Study: Risky, unnecessary back surgeries drive up health costs - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Study: Risky, unnecessary back surgeries drive up health costs

CHICAGO (WKOW) -- Complex spinal fusions, a risky kind of back surgery, is being performed on too many patients, a new study suggests.

The Journal of the American Medical Association says many of these surgeries are unnecessary, and are driving up medical costs.

Patients in the study had stenosis in their lower backs, a common painful condition caused by aging and arthritis. Researchers found that when doctors used complex spinal fusion, the risk for complications was much higher than if a simpler procedure was used.

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