NEW ORLEANS— At the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting, Samuel Cho, MD, spoke about a study that compared the 7-year cost-effectiveness of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) vs. cervical disc arthroplasty in patients with degenerative discs.
It all starts with a pang at the base of your spine. Maybe you were squatting too much weight at the gym. Maybe you were moving your sofa. Or maybe it was something that grew out two decades of hunching over your desk at work. Whatever the case, you’ve got it: the dreaded lower back pain.
You certainly wouldn’t be alone. Today, in fact, some form of back pain is the number two reason that drives Americans to seek health care—right behind the common cold. According to Dr. Samuel K. Cho, MD, associate professor of orthopedics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, up to 80 percent of patients suffer from some form of back pain during their lifetime. Likewise, the NIH reported that “one-quarter of adults have at least one day of lower back pain in a three month period.” And it’s not just old fogies throwing out their backs, either. According to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the number of emergency room admittances for back pain is similar for both the 18–44-year-old age group and the 45–64-year-old one.
There are two main forms of lower back pain: acute and chronic. Acute pain is defined by a sharp, severe, sudden onset. You got in a car accident, fell down the stairs, or “threw out your back” lifting something. But for all the misery you feel, acute lower back pain can often be healed with Advil, ice, and sufficient rest.
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