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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > General Surgery & Neurosurgery > Stenosis Treatment

Stenosis Treatment Cost

How Much Does Stenosis Treatment Cost?

average costWith Health Insurance: Copays or 10%-50% Coinsurancehigh costWithout Health Insurance: $20,000-$90,000
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Stenosis is the narrowing of any tube-shaped structure within the body. Spinal stenosis is one of the most common types, and symptoms can include pain, numbness, tingling or weakness in the lower back and legs, as well as bladder or bowel problems.

Typical costs:

  • For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs typically consist of doctor visit copays, prescription drug copays or coinsurance of 10%-50%. Treatment for spinal stenosis typically is covered by insurance, with some restrictions for certain treatments. For example, Aetna[1] only covers nerve root block injections when more conservative treatment options, such as non-narcotic pain relievers, have failed.
  • For patients not covered by health insurance, treatment for spinal stenosis can cost about $10-$500 per month -- or $120-$5,000 per year -- for oral pain medication or steroid injections and rest to help relieve symptoms; it can cost from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars for physical therapy, depending on the number of sessions; and it can cost about $20,000-$90,000 or more for surgery.
  • For example, charges about $10-$12 for a one-month supply of a generic tricyclic antidepressant such as nortriptyline[2] or amitriptyline, which can relieve pain in some patients. charges about $20-$100 or more for a one-month supply of the generic drug gabapentin[3] , an anticonvulsant also used to treat neurological pain, and charges about $70-$400 or more for the brand-name equivalent, Neurontin[4] . And charges about $100-$250 or more for a one-month supply of the anticonvulsant medication Lyrica[5] , also used for neurological pain. charges about $12-$80 for a one-month supply of the narcotic pain reliever hydrocodone-acetaminophen[6] and $50-$350 or more for the brand-name equivalent, Vicodin[7] . charges from about $15-$200 or more for a one-month supply of the narcotic pain reliever oxycodone-acetaminophen[8] and about $100-$500 or more for the brand-name equivalent, Percocet[9] .
  • Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center[10] in Nebraska charges about $1,000-$1,500 for an epidural steroid injection, not including doctor fee, with an additional $500 for fluoroscopy, a special kind of X-ray, to guide the needle. According to[11] , an epidural steroid injection for spinal stenosis typically costs about $2,200. Physical therapy typically costs $50-$350 per session.
  • And Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center[12] charges about $12,000-$16,000, not including doctor fee, for a laminotomy, a surgery that removes part of the lamina, the bony layer covering the spinal cord. A laminectomy, in which the lamina is completely removed, typically costs $50,000-$90,000.
Related articles: Physical Therapy, Back Surgery, Pinched Nerve Treatment, Spinal Decompression, Chiropractor

What should be included:
  • For mild cases of spinal stenosis, a doctor might prescribe rest, hot/cold therapy and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. If this is not effective, the doctor might prescribe a low-dose tricyclic antidepressant or an anti-seizure medication, both of which can help nerve pain, or a narcotic pain reliever. Or, the doctor might recommend an epidural steroid injection, which can provide relief for up to a year in some cases. The Mayo Clinic[13] has information on oral drugs for spinal stenosis, and WebMD[14] has information on injections.
  • In some cases, the doctor will recommend physical therapy. has an overview[15] of physical therapy for spinal stenosis.
  • When other treatments fail to provide relief, or symptoms are severe enough to interfere with walking and other daily activity, a surgery such as a laminotomy or laminectomy[16] might be recommended.[17] offers an overview of surgery for spinal stenosis.
Additional costs:
  • Some patients require a cane, which typically costs about $15-$80, or a walker, which can cost $200 or more.
  • Some patients require a back brace or a corset, which can cost from $200 or more.
  • Many physical therapists, hospitals and doctors give discounts of up to 30% or more to uninsured/cash-paying patients. For example, ARC Physical Therapy[18] in Illinois offers a 30% discount to cash-paying patients, as well as special waivers or discounts for patients undergoing financial hardship. And Washington Hospital Healthcare System[19] in California offers a 35% discount.
  • Some drug manufacturers offer patient assistance programs. Any patient without prescription drug coverage who also is not eligible for Medicare typically qualifies for the Together Rx Access[20] , a discount card that offers 25%-40% off brand-name drugs from many pharmaceutical companies. Most companies also offer free drugs to patients who have no coverage and meet certain criteria.
Shopping for stenosis treatment:
  • A variety of specialists, including rheumatologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons and orthopaedic surgeons, offer non-surgical treatment for spinal stenosis. The American College of Rheumatology offers a rheumatologist locator[21] . The American Academy of Neurology offers a neurologist locator[22] . The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery offers an orthopaedic-surgeon finder[23] . And the American Board of Neurological Surgery offers a neurosurgeon locator[24] .
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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