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Spinal Fusion Surgery

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Spinal Fusions

Brien Roche

In the year 2011 more than 465,000 spinal fusions surgeries were performed in the United States.  Some experts believe that as many as half of them may have been unnecessary. On October 28, 2013 an article from The Washington Post focused on a neurosurgeon in Florida who may have been performing an excessive number of spinal fusions.

Spinal Fusions On the Rise

The rate of spinal fusion surgery in the United States has risen six-fold in the last 20 years. The surgical procedure itself involves the joining or fusing of two or more vertebrae in the spinal column.  This surgery has become more common than hip replacements.

This Washington Post article found that the hospital in question in Florida that employed the particular neurosurgeon had financial incentives with their surgeons that rewarded the doctor for performing more surgical procedures.  The hospital was making approximately $80,000.00 per spinal fusion.   In addition the companies that sell the hardware used in the fusions were making approximately $7,000.00 per fusion.  The physician himself was making approximately $6,000.00 per procedure.

Medicare has waffled on the issue of the necessity of many of these fusions.

The increase in the number of fusions may in part be due to the improvements in technology, that is more refined imaging and improved spinal devices and also because of greater demand by Americans for greater mobility.

The financial incentive however cannot be ignored.  The sales of spinal fusion equipment in the United States is approximately $5.1 billion per year.

Alternatives To Spinal Fusion Surgery

Various professional societies and experts discourage the use of spinal fusions for problems such as stenosis, herniated discs and disc degeneration where there is no accompanying problem of spinal instability or deformity.

A considerably more simple procedure that can be used to deal with some of these problems is known as decompression.  A decompression procedure only generates a $1,000.00 fee for the surgeon, while the more complex fusion generates a fee six times that amount.

Consult a Medical Malpractice Attorney

For more information on spinal fusion surgery and other medical malpractice topics, please visit the medical malpractice, pages on this site and also see the pages on Wikipedia.

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Spinal Fusion Surgery

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Spinal Fusions

Brien Roche

In the year 2011 more than 465,000 spinal fusions surgeries were performed in the United States.  Some experts believe that as many as half of them may have been unnecessary. On October 28, 2013 an article from The Washington Post focused on a neurosurgeon in Florida who may have been performing an excessive number of spinal fusions.

Spinal Fusions On the Rise

The rate of spinal fusion surgery in the United States has risen six-fold in the last 20 years. The surgical procedure itself involves the joining or fusing of two or more vertebrae in the spinal column.  This surgery has become more common than hip replacements.

This Washington Post article found that the hospital in question in Florida that employed the particular neurosurgeon had financial incentives with their surgeons that rewarded the doctor for performing more surgical procedures.  The hospital was making approximately $80,000.00 per spinal fusion.   In addition the companies that sell the hardware used in the fusions were making approximately $7,000.00 per fusion.  The physician himself was making approximately $6,000.00 per procedure.

Medicare has waffled on the issue of the necessity of many of these fusions.

The increase in the number of fusions may in part be due to the improvements in technology, that is more refined imaging and improved spinal devices and also because of greater demand by Americans for greater mobility.

The financial incentive however cannot be ignored.  The sales of spinal fusion equipment in the United States is approximately $5.1 billion per year.

Alternatives To Spinal Fusion Surgery

Various professional societies and experts discourage the use of spinal fusions for problems such as stenosis, herniated discs and disc degeneration where there is no accompanying problem of spinal instability or deformity.

A considerably more simple procedure that can be used to deal with some of these problems is known as decompression.  A decompression procedure only generates a $1,000.00 fee for the surgeon, while the more complex fusion generates a fee six times that amount.

Consult a Medical Malpractice Attorney

For more information on spinal fusion surgery and other medical malpractice topics, please visit the medical malpractice, pages on this site and also see the pages on Wikipedia.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Contact Us For A Free Consultation