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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Medical Equipment and Orthopedics > Neck Brace

Neck Brace Cost


How Much Does a Neck Brace Cost?

 
average costWith Health Insurance: Copay or 10%-50% Coinsurancehigh costWithout Health Insurance: $50-$3,000
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A neck brace, also called a cervical collar, can be used to provide support and limit motion for various conditions and injuries, including a cervical fracture, whiplash or sprain -- or after some spinal surgeries.

Typical costs:

  • For patients covered by health insurance, the typical out-of-pocket cost for a doctor-prescribed neck brace consists of a durable goods copay or coinsurance of 10%-50%. A neck brace typically is covered by health insurance if it is prescribed by a doctor.
  • For patients not covered by health insurance, a neck brace typically costs from $50 for a basic soft collar that could be used for a sprain, up to almost $3,000 for a metal brace that immobilizes the head and neck after a serious fracture or spinal fusion surgery.
  • For example, BraceShop.com charges from about $13-$100 for a neck brace for a neck sprain. It charges from a little more than $20-$100 for a neck brace for whiplash. It charges about $15-$250 for a neck brace for herniatic disc.
  • According to a Medscape.com primer on neck braces[1] , a soft cervical collar brace made of foam rubber costs about $50, while a hard cervical collar made of polyethylene costs about $60. A rigid cervical orthosis with a chin support, which might be used after a diskectomy or in cases of possible cervical trauma, costs about $125-$160. A cervicothoracic orthosis, which offers rigid support and is used for some fractures that involved the neck and upper back, can cost from $320-$515. And a halo device, which has a metal or graphite ring that attaches to the head, with metal rods connecting it to a vest, can be used for an unstable cervical fracture and costs about $2,800.
Related articles: Ambulance, Emergency Room Visit, MRI, X-Ray, Pain Management

What should be included:
  • A soft neck brace typically is made from foam covered with fabric and is used for neck support during healing from an injury such as whiplash[2] .
  • A rigid neck brace typically is made from plastic and padded on the inside for comfort. It is used to provide support and restrict movement after a cervical fracture[3] or cervical spine surgery[4] .
  • A cervical-thoracic brace typically is made of plastic or lightweight metal, and provides support and movement restriction for the neck and upper back. They typically are used after fractures involving the thoracic spine[5] or certain spinal surgeries.
  • In some cases, a doctor will recommend or prescribe an off-the-shelf brace, but in other cases, an orthotist[6] will evaluate, help design and fit the patient with a brace.
  • The University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute has an overview of neck braces[7] .
Additional costs:
  • A neck brace sometimes is used when a patient has been involved in a car accident or other situation in which the neck or spine may have been injured. An ambulance ride typically costs $400-$1,200 plus mileage.
  • An emergency room visit for initial treatment could add $3,000 or more to the final bill; costs would include an emergency room visit fee, an emergency room doctor fee and the cost of a temporary cast such as an air cast; additional treatments by a specialist would likely be needed.
Discounts:
  • Drugstores and websites that sell braces sometimes offer coupons or special offers. For example, BraceShop.com has a savings club[8] that offers a 5% discount for signing up.
Shopping for a neck brace:
  • For some cases involving injury to the neck, it might be necessary to get emergency medical treatment. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers a hospital locator[9] .
  • Depending on the injury or condition and the individual case, a patient might consult with an orthopedic specialist or a neurologist or neurosurgeon. The American Academy of Neurology offers a neurologist locator[10] . And the American Board of Neurological Surgery offers a neurosurgeon locator[11] .
  • A patient may need to see an orthotist, a certified health professional who specializes in braces and other orthotics, to be evaluated and fitted for a brace. The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics offers an orthotist locator[12] by state.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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External Resources:
  1.  emedicine.medscape.com/article/314921-overview#aw2aab6b3
  2.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/whiplash/DS01037
  3.  orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00414
  4.  www.spine-health.com/treatment/back-surgery/cervical-spine-surgery
  5.  orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00368
  6.  oandpcare.org/OrthoticCareFaq
  7.  www.mayfieldclinic.com/PE-brace.htm
  8.  www.braceshop.com/productcart/pc/viewContent.asp?idPage=151
  9.  www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/(S(efntd2saaeir2l5pgarwuvvg))/search.aspx?AspxAutoDete...
  10.  patients.aan.com/findaneurologist/
  11.  www.abns.org/diplomates/default.aspx
  12.  www.abcop.org/Pages/Directory.aspx?searchtype=Facility
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