Scoliosis Surgery Cost

Scoliosis is a defect in one's spine that has no known cause. It is common among children but can also occur in older individuals. It is a disorder where the spine bends abnormally and often takes a C or S shape. In children, the scoliosis will normally resolve itself over time or can be corrected by use of a back brace depending on the severity of the condition.

Treatment options for Scoliosis

If left untreated for a long period, scoliosis can cause serious damage to the spine, heart, lung or the pelvis. As a first step to deciding the best treatment option, the doctor will take an x-ray of the spine. The x-ray will show the severity of the curve and where it occurs within the spine. The treatment option that the doctor recommends is largely dependent on the age of the patient, the degree and pattern of the curve and the type of scoliosis. Available treatment options include observation, bracing and surgery. In this article we shall focus on scoliosis surgery and more specifically scoliosis surgery cost.

Studies have shown that scoliosis surgery cost varies by region. According to researchers as West Virginia University,the average cost of scoliosis fusion is $113,000. The study was conducted in different cities in the US. Their research also revealed that cost of surgery and technique used did not vary as a result of the age of the patient. However, older patients were found to require more complex procedure to cure the disorder and a longer post operation stay in the hospital. The scoliosis surgery cost will also vary based on how many levels of vertebrae are fused during the procedure.

Factors that affect scoliosis surgery cost

Generally, the following factors will have a direct impact on how much you will spend on your scoliosis surgery:

  1. Length of stay at the hospital post - operation, the longer your stay at the hospital after a spinal fusion, the more expensive it will be for you.
  2. Type of material used during surgery - most surgeons will either use stainless steel or titanium during scoliosis fusion. Your choice of material will affect how much you pay for the procedure.
  3. Having thoracoplasty included as part of your spinal fusion procedure. Thoracoplasty is an elective procedure that is used to reduce rib humps that are common in scoliosis patients. It is sometimes also performed to obtain bone grafts from the ribs as opposed to the pelvis.
  4. The bone grafting material that your surgeon will use - the available options are; having the graft harvested naturally through an autograft, using a cadaver bone or using any of the artificial bone graft materials that are now available.
  5. Other associated costs -in most instances, there will be other costs you will incur outside the cost of the actual surgery. A good example is the cost of the anesthesiologist.

It is a good idea to conduct ample research in order to have a general idea of what your spinal fusion will cost before undertaking your surgery so as to avoid surprises while in recovery.