Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Prolapsed intervertebral disc

What if back surgery was a drug?

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 26 June 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1452
  1. Michael Vagg, interventional pain physician
  1. 1VMO Pain Management Unit, Barwon Health, Geelong, VIC 3220, Australia
  1. mickvagg{at}

I find it fascinating that surgical treatments and medical treatments are evaluated very differently in the literature and by ethics committees.1 Let’s say you told a human research ethics committee (HREC) that you expected only a short to medium term reduction in radicular pain with no real improvement …

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