Does failed spinal fusion cost justify initial BMP use?

Laura Dyrda -   Print  |

A new study published in Clinical Spine Surgery examines the cost of failed spinal fusion for lower back pain.


There has been an increase in instrumented lumbar fusions and rhBMP-2 utilization for low back pain, which increases the cost of the procedure. The study authors conducted a retrospective study of patients who underwent instrumented lumbar fusion with rhBMP-2 and included an examination of outcomes as well as hospital finance records for the total expenditure by the primary payer.


The study took place in the United Kingdom. Researchers found the average cost associated with failed instrumented lumbar fusion with iliac rest bone graft, and rhBMP-2 in the reoperation, was around $62,144. When the patient received rhBMP-2 during the primary procedure, the average cost was around $35,051.


The study authors found the difference in cost between primary rhBMP-2 use and revision rhBMP-2 use insignificant.


"To date, this is the first study to report the costs of failed primary instrumented lumbar fusions using ICBG and subsequent fusions using rhBMP-2 from a primary payer perspective. On the basis of this evidence, a policy of using rhBMP-2 in all patients undergoing primary instrumented lumbar fusion cannot be recommended."


More articles on spine surgery:


5 key notes on reoperation for recurrent disc herniation
Spinal decompression vs. fusion: 5 key notes for workers compensation return to work
7 trends in spine surgery malpractice cases

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