Is surgery any better than Placebo?

February 25, 2019

I stumbled across this recently and found it interesting (see link below). It's also in line with a recent book written by Ian Harris, a spine surgeon of all people, titled "Surgery the ultimate placebo". This post however discusses surgeries, indications, and options, as well as some studies comparing it to placebo (and the difference between the two outcomes might surprise you).

Of course there is a time and place for surgery. The question then becomes when? We know that on average with back pain and sciatica at one year after the onset people generally will have the same outcome, surgery or not. Have you exhausted conservative care without good success (in particular for back and neck pain a treatment done by a practitioner certified in MDT (Mechanical Diagnosis and therapy. aka. McKenzie method)? It does make a difference, and I tell you that from both personal as well as professional experience (look at some of the testimonials on our site to see what former patients had to say). Can you live with the pain a little longer? Do you even know if you are a surgical candidate? Have you had good physical therapy that was specific and not just a grouping of "core exercises" and "stretching"? These are important things to consider because although surgery is indicated at times, you're better off if you can avoid it.

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