Consensus at last! Surgery for low back pain no better than not…

It has been heavily debated whether lumbar fusion surgery is warranted in the management of chronic low back pain.

Current guidelines suggest multi-disciplinary programs including exercise rehabilitation as the recommended management with surgery only as a last resort. A recent review of spinal fusion surgery has found no difference to non-surgical management of chronic low back pain (Mannion et al. 2013).

A more recent study (Hedland et al 2016) has strengthened this evidence further finding no difference in pain and disability if you had spinal fusion surgery or not. For further reading see the below commentary:

The Spine Journal – commentary on Hedlund et al. 2016