Research: Lumbar Fusion Outcomes

Friday, August 14th, 2015
This study was done within the Washington State workers’ compensation system. Again, you don’t have to take my word for it. It was in a peer reviewed journal. Why did they do it?
To find out how effective lumbar fusion surgery and devices were on clinical and disability outcomes. This was seen as a question worth asking since the rates of lumbar fusions continue to increase.
How Did They Do It?

  • They identified injured workers from Washington State that had lumbar fusion anywhere between 1994 and 2001.
  • They found these people through the Washington State Workers’ Compensation system administrative database.
  • They took into account different factors such as specific technique as well as risk or disability, reoperation rates. and post-surgical complication.
  • They found 1,950 people eligible for the study.


What Did They Find?

  • Of the 1,950 patients, fusions involving the installation of cages went up from 3.6% of the surgeries in 1996, to 58.1% of the surgeries in 2001.
  • Overall disability rates at the 2 year (post-surgical) mark were 63.9%
  • Reoperation rates for the same time table were 22.1%
  • Complications rate over the same time period were 11.8%.
  • Use of cages or instrumentation was associated with more risk for complications when compared to bone only fusions.
  • Discography and multilevel fusions predicted more reoperations.

Wrap Up
New intervertebral fusion devices were introduced in 1996. These devices are associated with increased complications, reoperations, and disability.

Try SPINAL DECOMPRESSION. In a large number of disc patients, it has been shown to be a game-changer! The worst thing that happens in spinal decompression is that you fall asleep and snore in front of the tech!

This week’s blog was inspired by research by Maghout, J., et. al. and published in Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2006 Nov 1;31(23):2715-23 and can be found at this link.

Just another reason to call a chiropractor TODAY!

Research and clinical experience shows that, in about 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, in comparison to the traditional medical model, patients get good or excellent results with Chiropractic . Chiropractic care is safe, more cost-effective, it decreases your chances of having surgery, and it reduces your chances of becoming disabled.  We do this conservatively and non-surgically. In addition, we can do it with minimal time requirements and minimal hassle on the part of the patient. And, if the patient develops a “preventative” mindset going forward from initial recovery, we can likely keep it that way while raising your general, overall level of health!

Please feel free to leave a comment and tell me your thoughts. I’d love to hear what you think.

And….SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!!   We cannot make a difference without your help.

Till next time……

The Amarillo Chiropractor Blog is written by Dr. Jeff Williams.

Amarillo TX Amarillo Pain & Accident Chiropractic Clinic provides customized chiropractic care to the Amarillo, Canyon, Pampa, Happy, White Deer, Dumas, Groom, Conway, Panhandle, Claude, Clarendon, Borger, Tulia, Hereford, Fritch, Bushland, and Vega communities. Visit our main website at for customized Chiropractic in Amarillo TX.

Choose several options to schedule your appointment: call (806) 355-3000 or click the button below for our contact info.

by Jeff S. Williams, D.C.
Chiropractors in Amarillo
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