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Back care: Decisions, decisions

Dr. William Abdu, medical director of DHMC's Spine Center.

For the millions of Americans who experience chronic back pain, there is no easy solution. Surgery is one option for some, but not everyone benefits from it. Physical therapy is another possibility, as is treatment with pain medications or injections. With no clear answer, what matters is ensuring that patients make the decision that is right for them. That's the principle underlying DHMC's Spine Center, which works closely with the Center for Shared Decision Making to inform patients about their options and help them make the right choice. In 2007, CBS News visited the Spine Center to learn more about this approach to treating the notoriously difficult problem of back pain. Watch a clip from CBS News below, or learn more about the quality reports available on the Spine Center's website, which show the outcomes of various treatment options and how satisfied patients are with the care they receive. For more about the Spine Center, read the article "Moving Back Care Forward" in the Fall 2011 issue of Dartmouth Medicine.

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