Originally Posted by LuckyR
As usual, real life is a lot more nuanced than black and white. For example: if you are convinced (as the surgeon) that back surgery, with all of the potential risk and hassle associated with it, has a 97% chance of curing the symptoms, or a 3% chance, you know what to do. OTOH, if you know that at this point, the surgery has a 60% chance of getting rid of pain, let's say, that is another way of saying that it has a 40% chance of being a useless surgery. Do you do the procedure?
Not sure if you are trying to say doctors will make decisions based on the money, but i will let you have the benefit of doubt.
The answer is "it depends". If we are talking specifically about back surgery to relieve pain, the answer is probably "no" based on the evidence. However, there will be cases where surgery could provide significant pain relief.
If a patient is experiencing growing weakness in legs and losing control of bladder / bowel function, then surgery may be worthy considering even with low success rate.
Medicine itself is never an exact science. There are aways risks and chances that the procedure may not resolve any symptoms. And, it is always risk vs benefits and other variables.