June 1, 2017

THE KEY TO HEALTH REFORM IS REDUCING CONSUMPTION:

Behind Tiger Woods's arrest and pain meds lies a problematic surgery (IKE SWETLITZ, JUNE 1, 2017, STAT)

[W]hat's been less discussed is the role of the back surgery Woods recently underwent, called spinal fusion. Woods had the surgery in April "to alleviate ongoing pain in his back and leg," according to his website. (This was his fourth back surgery.)

According to the police report, one prescription Woods has is the opioid pain reliever Vicodin, possibly related to the back surgery -- though Woods's agent would not say if that was the reason, according to the Washington Post.

But the incident points to a bigger problem with such surgeries: Spinal fusions are rising in prevalence even though they often don't work, leave patients in pain, and can drive patients to long-term dependence on pain relievers.

Posted by at June 1, 2017 6:48 PM

  

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