There is much debate within the medical profession, and even within back surgeons themselves whether spinal fusion surgery is a valid treatment option.
Last year, the government announced plans to stop surgeons billing Medicare for spinal fusions to treat uncomplicated chronic low back pain.
After lobbying from surgeons, the federal government has reversed plans to stop funding a back pain operation critics say is expensive, dangerous and ineffective.
The changes followed a recommendation from pain specialists that there was no evidence spinal fusions helped people with lower back pain.
Spinal surgeon Professor Ian Harris, who has published several studies critical of fusions, said the government’s reversal showed that “doctors and surgeons have too much power, and the government is scared of them and happy to take the path of least resistance”.
We see lots of patients pre and post spinal fusion surgery. Some patients feel like they desperately need the surgery. Its always their own decision to make. But the negative outcomes can be severe so patients should always explore ALL conservative options first, and that includes seeing your own Melbourne Osteopath.