CBS News, April 25, 2014
Back pain is one of the most common reasons Americans go to the doctor, and one of the fastest growing treatments is spinal fusion surgery. From 2001 to 2011, the number of spinal fusions in U.S. hospitals increased 70 percent, making them more frequently performed than even hip replacements. The growth has been attributed in part to improved technology, an aging population, and a greater demand among older people for mobility. But it has also sparked a debate over whether some surgeons are performing spinal fusions that are unnecessary and potentially dangerous.