"Here’s why spine surgery has gone awry. We generally don’t know where back pain comes from. And this is where spine surgery, probably 70% of it, should not be done. We do know very clearly that disc degeneration has nothing to do with back pain. So arthritis, bone spurs, bulging discs, herniated discs, ruptured discs… disc degeneration has nothing to do with back pain. Yet we are doing probably 400-500 thousand [spinal] fusions this year for back pain - and that’s why our success rate it 20-25%.
You have to know where the pain is coming from before you do surgery. Back pain is not a structural problem. It’s non-specific, and it’s probably muscular in nature. The problem with muscular pain is that it hurts … just because you can’t see it on a test doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt."