How Much Does a Kyphoplasty Cost?
A kyphoplasty is one of two techniques, the other being vertebroplasty, used in treating fractures or broken areas in the bones of the spine (vertebrae). The fractures are usually caused by osteoporosis, or thinning of the bones. The kyphoplasty method involves inserting an inflatable balloon-like device into the vertebra. In the vertebroplasty procedure, cement is inserted into the bone. Both techniques stabilize and straighten out the spinal curve, resulting to restoration of the height of the vertebra as well as relief from pain.
How much does it cost?
- MedicalNewsToday.com cites a study by ECRI, a non-profit health services research agency, which states that materials alone for kyphoplasty surgery cost $3,400 to $4,000 and $8,000 to $10,000 in professional fees and hospital charges.
- An article at the American Journal of Neuroradiology compares the cost-effectiveness of the two techniques used to treat fractures in the spine. According to the article, kyphoplasty is approximately 2.5 times more expensive than vertebroplasty. The overall cost of kyphoplasty is approximately $6,000 more than the cost of vertebroplasty per vertebra treated, specifically citing a single-level vertebroplasty treatment that costs $3,423. The review adds that anesthesia fees, the additional equipment, and hospital charges add up to the overall cost of kyphoplasty.
- The price range for kyphoplasty in the United States, according to medical tourism site PlacidWay.com, is from $2,000 to $14,000, depending on geographic location, surgeon, the degree of severity of the condition, and the number of vertebrae being treated. The estimates do not include surgeon’s fees, anesthesiologist’s fees, and hospital costs.
What is going to be included?
- Vertebral body fractures result in the collapse of compression of a vertebra, subsequently causing the spine to shorten and curve forward. The most common cause of vertebral compression is osteoporosis, or the thinning of bones. The surgery aims to correct the abnormality through the insertion of a balloon-like device, stabilizing the fracture and straightening the spinal curve.
- Kyphoplasty is usually done in a hospital or outpatient clinic. The patient may be given a local or general anesthesia. During the procedure, the surgeon makes an incision on the back and, with the aid of fluoroscopy, inserts a needle through the skin and into the spine bone. A balloon is positioned onto the bone and subsequently inflated, elevating the fracture and restoring the vertebra to its normal height. The adjustment also creates a cavity inside the bone. Following the removal of the balloon, a device is used to fill the cavity with a pasty cement-like material that quickly hardens, stabilizing the bone instantly. The procedure can take about an hour for every vertebra treated.
What are the extra costs?
- Prior to the procedure, the doctor evaluates the patient’s health and may recommend blood tests and a physical examination. X-rays or an MRI scan may also be required to help the doctor see the fractures in the spine.
- Patients undergoing kyphoplasty due to osteoporosis may be provided with an updated treatment plan. This will usually include medications that prevent further bone loss. Vitamins and minerals may also be prescribed to aid in the development of stronger bones that help prevent further fractures in the spine.
Factors that influence the price:
- Professional fees. As with all surgical procedures, surgeon fees and anesthesiologist’s fees contribute to the overall cost of the surgery. Fees vary from one professional to another and are often influenced by experience, reputation and level of skills.
- Hospital costs. Kyphoplasty performed in a hospital typically results to higher overall costs due to added charges resulting from the use of the operating room and hospital equipment as well as room and board. In comparison, getting kyphoplasty in an ambulatory surgery center costs significantly lower since no hospital fees are involved.
- Severity of condition. Patients have varying degrees of spine fractures, with some requiring a shorter procedure than others. The more severe conditions may involve more spine bones that need to be treated or an extremely collapsed vertebra.
Tips to know:
- Kyphoplasty is most successful in the restoration of vertebrae height and the correction of the abnormality if it is performed on a moderately recent compression fracture. Deformities caught within 2 to 3 months from occurrence usually have the most positive results.
- Before deciding on undergoing the procedure, make sure to ask your insurance provider if it covers kyphoplasty, where you plan to have the surgery, and if there are out-of-pocket expenses involved.
- Following kyphoplasty, pain relief may be instantly experienced in some patients while others will have reduction or elimination of pain within 2 days. Full recovery is expected in generally 6 weeks, depending on the patient.
How can I save money?
- Since kyphoplasty is a mildly invasive surgical procedure that can be done on an outpatient basis, consider having the procedure conducted in an ambulatory surgery facility. Make sure to check the credentials of the facility to ensure efficiency and safety.
- Ask about the rates charged for kyphoplasty at various hospitals and centers in your area. Take note of those that charge lower costs and find out more about the facility.
- Do not forget that your health insurance policy will more than likely cover a procedure such as this. If you are looking for a new policy or want to switch the policy you have now, consider browsing through hundreds at eHealthInsurance.com.
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