Back and Neck Pain: Second Opinions

Goals

To find the number of individuals in the United States or the Mid West region that seek second opinions for neck and back pain to help determine how much emphasis should be given to second opinions on the website of a neurosurgery clinic/ firm.

Early Findings

  • Percentage of individuals with low back pain who sought or did not seek a second surgical opinion (American 2015 Patient Survey):
    • "Sought a second opinion": 45%
    • "Did not seek; trust doctor's recommendation": 37%
    • "Did not seek (other reasons)": 17%
    • "Did not seek; afraid of displeasing the doctor: 1%
  • The type of surgeon consulted for a second opinion:
    • Neurosurgeon: 48%
    • Orthopedic spine surgeon: 41%
    • Orthopedic surgeon: 6%
    • Pain management specialist: 4%
    • General surgeon: 1%
  • Therefore, the number of individuals who consult a neurosurgeon for a second surgical opinion is 21.6% (45%*48%).
  • The procedures/ 100,000- 10-year rate for Medicare beneficiaries range from 9.2 in Bangor, Maine, to 127.5 in Bradenton, Florida.
  • Doing spinal fusion procedures for back pain is "overutilized".
  • Seventy-five percent of the costs related to back pain can be attributed to 5% of patients.
  • Twenty-five percent of compensation indemnity claims are related to back injuries. Over one million workers in the United States suffer injure their backs annually and it costs the industry billions of dollars.

Proposed next steps:

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