Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fees for Neck and Back Treatments rise, with Patients Getting Worse

National health-care surveys conducted over an eight year period from 1997 through 2005 indicate an alarming trend. The cost of treating spine injuries and disease has increased about sixty five percent over this period to $85.9 billion. The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that patients reporting physical limitations after treatment has risen from twenty-one percent in 1997 to twenty-five percent in 2005.

Some orthopedic surgeons feel that consideration should be given to new technologies and procedures that are more expensive initially in order to potentially give patients more positive results. Additionally, these same studies and surveys indicate that patients require more outpatient visits and more expensive drugs to treat their spinal problems, however there are no corresponding positive results.

Researchers are quick to point out that not all patients suffer negative results from neck and back procedures, however many post-surgery patients continue to suffer with back pain and physical limitations. They go on to point out that modern procedures do not guarantee that every back or neck problem can be fixed by available treatment. Researchers hope that patients will ask more questions in order to make a more informed decision as to the best treatment method for their particular spine or neck problem.

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