Features July 2007 Issue

Back Surgery: When Do You Really Need It?

Most people will experience severe back pain at some point. Conservative treatment will usually bring relief.

Approximately 80 percent of adults will experience back pain at some point during their lives. In the vast majority of cases, according to Isador Lieberman, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon at Cleveland Clinic, the pain will be transient, only temporarily disabling, and amenable to home treatment. "But in 10 percent of cases," he notes, "the problem will be severe enough to require some sort of medical intervention."

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