Back Surgery Patients Enjoy Long-Term Working Benefits

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Posted: Mar 31, 2014 | by admin | 0 Comment

Back surgery for a herniated disc can do more than eliminate pain. It can also help patients miss fewer days from work and increase their income.

A new study shows that patients who undergo surgery earn an average annual salary of $47,619 compared to $45,694 for people who use non-surgical treatments.

Additionally, those who had surgery missed three fewer days of work each year.

The differences can add up over time. After four years, surgical patients reported earning more than $5,000.

Dr. Michael Schafer, an orthopedic surgeon at Northwestern University and author of the study, said the findings strengthen previous studies that show surgery to repair herniated discs can be effective and cost-effective.

Back pain is one of the most common and the most difficult orthopaedic conditions for patients, since both standing and sitting may exacerbate the pain,” Schafer said. “As a result, whether you work in physical labor or sitting at a desk, back pain can affect your ability to work. Pain from a herniated disc causes the average employee to miss 26 days of work each year and spend 34 days in bed. Surgery, when appropriate, can lessen the pain, increase productivity and reduce number of missed workdays.”

Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons news release

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