Doctors
Chula Vista TBI Doctors
Clovis SCI Doctors
Concord SCI Doctors
Costa Mesa SCI Doctors
Covina SCI Doctors
Cupertino SCI Doctors
Daly City SCI Doctors
Danville SCI Doctors
Downey SCI Doctors
Downey TBI Doctors
El Centro TBI Doctors
Encinitas SCI Doctors
Encinitas TBI Doctors
Encino SCI Doctor
Escondido SCI Doctors
Folsom SCI Doctors
Fremont SCI Doctors
Fresno SCI Doctors
Fresno TBI Doctors
Fullerton SCI Doctors
Garden Grove SCI Doctors
Glendale SCI Doctors
Grass Valley SCI Doctors
Hacienda Heights SCI Doctors
Highland TBI Doctors
Irvine SCI Doctors
Irvine TBI Doctors
Kentfield SCI Doctors
La Jolla TBI Doctors
Laguna Hills SCI Doctors
Laguna Niguel SCI Doctors
Lancaster SCI Doctors
Lodi Linda SCI Doctors
Loma Linda SCI Doctors
Long Beach SCI Doctors
Los Alamitos TBI Doctors
Los Angeles SCI Doctors
Los Angeles TBI Doctors
Los Gatos SCI Doctors
Madera SCI Doctors
Martinez Viejo SCI Doctors
Mather Viejo SCI Doctors
Menlo Park TBI Doctors
Mission Viejo SCI Doctors
Mission Viejo TBI Doctors
Modesto SCI Doctors
Mountain View SCI Doctors
Mountain View TBI Doctors
Murrieta SCI Doctors
Napa SCI Doctors
Newport Beach SCI Doctors
Newport Beach TBI Doctors
Northridge SCI Doctors
Northridge TBI Doctors
Oakland SCI Doctors
Oceanside SCI Doctors
Orange SCI Doctors
Oxnard SCI Doctors
Palm Desert SCI Doctors
Palo Alto SCI Doctors
Panorama City TBI Doctors
Pasadena SCI Doctors
Placentia Mirage SCI Doctors
Pleasanton Mirage SCI Doctors
Pomona Mirage SCI Doctors
Pomona TBI Doctors
Rancho Mirage SCI Doctors
Redding SCI Doctors
Redondo SCI Doctors
Redwood City SCI Doctors
Reseda TBI Doctors
Riverside SCI Doctors
Roseville SCI Doctors
Sacramento SCI Doctors
Sacramento TBI Doctors
San Diego SCI Doctors
San Diego TBI Doctors
San Francisco SCI Doctors
San Francisco TBI Doctors
San Gabriel Obispo SCI Doctors
San Gabriel TBI Doctors
San Jose Obispo SCI Doctors
San Jose TBI Doctors
San Juan Capistrano TBI Doctors
San Luis Obispo SCI Doctors
San Mateo SCI Doctors
San Pedro SCI Doctors
San Ramon SCI Doctors
Santa Barbara SCI Doctors
Santa Barbara TBI Doctors
Santa Clara SCI Doctors
Santa Clara TBI Doctors
Santa Cruz SCI Doctors
Santa Maria SCI Doctors
Santa Maria TBI Doctors
Sherman Oaks TBI Doctors
Stanford SCI Doctors
Stockton TBI Doctors
Thousand Oaks SCI Doctors
Thousand Oaks TBI Doctors
Vallejo SCI Doctors
Ventura SCI Doctors
Visalia SCI Doctors
Walnut Creek TBI Doctors
Walnut Creek SCI Doctors
Westlake Village TBI Doctors
Westlake Village SCI Doctors
Woodland Hills SCI Doctors
Ynez SCI Doctors
Colorado Doctors
Aurora SCI Doctor
Denver SCI Doctor
Englewood SCI Doctor
Fort Collins SCI Doctor
Johnstown SCI Doctor
Connecticut Doctors
Connecticut SCI Doctors
Danbury TBI Doctors
Fairfield SCI Doctors
Fairfield TBI Doctors
Greenwich SCI Doctors
Greenwich TBI Doctors
Hartford SCI Doctors
Hartford TBI Doctors
New Haven SCI Doctors
New Haven TBI Doctors
Stratford TBI Doctors
Wallingford SCI Doctors
Wallingford TBI Doctors
Delaware Doctors
Dover SCI Doctor
Dover TBI Doctors
Greenville TBI Doctors
Milford SCI Doctors
Milford TBI Doctors
Millsboro SCI Doctors
Newark SCI Doctors
Smyrna SCI Doctors
Wilmington SCI Doctors
Wilmington TBI Doctors
Alaska Doctors
Rehabilitation Directory
Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Two Recovery Option
Occupational Brain Therapy
Physician Directory
Resources & Support
Support Groups
TBI Support Groups
The Role of Family Members
Brain Injury Research
Support Group Directory
Brain Injury
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Spinal Cord Injury
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Events
Hyperbaric Treatment
Living
Brain Injury
Living with Brain Injury
Dealing with the effects of TBI
Living as a Caregiver
Spinal Cord Injury
Emotional Stages of Recovery
Coping with Paralysis
Bladder and Bowel Control
Bladder Care and Management
Back To Work After SCI
Dating and Relationships
SCI and Sex
Female Fertility after SCI
Mens Sexuality After SCI
Financial and Legal
Financial Planning
Brain Injury Cost
Brain Injury Insurance
Spinal Cord Insurance
Things That Can't Wait
Preserving Evidence
Goverment Programs
Income
Public Assistance
Federal Programs
Medicare and Medicaid
Notifying Insurance
Private Programs
Health Insurance
Major Types of Insurance
Attorney Directory
Alabama
Birmingham
Huntsville
Mobile
Montgomery
Alaska
Anchorage
Arizona
Chandler
Gilbert
Glendale
Mesa
Peoria
Phoenix
Scottsdale
Tempe
Tucson
Arkansas
Little Rock
California
Anaheim
Bakersfield
Riverside
Chula Vista
Daly City
Fresno
Long Beach
Los Angeles
Oakland
Sacramento
San Diego
San Francisco
San Jose
Santa Ana
Stockton
Colorado
Arvada
Aurora
Colorado Springs
Denver
Fort Collins
Lakewood
Pueblo
Thornton
Westminster
Conneticut
Delaware
Florida
Fort Lauderdale
Jacksonville
Miami
Orlando
Palm Bay
St. Petersburg
Tampa
Georgia
Atlanta
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Chicago
Indiana
Indianapolis
Iowa
Kansas
Wichita
Kentucky
Louisiana
Baton Rouge
New Orleans
Sherveport
Maine
Maryland
Baltimore
Massachusetts
Boston
Michigan
Detroit
Minnesota
Minneapolis
Mississippi
Missouri
St. Louis
Montana
Nebraska
Omaha
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
Albany
Buffalo
New York City
Rochester
Syracuse
Yonkers
North Carolina
Charlotte
High Point Bay
Raleigh
North Dakota
Ohio
Akron
Cincinnati
Columbus
Oklahoma
Tulsa
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Philadelphia
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Nashville
Memphis
Texas
Arlington
Austin
Dallas
El Paso
Fort Worth
Houston
San Antonio
Vermont
Washington
Seattle
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Green Bay
Milwaukee
Wyoming
Brain Injury Lawyers
Case Value of Spinal Cord Injuries
Case Value of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Changing Lawyers
Choosing an Attorney for your Spinal Cord Injury
Choosing an attorney
Filing a TBI Claim
Filing an SCI Claim
Medical Expenses
Privacy Rights
Product Liability in a SCI Case
Product Liability in a TBI Case
Social Security Benefits
Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Tools and Technology
Modern Wheelchairs
Assistive Technology
Adaptive Technology For Spinal Cord Injury
Cerebral Palsy
Types of CP
Erb's Palsy
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
Athetoid Dyskinetic
Spastic Diplegia
Congenital Cerebral Palsy
Spastic Hemiplegia
Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy
Spastic Quadriplegia
Congenital Cerebral Palsy
Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy
Spastic Diplegia
Mixed Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis
Cerebral Palsy FAQ
Cerebral Palsy Symptoms
Delivery Issues & CP
Maternal Issues & CP
Tardive Dyskinesia
Medications Responsible
Reglan Cautions
Tardive Dyskinesia
Tardive Dyskinesia Prognosis
Tardive Dyskinesia Prone?
Tardive Dyskinesia Reglan?
Tardive Dyskinesia Treatment
Video Library
Videos
Fundraisers
Limits
Top 3 Things SCI Survivors
SNT
3 Things You Must Do
Alyssa's Story
Basic Facts about TBI
Do You Know Your Brain?
Explanation
Facts
Finding Rehab
Fundraisers
Income
Limits
Living as a Caregiver
Major Types of insurance
Preventing Spinal Cord Injury
SNT
Top 3 Things SCI Survivors
Top 3 Things to Know
Two Recovery Option

Over
$341,000,000
Recovered

Newsome Melton has recovered over 341 million dollars for their clients.