Before undergoing surgical spinal fusion, patients with degenerative disk disease should first try physical therapy.
A study conducted at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital ("Operative and Nonoperative Treatment Approaches for Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease Have Similar Long-Term Clinical Outcomes Among Patients With Positive Discography" - September 15, 2013) found that "patients with back pain and concordant discography did not demonstrate a significant difference in outcome measures of pain, health status, satisfaction, or disability based on whether the patient elected for fusion or nonoperative treatment."
- Health Center for Low Back Pain
- Early Physical Therapy Can Be Cost-Effective Treatment for Low Back Pain
- Back Pain Is Often Over-Treated
- Beginning Low Back Pain Treatment With Advanced Imaging Leads to Higher Total Costs
- Physical Therapy Equal to Surgery for Spinal Stenosis
- Podcast: Back Pain: Avoiding Unnecessary Treatment
- Podcast: Success Story: Avoiding Back Surgery to Return to Marathons
- Podcast: Natalie Gulbis on Back Pain and the Physical Demands of Golf
- Podcast: Treatment for Spinal Stenosis: Comparing Physical Therapy and Surgery
- Physical Therapist's Guide to Low Back Pain
- Physical Therapist's Guide to Degenerative Disk Disease
- Physical Therapist's Guide to Spinal Stenosis