Call Us at 225-924-3989

Contact Us

The Role of Insurance Coverage in the Baton Rouge Back Surgery or Non-Surgical Care Choice

July 09, 2019

“Back surgery is one of the most overused types of surgery as well as the most common ailment that sends patients to doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists,” conveys Crain’s Detroit Business magazine’s article called Health Insurers Look for Ways to Cut Costs with Back Surgery. What a way to begin an article! It goes on:

  • $90 billion on low back pain alone a year
  • 1.2 million spinal surgeries annually
  • $60,000 to $110,000 per lumbar fusion surgery (the fastest-growing type of surgery in the past 10 years)

The back surgery failure rate, the so-called “failed back syndrome” or the more “politically correct” term “post-surgical continued pain syndrome,” is as high as 50%. (1) With healthcare spending in the US exceeding $3.5 trillion - $10,739 per person – it is no wonder that insurers seek another way to cut costs, especially when one-third of the money is spent for hospital care of chronic illnesses. (2) Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers is well-trained and knowledgeable in offering non-hospital-based care to help Baton Rouge back pain – chronic and acute – patients find relief of and manage their back pain – as well as post-surgical continued back pain - non-surgically.


Low back pain is the foremost reason of years lived with disability around the world. Today, recommendations for low back pain relief care discourage pain medications, steroid injections and spine surgery and encourage physical therapy and psychological therapy. Healthcare systems are apt to struggle with these novel approaches. Why? Pharmaceutical companies’ financial interests, old payment systems that favor medical care, outdated traditions, and legal, personal, political, and societal beliefs of us all. These concepts are presented in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, believe it or not. (3) Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers reads this with interest.


Considering these facts, it is not hard to believe that some back pain sufferers will choose back surgery over non-surgical care of their back pain. “Patients go where insurance pays, even if it is surgery.” In one study, back pain sufferers chose to visit a primary care physician (PCP) or physical therapist (PT) or chiropractor first because of their health plan type, co-payment, and deductible. Modifying these factors to make them more valuable/less expensive/less restrictive as to provider type might well encourage low back pain sufferers to choose non-hospital, conservative treatment instead of back surgery. (4) Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers likes this! Less than 1% of back pain sufferers must have back surgery. (5) Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers is ready to assist the rest of the Baton Rouge back pain sufferers cope with their back pain and adapt their lifestyles to be with the spine they have and deal with its episodes of pain and relief.


Baton Rouge back pain sufferers are not alone if their back pain returns. It happens. It is controllable. It’s manageable. Some data first: Within a year of recovery, 69% of patients experienced another episode of back pain of some sort. Awkward postures, long sitting times, and more than 2 prior back pain experiences prompt the risk of back pain recurrence. (6) It is ok though. Really! Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers helps Baton Rouge back pain patients navigate these recurrences and manage them so they do not limit anyone’s enjoyment of life.  We have a treatment plan!

CONTACT Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers

Listen to Dr. Kimble Cater on The Back Doctors Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson discuss how he helped an expectant mother with her repeated episodes of back pain. Whether you’re pregnant or not, Baton Rouge chiropractic care at Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers can help you cope with repeated episodes of back pain, too.

Schedule a Baton Rouge chiropractic appointment at Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers for back pain relief. Our care is not overused!  The gentle, effective, evidence-based system of Cox® Technic look for 50% relief within 4-6 weeks of care and often gets 70%, 80%, 90% and greater for many of our patients at less cost – in terms of finances and lifestyle – than back surgery.

Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers realizes that back pain sufferers may choose their back pain treatment option based on insurance coverage. If insurance pays for back surgery, will you choose that?