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Posted on 05-27-2011

 "In an unscreened practice, where the surgeon sees 100 patients, no more than 10 would be surgical candidates," Dr. [Hamilton] Hall said. "As a surgeon wanting to do surgery, I don't want to see 90 people who don't need me."

"I want to see the 90 patients and send the 1or 2 who need surgery to the spine surgeon, especially those like me who use a Flexion Dostraction table." The biomechanics and clinical research behind the  Flexion Distraction procedure as well as the hands-on, evidence-based protocols  get results in patients with back pain, disc pain, neck pain and arm or leg pain.

The article Dr. Hall is quoted in, Canada's Costly Spine-Surgeon Backlog, patients who need surgery express frustration that they can't even get an appointment with the spine surgeon for weeks, months or even years and doctors who want to do surgery express frustration that they can't do surgery because the patients referred to them only need ice packs or exercise for back pain relief. These spine surgeons want "screened" practices meaning that the patients who come to them need their care. For spine pain patients, who better than the trained chiropractor to triage the lower back pain and neck pain patients appropriately? I doesn't even require an MRI oftentimes to diagnose a back pain patient's problem, saving money for the healthcare system as well as unnecessary referrals when the MRI comes back with an abnormal finding that worries the general physician into a referral to a spine surgeon when the abnormality is not a source of pain. "As a screening tool for back pain," Dr. Hall said, "MRIs are worse than useless."

 As any chiropractic physician will agree, the thorough clinical examination is essential. It is even reported to be 86% accurate. Adding a positive MRI finding increases the accuracy of the back pain or neck pain diagnosis to 95%. (Bell: Diagnosis of lumbar disc disease. Sem in Spine Surg 1994;6(3):186-195) When a chiropractic physician orders the MRI, he or she should even have an idea of what it will reveal knowing the clinical findings .

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