Back pain on the rise in ageing population, but surgery not always the answer

2nd June 2011

A German doctor has urged patients with back pain to think carefully before opting for surgery to cure symptoms and cause.

Speaking at the 12th Congress of the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology in Copenhagen, Professor Dr Viola Bullmann said that the choice to undergo surgery should not be undertaken lightly, as all surgery had complications and disadvantages.

She said: "Owing to last decade's advances in orthopaedic surgery, we can offer a surgical solution today for almost every case of degenerative lumbar scoliosis. But in all cases, the choice needs to be made in precise accordance with the patient's particular situation."

The professor added that if spinal surgery was necessary then smaller invasions should be preferable.

As the world's population continues to increase in age, degenerative spinal deformities, where vertebrae shift or contort, are likely to become more common.

The hunchback which is often seen in elderly people is the result of this sort of deformity.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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