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Mike Damaso
Mike Damaso
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New Study: Surgery More Effective for Spinal Stenosis

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Last week, ABC News reported that a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine is shaking up the world of spinal health and medicine. The study says that surgery is a better and more effective treatment for spinal stenosis – more so than conservative therapy and pain medications. Spinal stenosis is a common back condition causing pain and limitations in function as a result of the narrowing of the spinal canal. This narrowing gradually impinges on nerves making it painful to engage in activities such as walking and standing.

The ABC article states that spinal stenosis is the most common cause of lumbar surgery in people 65 years of age and older.

The study concluded that

patients who underwent surgery showed significantly more improvement in all primary outcomes than did patients who were treated nonsurgically.

It seems that people are not getting as much relief from popular spine treatments despite the $86 billion in annual spending on these treatments. Most patients who had surgery fared better in all measures 2 years after surgery- less pain, more function, and less disability – when compared to patients who chose non-surgical more conservative treatments.

The ABC Article notes that the most important result from the study is that patients with back issues can make more informed decisions as to which treatment option they choose.