Search thousands of topics on CostHelper

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business sports weddings
CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > General Surgery & Neurosurgery > Spinal Cord Stimulation

Spinal Cord Stimulation Cost

How Much Does Spinal Cord Stimulation Cost?

average costWith Health Insurance: Copay or 20% Coinsurancehigh costWithout Health Insurance: $15,000-$50,000+

Spinal cord simulation[1] is a treatment in which a low-voltage electrical current, emitted by a small generator implanted in the back, is used to disrupt nerve impulses and block feelings of pain. It may be recommended for some patients who have had nerve-related pain, failed back surgery, or complex pain syndromes, among other conditions. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons[2] as many as 50,000 neurostimulators are implanted worldwide every year.

Typical costs:

  • For uninsured patients, typical out-of-pocket costs for spinal cord stimulation are $15,000 - $50,000 or more. According to a study[3] funded by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, average total medical costs of implanting a SCS system range from $19,246 - $47,190 per patient. Another study[4] published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine finds the costs per patient to be $32,882 under Medicare and $57,896 under Blue Cross Blue Shield , with annual maintenance per patient of $5,071- $21,390, depending on whether complications are present.
  • Spinal Cord stimulation is typically covered by health insurers, but may be restricted to the treatment of specified conditions. For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan[5] only considers it a useful therapeutic option for severe, chronic pain of the trunk or limbs that has been unresponsive to conventional treatments, or for certain patients with chronic refractory angina pectoris.
  • For patients with health insurance, out-of-pocket costs typically consist of a copay or coinsurance of 20% or more.
Related articles: Back Surgery, Broken Back, Cortisone Injection, Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • A doctor will first try inserting a trial stimulator[6] through the skin for a few days or weeks; if it is successful, he or she will then implant a permanent stimulator. The stimulator is typically implanted under the skin of the abdomen or near the buttocks.
  • Most patients go home the same day they receive their permanent implant. Before being released, the patient will receive instructions on caring for the incision area and using the SCS device.
  • The Mayfield clinic, one of the largest neurosurgical practices in the world, based in Cincinnati, OH, offers a detailed explanation[7] of the procedure.
Additional costs:
  • A spinal cord stimulator battery must typically be replaced every 2 to 5 years.
  • Post surgery, pain will be managed with narcotic medications for a short period, which may cause constipation and require laxatives. Over-the-counter laxatives and stool softeners typically cost $2 -$25 depending on the brand and amount. For example, Nature's Way - Psyllium Husks Herbal Laxative VCaps [8] cost $6 at
  • Many hospitals offer discounts of 30% or more to uninsured/cash-paying patients. At St. Joseph Hospital[9] in Orange, CA, for example, patients without health insurance may qualify for a 45% discount off billed charges. They'll also be offered an additional 10% discount if payment is made within 10 days of receiving a bill.
  • Some free clinics, such as Community Health Free Clinic[10] in Chicago, provide orthopedic or neurological specialty care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services[11] posts a directory of federally funded health centers; if the nearest clinic doesn't offer orthopedic care, ask for a referral.
Shopping for spinal cord stimulation:
  • Healthwise offers a checklist of questions patients can ask doctors[12] while considering the procedure.
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.
post Post   Comments (21)  
CostHelper News

7 Lesser-Known Discounts for the 50+ Crowd
As they age, members of the Baby Boomer generation don't like to admit that they're senior citizens, but they love getting discounts. It's kind of a quandary, because some of the best deals available are reduced prices for older folks. || Posted October 21 2013

7 Ways to Stretch Your Reduced Food Budget
End of the year budgets are tight for everyone, especially in this economy.It's especially hard for the millions of Americans who depend on government programs like food stamps to help make ends meet. || Posted November 11 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts

What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Spinal Cord Stimulatior
Amount: $0.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Perkins in Richwood, WV.Posted: October 8th, 2021 06:10AM
Type of Treatment: Provider: Spine and nerve center of Charleston Wes
I had to take a leave of absence due to the terrible back pain that was from my neck to toes. I worked as long as I could. My insurance was United Health Care through work. I had 22 shots in my upper back, physical therapy and meds. Then the dr decided I needed the stimulatior. I was turned down the first time then the dr appealed it and I was turned down again. A dr from the insurance in a different country made the decision. Not knowing one thing about me or ever talking to me. Then I was sent to another clinic from insurance. Now they have tried shots and decided that the only thing that would help me is the stimulatior. So now went to the dr and he said he tried to get me on a study and they turned me down , and my insurance which is now medicaid will not pay for one. So now back to the shots that doesn’t help. I worked for Rite Aid/Walgreens for 40 yrs and busted my butt fir them then they called me and said they no longer could hold my job. Please help me! I’m in pain
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Accident settlement
Amount: $50,000.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Stephanie Edwar in Atlanta, GA.Posted: September 13th, 2021 12:09AM
Type of Treatment: Neurostimulator implantProvider: Nevro
Was in a bad car accident that permanently damaged the nerves in my back. After 3 years of multiple other treatments that did not help at all, i was able to get the implant. I still have daily pain but it is at a manageable level. Before the implant the pain was so bad my legs would buckle if i stood or walked much or tried to pick up anything heavier than a gallon of milk. I still have limitations but I'm functional now. Everything was paid for by the other drivers insurance and i got a settlement to cover the future battery and lead replacement surgeries.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Medtronic Device
Amount: $0.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Christie Green in Tacoma, WA.Posted: August 5th, 2021 05:08AM
Type of Treatment: Implanted stimulatorProvider: Medicare/Regence Blue Shield
If you can have the surgery then get the implant cause it’s really helped with my back pain. But choose your Doctor wisely and find out their success rate.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Amount: $0.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Sergey in Naples, FL.Posted: April 17th, 2021 02:04PM
Type of Treatment: SCS implantProvider: Nevro
My right leg was amputated above the knee on November 2015. Five and a half years I have a pain on my limb and
neuropathy on my left foot almost everyday. SCS was my last hope but it doesn't help at all. I'm thinking to remove it right now. I received a statement from my insurance company how much they paid to hospital and provider it was $224,000.00 it is a small 2 inch long piece of electronic device on plastic box and two wires with leads only, my house cost less than this piece of device. Can you imagine what kind of money these medical companies are using?
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Nevro 10
Amount: $250.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Suzanne Lohmann in Novato, CA.Posted: April 13th, 2021 08:04PM
Type of Treatment: Thorasic back painProvider: Kaiser
Had trial done first,which was a success in Feb 2021 then April 2nd 2021 had the permanent done,it’s a true MIRACLE SO FAR! I finally sleep & no longer taking Opiods 2-3 hrs daily!
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Maloney Anthony
Amount: $0.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Maloney Anthony in Conway, SC.Posted: December 3rd, 2019 01:12PM
Type of Treatment: New battery replacement. For spinel cordProvider:
what would my cost to replace battery in (spinal cord stimulator? Have Medicare,no other insurance. I pay 20% ?
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Medicare will cover stimulator
Amount: $0.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Valerie0609t in Lutrell, TN.Posted: April 24th, 2018 06:04PM
Type of Treatment: SCSProvider: Medicare-United Healthcare Dual Complete
My insurance company is through Medicare and it paid everything. Sometimes you have to talk to higher ups in Medicare. I got my SCS on April 19th and it is working but still too early to see how well. I am very glad I have it. It will definitely what extent I will wait and see.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
temp. spinal cord stimulator
Amount: $0.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Donnie Schultz in aiken, SC.Posted: September 28th, 2017 03:09PM
Type of Treatment: back pain in spin areasProvider: nevro
this has really helped my back pain, now that has been removed my back is going back to how it was before. I am now in the process of having it placed back in for long term.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
NEVRO HF-10 - Best thing ever
Amount: $0.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Mike R in Chapel Hill, NC.Posted: March 20th, 2017 08:03AM
Type of Treatment: Spinal Cord Stimulator - NEVROProvider: UNC Healthcare, North Carolina
I was injured in Iraq in 2008 and my lumbar spine had finally degenerated to the point that it was time for an SCS. Did LOTS of research and picked NEVRO over MedTronic and Boston Scientific because of the amazing HF-10 frequency (no buzzing sensation). Had trial done a month ago, 75% reduction on day one. Had permanent done last Friday. Covered 100% by Tri Care, authorization approved in 3 days. Could not be happier.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Nevro HF-10 Therapy - It WORKS!!
Amount: $25.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: AnnKay in Kansas City, MO.Posted: February 13th, 2017 02:02PM
Type of Treatment: SCSProvider: Nevro
I had the Nevro HF-10 permanent implant placed on 1/25/2017. It is a God-send! I've been in constant back and leg pain for 7 years. I had a laminectomy in 2012. This thing has given me my mobility back! I was planning to retire early. I won't need to now. I'm only 47 years old and thought I'd be out of the workforce by 55. If you have a chance, and good insurance, GET IT! Total cost: $79,287.91. Insurance covered most of it. My co-pay was $25.00 out of pocket. Obviously I have AMAZING insurance. Good luck.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Installed but quit working 3 times causing me to have surgery 4 times.
Amount: $4,000.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Joyce Wilson in Tuscon, IA.Posted: January 10th, 2017 11:01AM
Type of Treatment: for RSD in left handProvider: Tuscon, AZ Neurology
I no longer have information on the first installation but leads broke 3 times and had to have surgery that many times and it isn't operating now so I'm wondering if medicare would pay to have it removed as it is giving me a lot of pain in my back and I already have a lot of pain I'm suffering from and I'm 87 yrs old.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
aetna says no pre authorizing needed then denies payment
Amount: $160,561.02 not covered by insurance
Posted by: wsg in pittsburgh, PA.Posted: October 28th, 2016 11:10AM
Type of Treatment: neuro stimulatorProvider: upmc
I've been in pain since 2007the dr. have tried everything to help. The pain is in my neck and head I was a coal miner for 20 years after trying everything that was recommended and taken enough pain meds.that you can think of. it was recommended that I try a stimulator first I had to see a shrink to make sure I knew that it might not cure me 100% the test went great the pain level dropped 75% then I had the stimulator installed it was a godsend I could function again then Aetna decided that it was experimental and they denied payment after they said that NO PRE AUTHORIZING was needed. I'm on disability and have don't the funds to pay. now I'm severely depressed this is causing me more health problems then the pain I had I don't know what to do.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Amount: $3.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: harper55 in Scottsdale, AZ.Posted: September 30th, 2016 03:09PM
Type of Treatment: Provider: Scottsdale
I've recently had the SCS implant. To date, no relief yet. Had excellent relief with the trial. Dr. thinks the wires have slipped. Am having X-rays to verify.
Insurance hasn't paid for my procedure to date.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
great pain reducer
Amount: $0.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: pootycvat in Baltimore, MD.Posted: August 15th, 2016 06:08AM
Type of Treatment: spinal stimpulaterProvider: Dr Charles Park
Dr Charles Park in Baltimore Md installed mine ,Been six years now and I don't need a battery as of yet thank the Lord because workman Comp paid for the first install Medicare may not cover the rest
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
spinal cord stimulator
Amount: $36,200.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Bruce B in milwaukee, WI.Posted: July 16th, 2016 02:07PM
Type of Treatment: chronic severe painProvider: cigna
we got the bill for $38,000+ and I started to cry. We are a single income family with one in college and one in high school. Insurance approved procedure. We have 10 year old car $6000 in the bank.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Best decision ever made.
Amount: $0.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: April McQueen in Fort Lewis, WA.Posted: March 1st, 2016 07:03AM
Type of Treatment: Spinal Cord Stimulator by MedtronicProvider: Dr. German Grinshpun
I did not have to pay anything out of pocket as I am retired military, and Tricare paid 100% because I was able to have my procedure done at a military hospital. I am 33 and have two kids, and I was unable to be a "Mom" for nearly 5 years. Now I'm able to run and play and do (almost) all the things I used to do with my kids! Pain free! I got mine in 2015, but the option for that year isn't there.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Spinal Cord Stimulator swap
Amount: $78,000.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: L4-s1 fusin mike in fresno, CA.Posted: November 28th, 2015 07:11PM
Type of Treatment: revisionProvider: surgical center
Although mine was covered under a lifetime medical settlement. A future CMS set aside should include these swaps or revisions they are very expensive
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Neuro Spinal Cord Stimulator
Amount: $199,990.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Geoff Ward in Seattle, WA.Posted: December 28th, 2014 11:12PM
Type of Treatment: to treat and manage painProvider: Swedish hospital Dr Gwynn
The form up above says that the total amount not covered by Insurance. Mine hasnt said they would cover me yet,,, so once I get a EOB thats the cost. I have recently had a spinal cord stimulator implanted on the 15th of dec. The best decision I have ever made. I woke up from sergery and the pains were significantly decreased! THe wellness my body is feeling is something I havent felt this great in over 7 years...... please ask me questions. I will be happy to help and explain things. I must keep an even report, I ahve been tired for the last 10 days. but I am attributing it to rebuilding my stamina and core .......... More to come later. Good Luck with yours. if you need to talk, PM me.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Excellent outcome, spinal cord stimulation Oct. 2014
Amount: $2,000.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Charles Fisk in Fairfax, VA.Posted: December 24th, 2014 10:12AM
Type of Treatment: Spinal cord stimulator, medtrronicProvider: Fairfax Hospital
The key to a successful outcome is to shop and interview several neuro surgeons. I saw three before deciding on the one I used. I also insisted on a face to face meeting with the Medtronic rep before surgery. The rep can make or break the success of the implant. One Medtronic rep lied outright to me and call my surgeon a fool. After calling Medtronic executive offices he was terminated.
I guess the replacement rep heard about my calls and has gone out of his way to be available to me when needed. I should not have had to go that route but have learned that the so called reps are basically commissioned sale people with quotas and push the doctors to do implant surgery so you MUST find an ethical doctor. I suggest large University teaching hospitals where you usually find the top physicians. Medtronic is in it for the money so you need a surgeon who will place his/her patients above fees. I am pleased with the implant and am getting my back to a life not dictated by pain
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
crazy bill
Amount: $319,548.91 not covered by insurance
Posted by: a user in warwick, NY.Posted: November 14th, 2014 10:11AM
Type of Treatment: scsProvider: workers comp
I got two bills for $39548.92 they are out of there minds I am going to call news channels to let them know what they are trying to do. They must be smoking crack.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
medicare won't cover my stimulator
Amount: $10,000.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: baley in saint paul, MN.Posted: September 4th, 2014 11:09AM
I was told b4 I was going to have one that medicare doesn't cover it so I decided agnst it because of cost
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam


Comment On Your Experience With Spinal Cord Stimulation
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  * not covered by insurance
Type of Treatment: Provider: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.

External Resources:
More Health & Personal Care Topics
Check Out All Costs for Health & Personal Care How Much Does a Flu Shot Cost? How Much Does Teeth Cleaning Cost? How Much Does an Ambulance Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on

Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
UTI urgent care visit
Paid: 147.00
Visit was $135. Antibiotics was $12. Waiting for four hours in the waiting room and the visit was quick... [more]
Urinary Tract Infection Treatment Cost
Spanish Medical Interpreter
Paid: 150.00
I worked with SynShyne Services out of Monroe, NC. They were so worth the price! Professional, friendly, accurate, great attitude and always on time. I recieved an itemized report after every contact and a user friendly invoice weekly... [more]
-Gregory Richardson
Interpreter Cost
Paid: 495.00
This is how much I am paying... [more]
-Calista Christian
Dental Admission Test Cost
Paid: 48.00
... [more]
-Not that BB
Shingles Vaccine Cost
Skin prick allergy test
Paid: 573.00
Took my 9 yr. old in after an allergic reaction to eggs. Several panels for nuts, fish & top 8 allergens. Sure enough, egg came up. Got a script for epinephrine and left... [more]
-D’s mom
Allergy Testing Cost
Estimate for Teeth Cleaning Cat
Paid: 0.00
13 year old cat …teeth extractions, X-rays, blood work, anesthetic, cleaning estimate 2 to 3 thousand... [more]
Cat Teeth Cleaning Cost