Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Biology Big Brother
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 14 per cent of all new visits to primary care physicians are the result of lower back pain. The CDC also states that 2.4 million adults in the United States suffer chronic back pain and another 2.4 million suffer temporary back pain. The costs of undergoing procedures to alleviate or reduce back pain are varied, and the choice to proceed with back surgery should be determined with the assistance of a physician.
Endoscopic Back Surgery
Endoscopic back surgery utilises a small tube called an endoscope inserted into the body through a small incision. The endoscope is equipped with a video camera that assists the surgeon in determining the internal course of treatment. This method is considered less invasive and less painful and reduces the recovery time of the patient. It is typically used to treat pinched nerves, stabilise joints and fuse bones together if spinal disks are damaged. This type of surgery averages between £3,900 and £5,200.
Spondylodesis Back Surgery
Spondylodesis back surgery, also called spinal fusion, fuses abnormal vertebrae and relieves the pressure on nerves by removing ligaments, bones or disk materials surrounding the nerves. The fusion process uses small fragments of bones harvested from the hip or from another donor and fuses the pieces between the damaged vertebrae. Metal rods and screws reinforce and hold the vertebrae in place. This procedure costs an average of £7,800 to £9,750. Removal of bones during a spinal fusion can cost approximately £1,950.
The laminectomy process removes bones overlaying the spinal canal that cause the canal to become enlarged. The procedure reduces the pressure on nerves. The average cost for this surgery, also called a lumbar laminectomy, is £55,250.
This procedure requires an injection of bone cement into compressed vertebrae to repair fractured or compressed vertebrae. It stabilises the area and reduces or relieves pain. Cost for this procedure averages £1,625. A similar procedure called kyphoplasty, which utilises a balloon device to expand compressed vertebrae prior to inserting bone cement, costs £9,100.
Lost wages, various hospital charges, medications and post-surgery complications are all additional costs to back surgery that should be considered.
- Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Biology Big Brother