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BMJ Spinal Surgery Versus Physical Rehab Study, Back Pain.

Posted Oct 07 2007 12:00am
I came across this interesting writing in the BMJ about studies discussing spinal fusion versus intensive rehab for chronic low back pain. If you are interested please click on the link.

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/330/7502/1220

If you have chronic back pain and are considering which methods to choose , you may want to read this. Let me know if you have any views....

If you are considering or have been advised to have back surgery, you may like to consider asking some of these questions as well.

What is the exact diagnosis?

What assessments will you do and what will the assessments tell you about my condition?

Is it essential/urgent I have back surgery now? If yes why?

If it is not urgent/essential I have surgery now can I try other treatments first then come back?

What is the specific surgery you are proposing? How will this help me?

What is the prognosis if i do not have surgery?

Do I need any other tests? If so which ones? What will they tell you?

Is there a waiting list for surgery? If so how long?

What happens if the surgery doesn't work?

Could I be worse off/more pain after the surgery?

What are the risks?

Do these risks carry short term or long term consequences?

How long will I be in recovery after the back surgery?

Will I need to do any maintenance? If so what?

How many appointments will I need? How frequently?

What exactly will this treatment do for me?

What would you consider a successful outcome from this surgery for me?

Will it cost me anything?

How often do you /this hospital perform this back surgery?

....and the most important thing to know is if you have exhausted all other less invasive treatments first and are needing to have surgery. My neurosurgeon told me they used to do a lot more surgery than they do now and he likes to try people on other therapies first to see what progress is made there before going in for surgery.

Wishing you health and happiness
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