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  Failed Back Surgery Syndrome(F.S.B.B): Of the thousands of surgical procedures done each year for ruptured discs, medical authorities admit that a large number are unnecessary and useless 2, with many of those who have back surgery who are in the same or worse pain after the operation. They may have F.S.B.B.3 .To make matter worse, if the surgery is ineffective the first time, a second or third operation often does not help. Even successful operations could cause scar tissue, permanent spinal weakness, distortions, and instability.

In a University of Cincinnati study of Ohio workers’ compensation claimants with low back pain, 725 workers opted for lumbar spinal fusion surgery as treatment for back pain. A full 64% were still off work more than a year later! Only 6% had gone back to work and stayed for a full year. Approximately 20% had significant complications and 27% were in such pain that they needed another operation. Some 90% were in such pain they were still taking narcotics at follow-up.

A similar 1994 study of Washington State workers also found high rates of postoperative disability, high re-operation rates, and inadequate relief of back pain.12 A study by Nicholas Ahn, MD, et al found that after single-level fusion, the total disability rate approaches 25% while for those who had two- and three-level fusions, the postoperative disability was 70% and 100%, respectively.13

Chiropractic could save many thousands of back pain sufferers from unnecessary spinal surgery each year. Anyone with Disc problems, especially if they are facing the prospect of spinal surgery should, if possible, get at least one opinion from a doctor of chiropractic before deciding on further care.4, 5

Before anyone ever considers spinal surgery they should check out the non-medical, non-surgical chiropractic alternative.14

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  2. Hospitals.September 20,1988;3 Radin EL. Reasons for failure of L5-S1 invertebral disc excisions. Int'l. orthopedics. 1987; 255-259; 4. Kerttula LI, Serlo WS , Tervonan OA et al. Post-Traumatic findings of the spine after earlier vertebral fracture in young patients. Spine;5. Eriksen K. Management of cervical disc herniation with upper cervical chiropractic care; a case study. JMPT. 1998;21(1):51-56;11. Nguyen T et al. Functional outcomes of lumbar fusion among the Ohio workers’ compensation subjects, presented at the Primary Care Forum VIII, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2006; as yet unpublished. 12. Franklin GM et al. Outcome of lumbar fusion in Washington State workers’ compensation, Spine. 1995;19:1213–1215. 13. Ahn N et al. Rate of total disability after lumbar discogenic fusion in the Workmen’s Compensation population, presented at the annual meeting of the North American Spine Society, Philadelphia, 2004; unpublished. 14. Legorreta AP, Metz RD et al. Comparative analysis of individuals with and without chiropractic coverage. Patient characteristics, utilization, and costs. Arch Intern Med. 2004;164:1985-1992.