Is cervical spine surgery cost-effective? The jury is still out — 5 things to know

Written by  Laura Dyrda

There isn’t much data available today on cost-effectiveness for treating cervical degenerative disc disease, despite the many patients who undergo treatment every year.

Cervical degenerative disc disease is a common cause of clinical syndromes, according to a study published in Spine, and the appropriate interventions are controversial. There isn’t strong data to show which treatments can improve quality of life outcomes, reduce complications and limit costs for different types of patients.

Researchers conducted a systematic search in PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Collaboration Library, Cost-Effectiveness Analysis registry database and the National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database for economic evaluations published before Jan. 16, 2014.

There were five studies identified and included in the analysis. The researchers found:

1. Two studies showed cervical disc replacement might be more cost-effective than anterior cervical discectomy and fusion.

2. Two studies comparing anterior and posterior surgical procedures for cervical spondylotic myelopathy show anterior surgery was more cost-effective.



Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President and CEO of Ortho Spine Partners and sits on several company and industry related Boards. He also is the Creator and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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