Janet Wertheimer does a back hyperextension exercise at Boston Sports Club in Wellesley, Mass. Regular exercise has helped control her chronic back pain. Ellen Webber for NPR hide caption

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Knee pain is common, but surgery isn't necessarily the answer, researchers say. Inna Jacquemin/iStockphoto hide caption

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We know you'd rather skip the fasting and bowel prep. But that's the way we've always done it. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers has been suspended for the rest of the 2013 season after violating Major League Baseball's drug policy. Mike McGinnis/Getty Images hide caption

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Michael Pagliaro, left, laughs with Paul Scattaretico at the Muzic Store Inc. in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., as Pagliaro picks up instruments for his rental business. Before Pagliaro had a hip replacement, pain made it difficult to work. Maggie Starbard/NPR hide caption

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Many arms, one robot: the business end of the da Vinci system is seen in this media handout image from the manufacturer. Mark Clifford/Courtesy of Intuitive Surgical, Inc. hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Clifford/Courtesy of Intuitive Surgical, Inc.

It's unlikely that July patients are paying for residents' inexperience with their lives. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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If you bought this 1954 Buick when it was new, the price was just about as mysterious as it is today for hip replacement surgery. Hugo90/Flickr hide caption

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Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III lays on the field after injuring his knee during an NFL playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks on January 6. Griffin had knee surgery two days later. Richard Lipski/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Richard Lipski/AP

Maribel Ramos, 13, has both sickle cell disease and an abnormality of blood vessels called moyamoya. Both put her at risk of stroke, and, together, they add up to a 95 percent chance of a major stroke. Richard Knox/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Richard Knox/NPR

Researchers find that more than 40 percent of surgical complications happen after patients leave the hospital. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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A cross-sectional X-ray shows what's called a "sunken chest." The bright circle near the bottom is the spine; the gray blob on the right is the heart. Living LLC/Getty Images hide caption

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Most living kidney donors return to their daily lives in a matter of weeks, but for some, unforeseen physical and financial complications arise. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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