By Laura Dyrda
Treating back pain and other spinal conditions can cost more than $200 billion annually in the United States, with $90 billion in direct costs. There are several factors contributing to the ever-increasing cost of care, including hospital costs, device costs, pharmaceuticals and post-surgical care.
“We have a larger aging population now which requires more care, and in spine surgery we are able to treat a much wider range of patients than in the past,” says Glenn R. Buttermann, MD, an orthopedic spine surgeon at Midwest Spine & Brain Institute in Minnesota. “Anesthesia is better and our technology for monitoring and performing surgery with new biologics and instrumentation allows us to perform surgery on patients we wouldn’t have selected 20 years ago.”