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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2008 Sep 1;33(19):2108-15.

The cost effectiveness of surgical versus nonoperative treatment for lumbar disc herniation over two years: evidence from the Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial (SPORT).

Author information

  • 1Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH 03756, USA. anna.tosteson@ dartmouth.edu

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial observational and randomized cohort participants with a confirmed diagnosis of intervertebral disc herniation (IDH) who received either usual nonoperative care and/or standard open discectomy were followed from baseline at 6 weeks, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months at 13 spine clinics in 11 US states.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of surgery relative to nonoperative care among patients with a confirmed diagnosis of lumbar IDH.

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA:

The cost-effectiveness of surgery as a treatment for conditions associated with low back and leg symptoms remains poorly understood.

METHODS:

Incremental cost-effectiveness ratio, reported as discounted cost per quality adjusted life year (QALY) gained in 2004 US dollars based on EuroQol EQ-5D health state values with US scoring, and information on resource utilization and time away from work.

RESULTS:

Among 775 patients who underwent surgery and 416 who were treated nonoperatively, the mean difference in QALYs over 2 years was 0.21 (95% CI: 0.16-0.25) in favor of surgery. Surgery was more costly than nonoperative care; the mean difference in total cost was $14,137(95% CI: $11,737-16,770). The cost per QALY gained for surgery relative to nonoperative care was $69,403 (95% CI: $49,523-94,999) using general adult surgery costs and $34,355 (95% CI: $20,419-52,512) using Medicare population surgery costs.

CONCLUSION:

Surgery for IDH was moderately cost-effective when evaluated over 2 years. The estimated economic value of surgery varied considerably according to the method used for assigning surgical costs.

PMID:
18777603
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2883775
Free PMC Article

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