The Antidote

Counterspin for Health Care and Health News

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

One more for the road...

Today's New York Times reports on a new randomized trial (published in JAMA) that shows that waiting is as good as surgery in most cases (even if it doesn't provide as quick results) for sciatica (caused by ruptured disks), because - go figure - people usually recover eventually.

Interestingly, the editorialist was disappointed because the results didn't provide a clear answer as to which approach was preferable. But guess what? Patients now get to decide for themselves, instead of relying on their surgeons, who get reimbursed many thousands of dollars for a disk operation.

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