Why is Ineffective & Unnecessary Spine Surgery So Common?

Despite clinical trials and studies showing that spine surgery isn’t beneficial for patients, it has become more common. In fact, when compared to non-surgical treatment, spinal fusion does not provide significantly better outcomes for patients. So why does unnecessary spine surgery continue to take place? The decision of whether or not to undergo surgery is serious and should never be taken lightly. If you’re suffering from back or neck pain and have been told surgery is your only option, research your options. Make sure that spine surgery is truly the best option for your specific situation. Factors Contributing to the

Read More

Reasons Why Facet Joint Injections Fail

Why do facet joint injections fail? Despite their popularity, many patients fail to get pain relief after injections. Dr. Kevin Pauza explains why this may be and why they continue to be popular.

Read More
Neck pain

Neck Pain – Is Surgery the Most Effective Treatment?

If you’ve been experiencing neck pain, you may think surgery is your only option for a chance at relief. Before undertaking such a serious decision, it’s important to determine whether surgery is actually the most effective option for treating neck pain. As medical technology improves and our understanding of cervical disc issues expands, more options for treating pain that may actually be more effective are brought to light, and they may be worth considering. How do I know how serious my neck pain is? First of all, it’s important to know when neck pain is a result of something serious,

Read More
artificial disc replacement vs spinal fusion

Artificial Disc Replacement vs Spinal Fusion – What’s the Difference?

Spinal fusion is one of the most common surgical treatment options for those with severe back pain that has failed to see relief from conservative treatments. Artificial disc replacement has been increasing in popularity as well since gaining FDA approval in the early 2000s. However, the question is, what’s the real difference between these procedures?

Read More

Resolution of Lumbar Disc Herniation Without Surgery

Every day we see patients with disc bulges or lumbar disc herniation like the patient below who were told to have steroid injections, physical therapy but eventually, they are pointed to surgery. This landmark study in the New England Journal of Medicine proves many discs improve on their own without surgery. What motivates doctors and PAs to not share this type of information with patients allowing truly informed consent? As you can see below, her herniation healed on its own without surgery, likely through time. A true indication for surgery is incontinence and/ or rapidly progressing paralysis of the extremities

Read More

Landmark Study on Spinal Fusion Surgery

Spinal fusion rates continue to increase dramatically in the United States. Oddly enough, this landmark study shows the rise is related financial incentives and other variables not associated with the patient’s well being. This respected journal states that the annual number of spinal fusions rose by 77% within 5 years. This is confirmed in this publication: NEJM Spinal- Fusion Surgery-The Case for Restraint Why do you think so many unnecessary spinal fusions are happening?  

Read More

Why “Useless’’ Spine Fusion Surgery is Still Popular

A New York Times article stated, “Spine fusion surgery is no better than alternative non-surgical treatments.” Unlike most operations, spinal fusion was tested in four clinical trials. The conclusion was that “surgery was no better than alternative non-surgical treatments, like supervised exercise and therapy to help patients deal with their fear of back pain”. The studies were completed by the early 2000s and should have been enough to greatly limit or stop spinal fusions, according to Dr. Richard Deyo, professor of evidence-based medicine at the Oregon Health and Sciences University. But that has not happened, according to a recent report printed

Read More

Discography May Accelerate Disc Degeneration

It’s no secret that low back pain is a leading cause of “unwanted” lost workdays. Low back pain is not a disease, but instead may be caused by several problems, the most common being degenerative discs.1  Degenerative discs may also lead to facet joint arthritis pain and “sciatica” nerve pain. To help pinpoint pain sources, discography was historically offered because MRIs couldn’t reliably identify pain. Discography was used to plan spine surgery, however, today spine fusions themselves are being questioned because of long-term fusion concerns. Discography was introduced in the 1940s. During discography, x-ray contrast is injected into the center

Read More
artificial disc replacement vs spinal fusion

Artificial Disc Replacement vs Spinal Fusion – What’s the Difference?

Spinal fusion is one of the most common surgical treatment options for those with severe back pain that has failed to see relief from conservative treatments. Artificial disc replacement has been increasing in popularity as well since gaining FDA approval in the early 2000s. However, the question is, what’s the real difference between these procedures?

Read More »