Low back pain hospitalization: Recent united states trends and regional variations

Victoria M. Taylor, Richard A. Deyo, Richard A. Deyo, Richard A. Deyo, Daniel C. Cherkin, Daniel C. Cherkin, Daniel C. Cherkin, Victoria M. Taylor, William Kreuter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

319 Scopus citations


Study Design. This study describes recent United States trends and regional variations in the management of low back pain. Objectives. The authors investigated recent temporal trends and compared practices in different geographic regions. S umma ry of Background Data. Controversy exists concerning the appropriate medical and surgical management of patients with low back pain. Methods. National Hospital Discharge Survey data from 1979 through 1990 were analyzed. Case selection was based on previously developed algorithms intended to exclude nonmechanical causes of back pain. Results. Over the period of study, nonsurgical hospitalizations for low back pain decreased dramatically. In contrast, low back operation rates, particularly for fusion surgery, increased substantially. In recent years, surgery and hospitalization rates were highest in the South and lowest in the West. Conclusions. Rapidly increasing surgical rates and wide geographic variations suggest the need for a more consistent approach to back problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1207-1213
Number of pages7
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Low back pain management
  • Practice patterns
  • Regional variations
  • Trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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