Summary of Background Data. Most surgical treatment failures are attributed to poor patient selection, but no widely accepted consensus exists on detailed indications for appropriate surgery.
Now… I am not a spine surgeon and this will not reflect the views of my employer, nor should this be thought of as medical advice…
Surgery for low back pain has always been *plagued* by a relatively high failure rate. Why? One reason is a poorly indicated surgery. The cause of “low back pain” is not always easy to identify… and unless you know the cause of the pain, then an ill-conceived procedure has a poor chance at alleviating the pain.
I am encouraged by the findings in this paper. Determining appropriateness criteria, abiding by them and informing patients about the realistic potential outcomes based on these measures have the potential to *significantly* improve the outcome of surgery for low back pain.