Debunking the Chronic Pain Controversy

mypainweb familiarizes you with the growing controversy and contradiction regarding invasive surgical procedures for Chronic Pain.  Click on the following two links for a quick review:

mypainweb Invasive Surgery

mypainweb Options: Controversy and Contradiction

 

Debunking the Chronic Pain Controversy 

This section is of particular importance.   The following information would have been indispensable during some extremely stressful periods in my life, as I suffered with chronic pain, depression, personal and family problems.  Coupled with this was confusion surrounding medical treatment decisions I needed to make to enable my return to a normal routine of life.

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Exceeding our expectations and dreams

Most of us share an amazement in regard to modern medicine’s incredible accomplishments.  We may have held the hand of a loved one who required medical care to heal from an injury or disease.  Witnessing the long list of successes achieved from our medical community’s effort has become the norm as patients improve and resume their role within the family and society.  Advancing research has led to continual medical discoveries and new treatment options.  As a result, the amount of convalescing time required for patients to repair and heal from injuries/illnesses has been significantly reduced.

Some of us may have family or friends working within the medical community as doctors, nurses, etc.  They help give us an insider’s glimpse of the inherent power and perceived “magic” that is the hallmark of westernized modern medicine.

What was considered to be medically impossible just a short time ago will one day be eclipsed, as state-of-the-art medical advancements that reach beyond our imagination.  Medical “miracles” become the expected norm, delivered at supersonic speeds.

Even sweeter is the fact that our culture has been able to deliver our expectations faster and faster.  The following quote and link does an outstanding job of describing our mindset as it relates to the relationship of “getting what we want when we want it”:

“The need for instant gratification is not new, but our expectation of ‘instant’ has become faster, and as a result, our patience is thinner,” said Narayan Janakiraman, an assistant marketing professor at the University of Texas, Arlington.

The growing Instant Gratification Culture

 

Success Rates

Confidence remain high as the reported success rates for numerous surgical procedures continue to increase.  Here are just a few reported success rates for some common surgical procedures:

Tommy John-Greater 90% success rate

Heart Bypass-95-98%  success rate

Hip Replacement-90-95% success rate

Knee Replacement-90% success rate

 

Chronic Pain-the paradox

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Despite the encouragement and positives of the aforementioned, Chronic Pain remains a paradox as it continues to be one of our nation’s most formidable health concerns.  Chronic pain remains contradictory, as even modern medicines best efforts sometimes result in distressing outcomes.  Chronic Pain prevails as a medical mystery, evidenced by the epidemic growth rate of Chronic Pain sufferers throughout the U.S..

Noticeably absent from these statistics are reported success rates for Chronic Pain treatments.  Most medical treatments track, report and publish success rates based upon patient improvements.  No surprise that a correlation exists between the dramatic increase in the number of Chronic Pain sufferers amid the lack of any efforts to report outcomes.

This quandary is further defined by the fact that despite the U.S. spends more on Chronic Pain healthcare treatment options including medication, testing, therapies and surgeries as compared to most other healthcare categories, Chronic Pain worsens.  Furthermore, the Chronic Pain costs associated with loss of workdays and disability are staggering as Chronic Pain continues to be ranked second as the reason why people go to their doctor; second only to the common cold.

 

So, what’s a Chronic Pain sufferer to do?

With the Chronic Pain paradox in mind it’s absolutely crucial that those experiencing Chronic Pain take charge of their pain and cease any action which exacerbates their pain.  This includes the critical decision of invasive surgery as a means to “fix” their pain.

mypainweb reiterates you must partner with your doctor and fully understand your medical condition along with proposed treatments/procedures, especially invasive surgical options.  To start, find out the success rates for the proposed treatment/procedures option(s).  Ask your doctor and spend time gathering this information on the internet.  Connecting to others who have undergone the same or similar treatment/procedure is another excellent way to fully understand your medical situation.  Discuss your findings with your doctor.

Without question, there are many times surgical option is a necessity, as in the case of a medical emergency requiring immediate surgical action.  If, however, your surgical option is deemed “elective”, then you must do your due diligence.  If you find yourself moving toward the surgical option of surgery that has a high success rate, you must still consider a few additional factors to insure the best long term outcome.

In the very least, you must obtain a second opinion from another doctor.  Unnecessary surgery is becoming a very real concern, having tragic outcomes.  Click on the following link to learn more:

Doctors Perform Thousands of Unnecessary Surgeries: Are You Getting One of Them?

Another area you need to be aware of is that of the alarming increase in over-treatments and number of errors occurring at Hospitals.  Over-treatment and medical mistakes are causing more pain and deaths than ever before.

Consider the following facts:

  • Medical errors kill the equivalent of four jumbo jets’ worth of passengers every week, but the death toll is being largely ignored
  • It’s estimated that up to 30 percent of all medical procedures, tests and medications may be unnecessary — at a cost of at least $210 billion a year (plus the untold cost of emotional suffering and related complications and even death — which are impossible to put numbers on)
  • Urgent reforms are needed to make medical care safer, and simple steps, like installing cameras in hospitals and making hospital performance / error data public, could have a dramatic effect on patient safety

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The following link discusses this disturbing trend along with helpful tips to help keep you safe:

Hospitals are killing us

 

Considering Spinal Fusion Surgery?

mypainweb continues to reinforce the fact that Spinal Fusion Surgery is not a treatment to “fix your Chronic Pain”.  Unless you are the victim of a crushing injury requiring immediate surgical repair of your spine, you must understand the risks associated with Spinal Fusion Surgery.

What’s the success rate of Spinal Fusion Surgery you ask?

You get an A+ and move to the head of the class as you’re already taking charge of your painweb to make the best decision.  The answer; however, will surely disappoint.  Despite the Spinal Fusion Surgery being one of the fastest growing, most lucrative surgical procedures, it’s success rate is poor.  Great debate begins here as to what defines a “successful” spinal fusion.  Some medical experts claim that proper healing of a spinal fusion surgery equates to a successful outcome.  They report a 90% or greater success rate.  This is not accurate, nor truthful.  A successful spinal fusion surgery must include level of pain, function and mobility the patient experiences after the spinal fusion.  You can expect a success rate, 40-50% from this invasive surgery.  Some more recent data revises the success rate down to just 25%.  The odds seem to be that you may be worse after a spinal fusion surgery.  More Chronic Pain, less function, and less mobility.  Remember, Spinal Fusion Surgery is permanent….lasting your lifetime.

I urge you….plead with you to click on the following links to learn more about this complicated factor which increases your chances of worsening Chronic Pain:

mypainweb Options: Controversy & Contradicton

Unnecessary Surgeries

Lucrative Spine Fusion Surgery

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When should a Fusion Surgery be considered? 

The following link provides some understanding as to when a Fusion Surgery may be indicated:

When to perform lumbar surgery

Lastly, be sure you understand Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS).  The huge   numbers of reported worse outcomes by patients after Spinal Fusion Surgery caused the medical community to create a separate category for all these unfortunate patients called Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS).  mypainweb shares with you all this information to insure you do not find yourself within the FBSS category.  It will insure you a life of continual worsening pain without any hope of a “quick fix”.  I know as I suffer from Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS) as the direct result of multiple fusion surgeries.

Search mypainweb “Links” for an extensive list of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS) topics.

Want to know more?   Email me directly at help@mypainweb.com

Connect to the mypainweb Forum by clicking on the link below to connect to others facing similar obstacles of living with Chronic Pain:

mypainweb Forum

 

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