The ISASS Defends Spinal Fusions


The International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery has released a statement in response to the Bloomberg Businessweek report titled "Doctors Getting Rich With Fusion Surgery Debunked by Studies," which claims that fusions are an unnecessary and unfounded procedure.

The article features the stories of several patients who experienced failed spinal fusions. "The patients presented by the Bloomberg article are not representative of the usual outcomes of union surgery, and they cannot be properly assessed in a news article devoid of all their relevant medical data, x-rays, and so on," says the statement.

The ISASS also points out that the article is lacking scientific medical evidence for its claims about lumbar fusion and doesn't address the SPORT study, funded by the NIH and published in medical journals. The trial concluded that "patients who underwent surgery showed significantly more improvement in all primary outcomes than did patients who were treated non-surgically."

The response recognizes that not all patients improve from fusion surgeries, and those who don't often have separate issues that influence the outcomes. "Healthcare will be improved by further excellent research (such as Comparative Effectiveness Research recently promoted by the US government as part of healthcare reform and economic recovery), not by sensationalistic, one-sided, poorly-informed mudslinging in the popular press," states the release.

Read the ISASS release on spinal fusions.

Read the Bloomberg Businessweek report on spinal fusions.

Read other coverage on spinal fusions:

- Volume of Spine Procedures May Recover This Year

- NASS, Others Comment on North Carolina BCBS Policy on Lumbar Spinal Fusion

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