Lower back pain is an ache that almost every experiences from time to time. In some cases, an individual’s back pain may disappear just a suddenly as it began without the individual undergoing any type of medical treatment. In other cases, individuals may become concerned about the pain and schedule an appointment with their doctor. It is reported that back pain is the 5th most commonly cited reason that individuals schedule doctor visits. Because it is often difficult to determine the origin of lower back pain, doctors often diagnose the pain as nonspecific. This means that the individual’s lower back pain could be caused by a number of factors including lumbar strains or degenerative disk disease. While back surgery may be helpful in some situations, back surgery is not always the answer to an individual’s lower back pain. Because of the increased prevalence of MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) technology, more individuals may be undergoing unnecessary back surgery. This could lead to claims of medical malpractice.
Some researchers believe that the use of MRI technology for individuals experiencing lower back pain may increase the likelihood that an individual will undergo back surgery.
This is due to the fact that MRIs may detect abnormalities or irregularities that are not directly related to an individuals back pain but are perceived by doctors to be contributing to the individual’s pain. Therefore, individuals suffering from lower back pain may undergo unnecessary back surgery from which they often receive no health benefits. Furthermore, studies have shown that back surgery often does not improve patient outcomes. For these reasons, it is crucial that doctors make certain that back surgery is absolutely necessary before subjecting an individual to an invasive surgery that may not alleviate the individual’s pain and may further jeopardize the patient’s health. Individuals that believe they have been the victims of unnecessary back surgery may have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim against their physician.
Surgery, especially back surgery, is not something that should be entered into lightly or without careful consideration. Lower back pain may have any number of unspecified causes, and the pain may diminish over time without medical intervention. Both doctors and patients should weigh all risks and benefits before opting for back surgery. Second opinions are highly recommended as MRI scans could be misinterpreted. When a doctor misinterprets an MRI scan and advises an individual to undergo back surgery that is later determined to be unnecessary, the individual may be the victim of medical malpractice. If the health care provider failed to provide medical care and treatment based on accepted standards of care, the health care provided may have acted negligently with the health of the individual. Victims of medical malpractice may be entitled to monetary remuneration for their medical bills and pain and suffering.