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Author Topic:   cost of surgery | Page views:
rls
Newbie
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Posts: 1
From:scotts valley, ca, u.s
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 07-06-2003 01:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rls     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi, Iam trying to get an estimate cost on having back surgery. I need a fusion done on L5-S1, does anybody know what the cost would be I live in calif. and Phyical Therpy, IAM negotiating with the Insurance Company on cost. Thank You rls

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mmglobal
Senior Member
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Posts: 80
From:
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 07-06-2003 02:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mmglobal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
RLS, I don't know the cost of fusion here, but I too am from Southern California. I would encourage you to look into artificial disc replacement (ADR) instead of fusion. If you are a candicate (not all fusion patients are candicates for ADR), it is a much better solution with easier recovery, higher chance of success and better long-term outlook.

I went to Munich, Germany for a 2-level ADR procedure and the cost was $22,000 plus a few thousand travel. After 2 prior spine surgeries and years of disability, pain and medications, I have had a fantastic recovery.

Single level ADR is available in the states now and many insurance companies are paying for it. If you don't have good insurance, it would cost less and you'd get a doctor with much more experience if you went to Europe. The standard of care is very high in many of these clinics and they cater nicely to international patients.

Do your homework... explore your options... make informed decisions.

Good luck,

Mark

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*** L4-5 and L5-S1 Disc Replacement (SB Charite III) 9/20/02 by Dr. Zeegers, AlphaKlinik, Munich, Germany ***

2/25/00 Microdiscectomy/laminotomy L4-5, 10x15x7 mm left paracentral protrusion

9/23/00 CANCELED L4-S1 360 fusion CANCELED

9/15/01 emergency microdiscectomy L5-S1, 14x13x10 mm left paracentral protrusion

Both discectomies helped with hip/leg/foot symptoms, but left the underlying back pain. Residual left foot pain and numbness. Lost axial reflex (left ankle).

*** The AlphaKlinik was wonderful. My expectations were high, but the clinic, it's staff, and Dr. Zeegers far exceeded them!!!

*** L4-5 and L5-S1 Disc Replacement (SB Charite III) 9/20/02 by Dr. Zeegers, AlphaKlinik, Munich, Germany ***

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BigJoe777
Member
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Posts: 49
From: Wyoming
Registered: Jun 2003

posted 07-06-2003 03:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BigJoe777     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well I haven't had the L5/S1 done yet, but my C6/C7 fusion was $18,997 to the neurosurgeon and $26,725 to the hospital. WC refused $2800 of the surgeon bill because they used an endoscope, which they don't recognise as "necessary surgical need".

But at least the NS wrote it off rather than charge me for it.

I'm sure you could about double the total amount for L5/S1 however, as it is a MUCH riskier and longer surgery. I was in for 2 1/2 hours for the cervical fusion, but there are so many variables involved with L5/S1, it's really hard for someone who hasn't yet had the procedure done to really give you a good figure. They can't really 'just go in and cut the sucker out'....

But I hope I at least gave you a rough guess of what $$$$$ this will cost you. Are you paying for this yourself??

------------------
C6/C7 Fusion W/Plate 11/02
T8/T9 HNP W/annular tear 5mm into spinal canal
L5/S1 HNP W/annular tear 7mm into spinal canal
L2/L3 HNP
DDD, foot-drop, use a walker to get around
12 MRI's, 3 ESI's
Worker's Comp Nightmare

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jdog
Senior Veteran
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Posts: 612
From:Raleigh, NC, USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 07-06-2003 10:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jdog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
RLS -

I had a laminectomy without fusion in 2001 and I think my total bill was about $12,000. With my insurance, I paid about $800 of that. And yes, I did dance after all was said and done. I consider myself financially lucky in that case.

I want to emphasize Mark's (mmg) point about getting a second opinion from a qualified NEUROSURGEON and see if there is any less invasive surgery that can be done besides a fusion. If a fusion is still recommended, I would go with ADR, hands down. Once you are fused, you can never go back.

jdog

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kmartian
Junior Member
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Posts: 6
From:Royal Oak, MI USA
Registered: Jun 2003

posted 07-06-2003 10:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kmartian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Has anyone had their insurance cover an ADR procedure yet? I am still waiting to hear from my insurance company to determine if they will cover my Prodisc surgery scheduled 9/4/03. They first said they would only cover FDA approved procedures.

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Kmartian

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Telzey
Senior Veteran
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Posts: 590
From:San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 07-07-2003 01:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Telzey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi,
I haven't gotten the IDET or discogram bill yet, but I just got the bill for the first ESI done last August. It came to about $4500, $3800 for the hospital and $700 for the surgeon. The insurance has paid their share and I have to pay the rest which comes to over $1500, ouch! I don't know where I'll come up with that money, plus I have another ESI bill due, then the IDET and discogram coming later!

So this surgery stuff is expensive.

Ugh.

Telzey

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4 years of back pain, but was still able to work and maintain moderate activity (hiking, low-impact aerobic exercise)
Annular tear L5-S1 diagnosed 5/02 via MRI
IDET 12/2/02
1/26/03 Posterior disc prolapse occurs after sitting too long after walking. Causes new pain down left leg.
3/1/03 Leg pain reduced with exercises from the book "Treat Your Own Back" by Robin McKenzie.
3/9/03 Severe, new buttock and thigh pain and numbness starts.
3/25/03 Used McKenzie techniques to treat buttock and thigh pain -- pain reduced
4/4/03 Started physical therapy
5/8/03 Still worse than pre-IDET, but showing slow improvement with PT, McKenzie exercises, yoga, and Hanna Somatics exercises
5/30/03 PT suggests buttock and thigh pain may be from facet joint
7/6/03 Still worse than pre-IDET due to leg and thigh pain and numbness, and have become so inactive I can't tell whether back pain is better. Can't stand for any length of time, can't walk long, run at all, or do any aerobic activity. I regret agreeing to the IDET and wish I had had more patience with the natural healing process of my disc!

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jdlfmc
Senior Veteran
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Posts: 526
From:Mansfield,Ohio USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 07-07-2003 07:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jdlfmc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi All!! This is a real eye opener ,this is the reason I hate to take a settlement from WC even the co-pays ar enough to boogle the brain and where do they come off with these high cost,have you ever studied a itemized bill don't it will make you sick.
Sorry didn't mean to interrupt I knew it all would be expensive it's just lookin at it in black and white that really scares a person.
When my meds were refused and I went to see about paying cash I had sat down and figured it from previous fills and when I got to thr pharmacy they told me oh no that's what it cost the ins.co. but you have to pay this, several hundred $$$ more.
Anyway you all have opened my eyes once again.Thank!!
Linda

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grog
Newbie
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Posts: 1
From:
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 09-17-2003 12:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for grog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mark: My email thru your web site keeps bouncing. How has your recovery been since the web site was last updated? My wife has EXACTLY the same problems, same discs you have and is being pushed into fusion which neither of us wants.

I also assume that you paid for all of this yourself.

Thanks,

Scott

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StillWater
Senior Member
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Posts: 145
From:
Registered: Jun 2003

posted 09-17-2003 03:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for StillWater     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I see where someone asked if anyone had had insurance pay for ADR, but I don't see any answers. Has anyone submitted it to insurance and had it denied? what was the reason given?

Thanks.

StillWater

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Elaine
Senior Veteran
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Posts: 1154
From:Montana
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 09-17-2003 07:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Elaine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
rls,
I had L5/S1 fusion with hardware in 2000. Two years later I had L4/L5 fusion. Both surgeries cost about the same. The first one was done in Illinois.Hospital was $58,000, surgeon was $34,000. All the hospital was covered by insurance. The doctor part sucked. They paid a little under $10,000, the doctor wrote off $10,000 and I am stuck paying the rest at $100.00 a month. In December I had the second fusion in Bakersfied,CA. Bills were close to the same, the difference being the hospital settled for $13,000, the rest was wrote off. The doctor agreed to $14,000, the rest was wrote off. I ended up paying a total of $99.00 to the doctor. Both were over seven hour surgeries. I have my rods and screws from the first fusion, they are unreal. To think they actually put this hardware in your back.
Elaine

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acme
Senior Member
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Posts: 124
From:Spring Lake, Mi. USA
Registered: Jun 2001

posted 09-17-2003 07:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for acme     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Had L-4/L-5 Fusion Oct. 2001
Figure in:
Reg. Doc
1st opinion Doc
2nd opinion Neuro Doc
Hospital(4 days)
Surgery
Drugs
My Lawyer
W/C Lawyer
Depositions
Court
Back Brace
MRI's
Catscans
Tests..test ..tests....
It came out to about $100,000.00

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acme
Senior Member
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Posts: 124
From:Spring Lake, Mi. USA
Registered: Jun 2001

posted 09-17-2003 07:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for acme     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Opps..Forgot-Screws-Rods(The Hardware)Grin

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Tag Lady
Junior Member
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Posts: 20
From:Hamburg, AR, USA
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 09-19-2003 07:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tag Lady     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi There
I had L5 S1 Posterior Fusion with cage, rods and screws done 5 weeks ago in Louisiana. I just received my last bill (I HOPE) and my total bill came to a little over $95,000!
This included:
MRI
Neurosurgeon's Bill
Hospital
Anesthesiologist
Nerve monitoring
Brace
Bone Growth Stimulator

Just wanted to add my two cents worth (that's about all I have left
Janice

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April 14, 2003 - Emergency hemilaminectomy on the L5 S1. One nerve almost severed in two by herniated disc, two nerves adhered together because of inflammation, neuro reattaches the nerve and coats the other two with silicone. 5 hour surgery instead of 1 1/2. Permanent nerve damage. Loss of feeling on back of left leg and outside of left foot.

July 2003 - 3 month visit to neurosurgeon. He orders an MRI because he thinks the disc has reherniated.

July 29, 2003 - disc has reherniated. Surgery scheduled. POLAR with cage, rod and screws. Neuro won't take bone from my hip, he will use the bone from my vertebrae, but he will take marrow from my hip.

August 13, 2003 - Fusion Surgery - POLAR - numbness in left leg..still lots of pain

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bookem
Newbie
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Posts: 1
From:Clinton, MS USA
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 09-29-2003 11:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bookem     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
mmglobal - What luck it was to stumble across your post. I am a candidate for a 2-level replacement and have been doing my homework on ADR for well over a year. Dr. Zeegers is supposed to be the best in the world at this procedure and it was great to hear that you are doing well.

I actually emailed a friend of mine in Germany yesterday and asked him to try to get cost info from AlphaKlinic in Munich. Thank you for your post. You have made my day.

Bookem Danno

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SusanPLIF
Junior Member
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Posts: 8
From:Tulsa, OK, USA
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 09-29-2003 03:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SusanPLIF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My PLIF (with laminectomy) at L4-5 has totalled a little over $50,000 so far. But if you add in all the stuff I tried before this...well...

In response to negotiating with the insurance company... in my mind, no amount of money is sufficient to compensate for a spinal injury. BLEH. At least, finally I'm on the road to recovery now (5 yrs later).

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JanieD
Member
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Posts: 30
From:Forked River, NJ, USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 09-29-2003 06:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JanieD     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My fusion was close to $200,000.00 One hundred for the hospital and one hundred for the doctors and the cage was 10,000.00 alone. Unreal.

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luvwindnhair
Member
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Posts: 35
From:So Lake Tahoe, Ca.
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 09-29-2003 09:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for luvwindnhair     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, I have seen ADR approval through insurance. Here in the states. I have ssen postings on other sites of people who have had the proceure, in USA, and in trial, and auth'd. I dont think I can be more specific because it involves people I have not asked to give out their info on. And because its from another site. Just want you to know, its been done!!
Cindy

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L5/S1 herniation 7mm 01/18/00
Microdiscectomy/Laminectomy 10/12/00
Thoratic pain began Dx buldge @ T-8 08/02
Had MRI on Lumbar because pain was returning, also scaned T spine 8/02, Dx recurrent L5/S1 herniation and new herniation @ level L4/5
Cervical pain began 2/03
Had MRI~Dx herination @ level C 6/7
Had anterior decompresion with hardware and use of my own hip bone graft to C 6/7 8/14/03
Now waiting for neck to heal to get my lumbar fusion...whoo~hoo
Saving all my pennies for trip to Austrailia to get the ADR!!

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