Check out this link to a fascinating, but concerning, article published by CBS News highlighting the significant variation that exists in the rates with which spinal fusion is offered to patients across the country.
In this article, CBS News publishes an online database revealing the number of spine fusions each doctor in the U.S. billed Medicare over a two year period. The data shows that some spine surgeons perform fusion procedures far more frequently than their peers emphasizing the need to obtain a second opinion if you are offered this type of surgery.
From 2001 to 2011, the number of spinal fusions in U.S. hospitals increased 70 percent, making them more frequently performed than even hip replacements.
Use this link to search your surgeon’s percentage of patients seen who received a spinal fusion, along with an explanation of how this data is to be interpreted.