Posted: Oct 19, 2009 8:51 AM by Jamie Smith
A new study from Stanford suggests some people with lower back pain may be having unnecessary surgery. That is, if they live in an area with a lot of access to MRI equipment.
Researchers looked at data from medicare patients who suffered from lower back pain between 1998 and 2005. Those who lived in places with a high volume of MRI machines were more likely to have back surgery.
Doctors say MRI's can help rule out certain back problems, but may detect what turn out to be insignificant problems. This may lead some doctors to perform unnecessary surgery.