Back Injury at Work: Likelihood of Surgery

In 2013 a cohort study was performed, in Washington State, to look at the likelihood of surgery for workers with back injuries. The objective of this study was to identify early predictors of lumbar spine surgery within 3 years after an occupational back injury. 

Back surgery is expensive and invasive. 

Back surgery is expensive and invasive. 

The conclusion of the study showed that there were reduced odds of surgery for workers who first saw a chiropractor after the injury vs workers who first saw a surgeon after the injury. There was a strong association between surgery and first provider seen even after all important variables were taken under consideration. 

Study Breakdown:
Workers with similar injuries that went to a chiropractor first showed that only 1.5% of the chiropractic patients ended up with back surgery. Workers that went to a surgeon first after the back injury showed that 42.7% of the patients ended up with surgery.  

Save money and see a chiropractor first. 
Without insurance or with a high deductible back surgery can cost anywhere between $50,000-$150,000 and insurances. With insurance back surgery can still run you thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. An average chiropractic visit is $50 and you will have to go an average of 8-12 visits, read here to see why 8-12 visits are needed. $50 x 12 visits = $600.