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New Patient Data Reveals Back Surgeries Don’t Work

Note: As of September 2016, new data reflects the same outcome, back surgeries don't work. From 38,270 treatment reviews and ratings 83% of the patients are still in pain years after surgery.

In a first of its kind study, we've found most back surgeries to be ineffective.

The results, based on patient data from 23,320 treatment reviews and ratings, reveal that 84% of the patients are still in pain years after surgery.

Patients rated the outcome of four types of back surgeries for lower back pain lower than most other treatments, with an average rating of 2 out of 5.

The study also shows that having one back surgery leads to more surgeries, as 54% of patients had two or more back surgeries. And more surgeries led to a higher likelihood of being in pain.

lower back pain infographic health outcome 2016

Our study confirms what was suspected before by CBS and many others in the scientific community. View the entire article here.

This CBS article, and similar investigative reports, suspected that back surgeries are unhelpful. The study is based on the fact that the number of back surgeries performed varied greatly between different doctors and hospitals. For example, one physician would perform as many as 3,000% more surgeries than their colleagues. However, they have no data about whether the patient health improved or declined after the surgery nor whether surgeries helped reduced pain compared to other treatments for back pain. This data is now available to the public for the first time at Health Outcome.

About Health Outcome

Health Outcome is bridging the information gap in health care with the first crowdsourcing platform for patients to rate their treatment experiences and help others find evidence based cures. Surprisingly, there is no meaningful outcome data on medical treatments and surgeries available for patients or doctors, even though over 51 Millions surgeries are conducted in the US each year. Without this critical treatment outcome data, patients are routinely treated with unnecessary and even harmful medical interventions (1), (2), (3).

We address this pain point with a platform for the voice of patients to be heard. In just five months, patients have written over 50,000 treatment ratings and reviews, helping to achieve a critical mass of information that lends to insightful recommendations. There is no incentive to add a review other than help the community.

If you have/had a back-pain or back-injury help and the community and add your treatment review.

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