The rate of ambulatory surgery for lumbar intervertebral disc disorders and spinal stenosis increased dramatically between 1994 and 2006 based upon a National Survey of Ambulatory Surgery. That’s progress, due to the use of minimally invasive, same-day lumbar disc operations.

However, another study has shown that the rate of lumbar disc operations that were combined with complex fusions and metal implants is increased in physician-owned centers compared to non-physician-owned facilities. Those aren’t ambulatory procedures – they usually require some in-patient days. This increase may reflect the larger payments to physicians and their surgery centers for complex surgery.

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