Back Surgery Costs In Other Countries
There is no use denying how expensive the cost of back surgery is in the U.S., and for such reason, patients tend to seek for medical institutions in other countries where the operation is relatively much cheaper than in the states. According to Medigo, the three nations with the most affordable spinal surgery cost are:
Yes, you do need to spend for the airfare to get to those destinations, but if you combine all the costs, the total amount wont even reach half of the average cost in the U.S., so it is still reasonable enough to go to other countries. Unless youll be staying in the country for weeks or month, then your overall spending will evidently increase.
Of course, there are more countries that offer back surgeries at lower costs. Here are some institutions that you can consider:
What Are The Considerations For Anesthesia During Surgery
Back surgery will almost always be performed under general anesthesia. In addition to the usual risks associated with anesthesia, there are risks associated with the patient lying face down on the surgical table.
This position changes the bodyâs hemodynamics â that is, how blood flows through the body. The position also limits the surgical teamâs access to the patientâs airway. This requires extra care in the positioning of equipment, monitors, patient, and anesthesiologist. It is extremely important to have a physician anesthesiologist in the operating room to make sure everything is set up correctly and to be able to take immediate action in case anything goes wrong.
Which Factors Affect How Much Spinal Surgery Costs
Regardless of which type of spinal surgery youre getting, there are many things that can affect the price you ultimately pay for your procedure. The three factors main factors that may impact the price of your surgery are:
- Facility setting Where you have your spinal surgery done affects the cost. Inpatient facilities, like hospitals, tend to cost more to run than outpatient surgery centers. That means that youll typically end up paying more for an inpatient procedure than an outpatient procedure.
- Health insurance If you have health insurance, the cost of spinal surgery can depend on your specific insurance provider. How much you pay will depend on what percentage of the procedure your insurance plan covers, if any at all. It will also depend on how close you are to hitting your deductible. If you dont have health insurance, youll be responsible for paying the full cost of your surgery out-of-pocket.
- Location The region, state, and even city you live in can affect the cost of your spinal surgery. If you live in a rural area with fewer healthcare facilities to choose from, you can expect to pay more than you would if you lived in a city with many providers. Traveling for a medical procedure can be a great money-saving option.
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Recovery After Spinal Decompression
The length of your stay in hospital will depend on the degree of decompression performed. Most patients spend 1-4 nights in hospital and your consultant and nursing team will make sure you’re safe and ready to go home.
Most people can walk on their own the day after surgery, however you may need to avoid strenuous activities for about 6 weeks.
You will not be able to drive or return to work until you are released to do so at your follow-up appointment with your consultant. Please arrange for someone to take you home on the day of your discharge.
Any stitches or staples will be removed 10 – 14 days after your operation.
You may feel very tired and sore for the first few weeks. It is important to rest and allow your body to heal.
You will be encouraged to walk during your recovery. Start with short distances and build up slowly. Avoid sitting for long periods. Keeping mobile will help you to avoid DVT .
Main Types Of Back Surgery
Here are the 4 main types of back surgery. Under each of these surgery umbrellas, there are many variations to treat the individual patient.
- Vertebroplasty/ Kyphoplasty
A discectomy involves taking out material that is putting pressure on the spinal column or nerve root. The procedure involves removing the herniated portion of the intervertebral disc which is putting pressure on the nerve or spinal cord. Removing part of the disc that is putting pressure on your spine will help address pain, numbness, weakness, balance issues, or mobility problems.
A microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive version of the surgery where part of the nucleus pulposus is removed traditionally or with a laser through a smaller incision with a microscope. A percutaneous discectomy involves removing part of the disc using a laser or suction through a small incision and probe.
A discectomy can be performed on various parts of the spine. For instance, a lumbar discectomy is performed to remove the herniated portion of the lumbar disc .
A discectomy is performed to:
- Address leg and/or buttock pain caused by nerve compression from a herniated/ ruptured disc
- Treat leg weakness, numbness
- Relieve pressure on the spinal nerves or cord
This compression and pressure on your nerve can be the source of your back and leg pain. Compressed nerve roots can be very painful, and relieving this pressure through surgery can improve function and cut pain.
3. Spinal Fusion
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Can A Laminectomy Treat Spinal Stenosis
Yes, your spine surgeon may consider laminectomy surgery to treat spinal stenosis. Stenosis is a gradual narrowing of the spinal canal . The narrowing space crowds nerve roots and the spinal cord, which may cause severe pain or make it difficult to move in certain ways. Spinal stenosis often happens as your body ages, when tissues in the spine slowly wear down over time.
Stenosis in the lower back is a common cause of low back pain.
Lumbar spinal stenosis may cause:
- Pain when you walk or bend over.
- Numbness or tingling near your legs, groin or lower back.
- Bladder or bowel problems .
Recovering From Back Surgery
Recovery time depends on the type of surgery you’ve had. It also varies widely from person to person. For standard decompression surgery, you would normally expect to be pain free and able to exercise gently after 6 weeks. You should be back to most normal activities within 12 weeks.
It can take several months for bone to grow after spinal fusion. You’ll be taught how to move in a way that keeps your spine aligned during this time. Youll have physiotherapy and will be able to gradually increase your activities.
For vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, you should be back to usual activities straight away. Techniques that don’t involve open surgery have a quicker recovery time.
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What Percentage Of Back Surgeries Fail
The American Society of Anesthesiologists estimates that 20 to 40% of back surgeries fail. Patients having repeated back surgeries have a much higher chance of failure. One study found only 30% of second back surgeries are successful. The number decreases for third and fourth back surgeries, with a 15% and 5% success rate, respectively.
Unfortunately, failed back surgery is common enough that it has received classification as a medical condition. Failed back surgery syndrome occurs when a patient experiences continued pain in the back, neck or limbs following a surgery meant to reduce pain.
Who Will Get The Most Pain Relief From Back Surgery
Before we talk about post back surgery pain, its important to discuss with your surgeon the best course of action. After all, not all back pain is created equal and not all pain can be relieved with surgery. The spine is a very complex joint system and unlike replacing an arthritic knee or hip, it can be difficult to address the root cause of back pain with surgery. If your back pain is more general and chronic and not stemming from a visible, mechanical/ structural issue, surgery may be like a stab in the dark. For your surgeon, patient selection is of the utmost importance when choosing who spine surgery can help.
Dr. Singh, Scottsdale-based orthopedic surgeon explains, if someone has shooting leg pain and on an MRI we can see structural findings that can be fixed with surgery , then a successful outcome is likely. In other words, seeing a structural issue that is linked to the type of pain the patient is experiencing allows for a more reliable surgical result.
Back surgery is most successful at relieving pain if:
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Additional Back Surgery Costs
- In addition to surgery, most patients require two to six weeks of recovery time so you may need to factor in the time that you would not be able to work.
- A back brace, which is sometimes required, can cost $200 or more.
- Physical therapy is typically $50 to $100 or more per session can easily add $1,000 or more to the overall costs.
- Pain medication will most likely be prescribed after surgery and other equipment, such as a walker, ranges from $50 to $100.
To learn more about his procedures or to schedule an appointment please call, 587-6263.
About Vivek Kushwaha
Vivek P. Kushwaha attended the University of Texas at Austin where he earned his B.A. from the College of Natural Sciences. He then earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio, Texas.
Back Surgery: Too Many Too Costly And Too Ineffective
There’s an 80 percent chance you’ll suffer back pain during your lifetime, for which your medical doctor will likely recommend over-the-counter pain medication or prescription medication to relieve the pain temporarily.
Then there’s chiropractic, which research and experience show is the safest, most effective option for most cases of back pain. Unfortunately, too many people end up in a medical doctor’s office instead of a chiropractor’s office, which accounts for the rampant use of medications and surgery for back pain, particularly here in the U.S. Here’s why back surgery and medical management of back pain in general is too frequent, too costly and too ineffective, and why chiropractic care should be your first option when dealing with back pain.
Too Many, Too Costly
Research suggests that of the 500,000-plus disk surgeries that are performed annually , as many as 90 percent are unnecessary and ineffective. Richard Deyo, MD, a professor at Oregon Health and Science University, notes, “It seems implausible that the number of patients with the most complex spinal pathology increased 15-fold in just six years” and mentions one strong motivation includes “financial incentives involving both surgeons and hospitals.”
Back pain can also cause an incorrect position during sex. To make sex even more fun and not burdened with thoughts of back pain, take Viagra for half an hour before sexual intercourse. A firm penis is a pledge of health of the body and back
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Common Back Injuries And Lumbar Spine Conditions
The name given to your back injury is not as crucial to your workers comp case as the recommended treatment and disabling nature of your pain.
However, the exact diagnosis provides clues to what you can expect, impacting the insurance carriers settlement offer for your back injury.
Work-related back injuries fall into the following categories:
Back strains are classified as follows:
- Grade I Lumbar Strain: A Grade I strain is the least severe type of back strain. It results in minor muscle damage and limited functional loss. Often there is no swelling or bruising.
- Grade II Lumbar Strain: A Grade II strain results in some damage to muscle tissue with swelling, tenderness, and bruising. You might have limited use for a period however, the prognosis is good.
- Grade III Lumbar Strain: A Grade III back strain is the most severe type of lumbar strain. It results in swelling, complete tearing of the muscle, and loss of strength or tendon function. Surgery is necessary for this lumbar strain, and permanent impairment is likely.
Back sprains are classified as follows:
- Grade I Lumbar Sprain: This injury is the least severe sprain, resulting in minimal functional loss.
- Grade II Lumbar Sprain: This injury results in a painful range of motion, with some functional loss.
- Grade III Lumbar Sprain: A Grade III back sprain causes complete tearing of the ligament and structural instability. You will have functional loss and may require surgery.
Why Might I Need A Lumbar Discectomy
You may need this surgery if you have a herniated disc in your lower back that is causing symptoms. The symptoms may include weakness, pain, or tingling in the back area and in one of your legs.
Lumbar discectomy cant be used to treat all cases of back pain. And not everyone with a herniated disc needs a lumbar discectomy. Your healthcare provider might advise the surgery if youve tried other treatments but still have severe symptoms. Other treatments to try first include physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medicines.
Talk with your provider about the risks and benefits of minimally invasive surgery compared to open surgery. Minimally invasive surgery may lead to less pain and faster recovery. But not all surgery centers can use this method.
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What Is A Lumbar Discectomy
Lumbar discectomy is a type of surgery to fix a disc in the lower back. This surgery uses smaller cuts than an open lumbar discectomy.
Your backbone, or spinal column, is made up of a chain of bones called the vertebrae. Your spinal cord runs through the spinal column. The bones help protect the cord from injury. Discs sit between each vertebra to provide cushioning and support. Large nerves called nerve roots lead from the spinal cord through small holes in the bones called foramen. These nerve roots send and receive signals to and from the body. The signals are sent to and from your brain through the spinal cord.
Sometimes the outer wall of one of these discs may dry out and weaken with age or injury. When this happens, the soft, inner part of the disc bulges out. This is called a herniated or bulging disc. This bulging disc can press on the spinal cord and cause symptoms such as pain, tingling, or weakness in a nearby part of the body.
Typical Costs Of Back Surgeries
For patients not covered by health insurance, a laminectomy, typically used to treat spinal stenosis typically costs $50,000 to $90,000. Fortunately, back surgery is covered by most health insurance plans if recommended by a doctor. Most insurance plans will cover spinal surgery and Medicare will generally cover back surgery. For patients covered by insurance, assuming the deductible has been met, typical out-of-pocket costs would consist of a co-insurance payment of between 10 and 40 percent of the procedure, for a total of $200 to $2,000 or more, up to the yearly out of pocket maximum.
A herniated disc procedure not covered by health insurance generally costs between $20,000 and $50,000 including the surgeons fee, anesthesiologist, and facility fee. A minimally invasive outpatient microdiscectomy would typically fall on the lower end of the scale while an inpatient open discectomy with a hospital stay would fall on the higher end. A herniated disc surgery is typically covered by health insurance if ordered by a doctor. For patients covered by insurance, assuming the deductible has been met, typical out-of-pocket costs would consist of a co-insurance payment of between 10 and 40 percent of the procedure, for a total of approximately $2,000, up to the yearly out-of-pocket maximum.
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Local Anesthetic Lends Advantages Over Going To Sleep
One of the keys to this new approach to spine surgery is a long-acting, local anesthetic called liposomal bupivacaine, which was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The anesthetic is injected into muscle in the low back before the incision is made, and provides pain relief for 72 hours.
Keeping Patients Awake During Spine Surgery Is Cutting Recovery Time In Half
The spinal surgery David B. underwent in November wasnt his first but it was the first time he was awake for a procedure.
David is one of about 10 patients so far who have taken advantage of UC San Franciscos offering of awake spine surgery, which neurosurgeon Praveen Mummaneni, MD, began doing in spring of 2018.
At first I thought Do I really want to be awake for this? said David. But in reality, it was more like being pleasantly oblivious. I was not aware of anything that was going on. It was sleepy time.
After the procedure a transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion, or TLIF, which generally takes only two to three hours David was up and walking again, without pain, before the end of the day.
The procedure is relatively new, said Mummaneni, who is also co-director of the UCSF Spine Center. Its changing my practice in that I can get my patients through their surgery much more quickly.
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Are There Alternatives To Spinal Surgery
If your doctor tells you that you need spinal surgery, its usually because youve tried other options to relieve your pain or discomfort without success. Depending on your specific condition, you may try these options before opting for spinal surgery:
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections
- Spinal manipulation using chiropractic or massage
If non-surgical options dont work to alleviate your symptoms, your doctor may start to talk to you about spinal surgery. The type of surgery you get will depend on your personal health and your doctors recommendations.
Feel free to ask your doctor why theyre recommending any procedure. If youre unsure about their recommendations, you always have the right to a second opinion. Dont be afraid to use it!