It finds that it may actually leave some back pain patients worse off.
The study looked at patients who were on workers compensation for back problems. Some had surgery and some did exercise and physical therapy.
When the study ended nearly all outcome categories were worse in the surgical group.
Most of the patients in the study had degenerative disc disease, herniated discs or nerve root disease. But authors say the study may work well for those with other conditions.
Spinal fusion surgery has exploded in use over the last 20 years