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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > General Surgery & Neurosurgery > Herniated Disc Surgery

Herniated Disc Surgery Cost

How Much Does Herniated Disc Surgery Cost?

low costLow: With Insurance $2,000-$20,000 (or the Out-of-Pocket Maximum)high costHigh: Without Insurance $20,000-$50,000
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  Typical costs:
  • For patients not covered by health insurance, herniated disc surgery can cost between $20,000 and $50,000 or more, including the surgeon's fee, anesthesiologist and facility fee. A minimally invasive outpatient microdiscectomy would typically fall on the lower end, while an inpatient open discectomy with a hospital stay would fall on the higher end.
  • Herniated disc surgery typically is covered by health insurance if ordered by a doctor. According to[1] , the website of a Los Angeles-based surgeon, most insurance plans will cover spinal surgery. Medicare generally covers herniated disc surgery.
  • For patients covered by insurance, assuming the deductible has been met, typical out-of-pocket costs would consist of coinsurance of between 10 and 40 percent of the procedure, for a total of $2,000 or more, up to the yearly out-of-pocket maximum.
Related articles: Back Surgery, Chiropractor, Spinal Decompression, Bone Density Test, Hip Replacement, Knee Replacement

What should be included:
  • In a microdiscectomy, the surgeon makes a very small incision in the back and, looking through a special microscope, removes the disc material from under the nerve root. In a discectomy, also called an open discectomy, the surgeon makes an incision and removes all or part of the disc that is putting pressure on the nerve or spinal cord.
  • The UCLA Comprehensive Spine Center[2] offers a comparison of microdiscectomy to open discectomy. The procedures typically are recommended for patients who have not had success with non-surgical solutions and who experience severe pain or numbness and tingling in the legs.
  • Herniated disc surgery can be performed on an outpatient basis, but sometimes requires an overnight stay.
Additional costs:
  • Most patients require two to six weeks of recovery time. A back brace, which sometimes is required, can cost $200 or more.
  • Physical therapy at $50 to $100 or more per session can add $1,000 or more to the cost.
  • The doctor usually will prescribe pain relievers after surgery, and sometimes equipment such as a walker, which can cost $50 to $200 or more, is necessary.
  • Some patients -- about 4 percent -- require a second surgery which can cost as much as the first, depending on the surgery needed.
  • Some providers will offer discounts to self-paying patients who agree to prepay or pay within a certain time period.
  • Also,[3] , a website that provides doctor-reviewed information about back and neck health, has a discussion about obtaining discounted surgery through a teaching hospital.
Shopping for herniated disc surgery:
  • Surgery should be considered as a last resort, since many herniated discs heal on their own within six months. Surgery often is recommended when pain is severe enough to interfere with daily activities and requires strong pain medications, and when there are additional symptoms such as leg pain, weakness and loss of motion.
  • It is important to consult with a specialist to determine whether surgery is the right decision. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons[4] offers a surgeon locator by zip code. And the American Board of Neurological Surgery[5] offers a neurosurgeon locator.[6] , an informational site run by orthopaedic surgeons and neurosurgeons from institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic, offers a discussion on choosing between an orthopaedic surgeon or a neurosurgeon. Generally, specialization and experience in spine surgery is more important than whether the specialist is a neurosurgeon or orthopaedic surgeon.
  • Risks of herniated disc surgery include that the surgery will not correct the problem; a chance of spinal fluid leaks, bleeding or infection, or in rare cases, paralysis or death.
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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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Disc Surgery
Amount: $10,000.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Shuckapeafarms in South West, FL.Posted: December 4th, 2010 08:12PM
Inpatient or Outpatient: InpatientClinic or Doctor: various
Insurance: Auto
I have had 9 back surgeries and a neck surgery in 3 years. My first back surgery relieved the pain at first, but then I experienced hardware failure which require several more surgeries to remove and repair. One of those surgeries was a frontal surgery in which two main vessels ruptured leaving me with 9 units of blood and a ten day Intensive Care stay. I had numerous thru the back and one thru my side. Each of these surgeries were billed at the $100,000 plus area with insurance paying a much less contracted price. Due to the fact this was a result of an accident I was not at fault, no-fault paid a good majority until I reached my limits. Then private insurance picked up however, always leaving me with co-pays on everything. Herniated disc surgery is very expensive especially when performed by a neurosurgeon!
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