Elective lumbar fusion hospital costs increased 177% over 12 years, exceeding $10B — 5 insights

Written by Shayna Korol | March 05, 2019 | Print  |

A study in Spine analyzed trends in U.S. lumbar fusion rates and associated costs by surgical indication.

The researchers analyzed the National Inpatient Sample from 2004 to 2015.

Five things to know:

1. The volume of elective lumbar fusion increased 62.3 percent from 122,679 cases in 2004 to 199,140 cases in 2015.

2. The increases were greatest among patients age 65 or older.

3. The largest increases were for:

  • Spondylolisthesis (+47,390 operations, 111 percent increase)
  • Scoliosis (+16,129 operations, 186.6 percent increase)

4. Disc degeneration, herniation and stenosis accounted for 42.3 percent of total elective lumbar fusions in 2015.

5. Aggregate hospital costs increased 177 percent over the 12 year period, exceeding $10 billion in 2015 and averaging more than $50,000 per admission.

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