Back Surgery Boone NC
Medical School: East Carolina Univ Sch Of Med, Greenville Nc 27858
Graduation Year: 1993
Medical School: Med Univ Of Sc Coll Of Med, Charleston Sc 29425
Graduation Year: 1980
Medical School: Bowman Gray Sch Of Med Of Wake Forest Univ, Winston-Salem Nc 27157
Graduation Year: 1982
Hospital: Blowing Rock Hosp, Blowing Rock, Nc; Watauga Med Ctr, Boone, Nc
Group Practice: Watauga Surgical Group P A
Medical School: East Carolina Univ Sch Of Med
Year of Graduation: 1993
Accepting New Patients: Yes
5.0, out of 5 based on 1, reviews.
General Surgery, Hand Surgery
Medical School: Univ Of Tn, Memphis, Coll Of Med, Memphis Tn 38163
Graduation Year: 1955
Medical School: Univ Of Ms Sch Of Med, Jackson Ms 39216
Graduation Year: 1988
Hospital: Blowing Rock Hosp, Blowing Rock, Nc
Group Practice: Blue Ridge Surgical Group
General Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, Vascular Surgery
General Surgery, Vascular Surgery
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Having easy access to MRI scans may be a bad thing for people with new-onset lower back pain, according to U.S. researchers.
The analysis of 1998-2005 Medicare data found that patients with new pain in their lower back were more likely to have surgery if they were treated in an area that had a higher-than-average concentration of MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machines.
The researchers projected that if all Medicare patients with new-onset lower back pain lived in areas with the least MRI availability in 2004, there would have been 5.4 percent fewer lower back MRIs and 9 percent fewer back surgeries.
The study authors also found that two-thirds of MRI scans that may have resulted from increased MRI availability took place within the first month of onset of back pain. However, clinical guidelines recommend delaying an MRI scan until four weeks after onset, during which time most people with low back pain show improvement.
"Not only are patients in high-availability areas getting more MRIs, but they are getting them earlier," study first author Jacqueline Baras, a Stanford University medical student, said in a university news release.
While this may sound good, it's actually a cause for concern. Previous research found that increased surgery rates don't improve outcomes for patients with new-onset low back pain.
"The worry is that many people will not benefit from surgery, so heading in this direction is concerning," senior author Laurence Baker, a professor of health research and policy, said in the release.
"It is important that policymakers recognize that infrastructure matters, and that the number of MRI machines in any particular area may affect the volume and quality of health care that patients receive," Baras said.
The study was published online Oct. 14 in the journal Health Affairs.
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about low back pain.
SOURCE: Stanford University School of Medicine, news release, Oct. 14, 2009
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