The Cost-Effectiveness of Various Surgical Procedures in the Cervical Spine

  • Blake N. Staub
  • Todd J. Albert


The cost of healthcare and spine surgery, in particular, continues to rise. The ever-increasing volume of spine surgery being performed, as well as the use of instrumentation, biologics, and advanced technology, keeps shifting the cost curve upward. The value of healthcare is defined as the overall quality of care provided divided by the cost. Cervical radiculopathy and myelopathy can be effectively treated via numerous surgical interventions – all with proven quality – but, sometimes, with very different costs. All medical interventions should not only be scrutinized for their success rates but also for their overall value. Anterior cervical discectomies and fusions, cervical disc replacements, and posterior cervical foraminotomies are all valuable surgical options for the treatment of one-level cervical radiculopathy. However, there is a trend in the literature to suggest that, in properly indicated patients, CDRs and PCFs potentially provide a greater value to the patient. The treatment of degenerative cervical myelopathy has been shown to be extremely valuable regardless of the surgical approach used. Additionally, current data implies that the use of outpatient surgical centers should be considered in an effort to reign in the overall costs of cervical spine surgery. There are numerous options in the treatment of the degenerative cervical spine. Given the economic costs of modern healthcare, it is imperative that surgeons examine the value of these specific treatments as opposed to simply focusing on the quality.


Value Cost Quality ICER QALY 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Blake N. Staub
    • 1
  • Todd J. Albert
    • 2
  1. 1.Texas Back InstitutePlanoUSA
  2. 2.Hospital for Special SurgeryNew YorkUSA

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