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What do increasing rates of lumbar spine surgeries mean?

lumbar spine surgeries

The rates of lumbar spine surgeries have been increasing in recent years. In order to understand what this means, it might be helpful to look at the data from a different angle. In this blog post, we will examine the possible explanations for why the rates of these types of surgery are on the rise and what that might mean for you!

1. What is lumbar spine surgery and how does it work?

A lumbar spine surgery is a procedure that is used to treat conditions that affect the lower back. The surgery typically involves the removal of part of or all of the damaged disc(s) in the back and then replacing them with an implant. This implant can be made from metal, plastic, or ceramic.

Lumbar spine surgeries are typically done when other treatments, such as pain medication and physical therapy, have failed to provide relief from the symptoms. The surgery is considered a last resort for many people and can be expensive.

This surgery is typically recommended for people who have one or more of the following conditions:

  • Chronic back pain that does not improve with other treatments
  • Pain that radiates down one or both legs
  • Numbness or tingling in the feet or legs
  • Weakness in the legs or feet

In general, lumbar spine surgery is successful in reducing the pain and symptoms related to these conditions. In fact, most people will notice an improvement right away after the surgery. However, some patients do experience complications from this type of procedure that can interfere with recovery or cause future problems for them down the road.

There are several different types of lumbar spine surgeries that can be performed, including:

A discectomy is a process of removing a herniated disc in order to relieve pressure on nerves or reduce back pain caused by nerve compression.

Laminectomy procedures include an anterior (from the front) approach that allows access to the more sensitive areas near your spinal cord. This is the most common type of laminectomy surgery.

Hemilaminectomy is a surgery that is used to remove one-half of a vertebra. This surgery can be performed through either an anterior or posterior approach.

Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that joins two or more bones in the spine together using a bone graft. The goal of this surgery is to stop the motion between two bones and eliminate pain caused by abnormal movement.

2. Why are rates of these surgeries increasing?

There are a variety of reasons why the rates of lumbar spine surgeries have been increasing, including:

  • An aging population who is more likely to develop conditions that require these types of procedures
  • Increased awareness and improved diagnosis from healthcare professionals leading to earlier treatment options for patients
  • Inadequate pain management in some cases can lead to an increase in the number of surgeries required
  • Increased access to advanced diagnostic testing that allows for improved surgical outcomes

Although these are all important factors, there is another potential explanation.

The increase in lumbar spine surgeries could be due to an increase in opioid prescriptions over time. Some studies have suggested a correlation between increased rates of certain types of surgery and opioid prescriptions.

From 2000 to 2010, the number of opioids prescribed in the United States more than doubled. In fact, by 2010 there were enough opioids being prescribed to medicate every adult in the country around-the-clock for one month.

This increase has led to a national epidemic of prescription drug overdose deaths. In 2014, more than 14,000 people died from a drug overdose involving an opioid.

This is a staggering number and it is important to note that these deaths are not only from illicit drugs such as heroin but also from prescription medications such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.

The increased number of prescriptions written for opioid medications combined with the fact that these drugs are very addictive means there is a large population who could potentially develop an addiction. This can lead to longer recovery times, which in turn may result in surgery as a solution to pain management issues.

These surgeries have also been shown to be more likely when patients do not have health insurance.

3. What might this mean for you as a patient, doctor, or health care provider?

There are a few things to consider when looking at the increased rates of lumbar spine surgeries.

First, it is important to understand that these procedures should be considered a last resort for most people. There are many other treatment options available that should be tried before surgery is considered.

Second, as a patient, you should understand that surgery is permanent and should only be considered after all other options have been exhausted. This means you will need to do your research before deciding on the type of surgeon who would perform such procedures.

Always ask questions about their training, years practicing as a doctor, outcomes from similar surgeries they have performed, and what happens if something goes wrong.

Third, as a doctor or health care provider, you need to be aware of the risks associated with these surgeries and how to discuss them with your patients. It is important to have an open discussion about all possible treatment options and what each one entails. This includes both the benefits and risks of surgery.

It is also important to remember that addiction is a real possibility for some patients and you should be prepared to help them through the recovery process if necessary.


The rates of lumbar spine surgeries have been increasing in recent years. In order to understand what this means, it might be helpful to look at the data from a different angle. There are many possible explanations for why these types of surgery are on the rise and understanding that could help you make better decisions about your health care long-term or avoid having one altogether if necessary. Premia Spine’s TOPS System is an alternative treatment option for people who suffer from chronic back pain without experiencing relief through other methods like medical treatments, physical therapy, injections, etcetera. This device has helped patients get relief by decompressing their discs while they sit down! It doesn’t require any invasive procedures and can even be used while you are working, which means patients can continue doing the activities they love without sacrificing their lifestyle.

If you would like to learn more about TOPS for yourself or a loved one, please feel free to click the link above.

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