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Back Statistics

AAOS, Musculoskeletal Conditions in the U.S., Feb 1992: 1988 National Health Interview Survey found:

  • 29.9 million people reported musculoskeletal impairments. Back/spine was most frequent, representing 51.7% Impairment is most prevalent in 45-64 year old group Rate 124/1000 persons

Dvorak, et al, Spine 13(12): 1418-22, December 1988 Determined 17% reoperation rate of back surgery

Heithoff, et al, Orthopaedic Clinics of North America, 16(3): 417-44, July 1983 25,000-50,000 failed back surgery syndrome cases occur each year

Deyo, et al, Spine, 18(11): 1463-70, September 1993 Re-operation rate 6.9% overall at 2 year follow up 11.9% (fusion vs. 10.2% (non-fusion) at 4 year follow up Re-hospitalization 22.4% (fusion) vs. 18.3% (non-fusion)

Bruske-Hohlfield, et al, Spine 15(1): 31-5, January 1990 Age & sex adjusted incidence rate for surgery on prolapsed lumbar discs: 52.3/100,000 overall, 46.3/100,000 for initial operations

Almost everyone has a friend or relative who has had low back surgery, and after the operation, has never been "quite the same." In fact, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, there are approximately 200,000 laminectomies performed every year. An estimated 20% - 30% of these operations are reported to be unsuccessful. It is easy to see that the problems of "failed back surgery" are enormous.