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Is the cost of slipped disc surgery affordable?

Cost of slipped disc surgeryCost of slipped disc surgery photo by marcoverch / CC 2.0

Is the cost of slipped disc surgery affordable?

If you have a slipped disc, your mind is probably focused on trying to get the pain to go away as quickly as possible. But once you start looking into potential treatments, especially as a worst-case scenario in which you need to have surgery, the cost of slipped disc surgery may also become a concern. The good news is that, if you have health insurance, any fears you have about the price tag for slipped disc surgery are probably unwarranted.

Insurance

Like any surgical procedure, slipped disc surgery is not free. But, with health insurance, minimally invasive procedures like discectomy, the most common procedure for treating slipped discs, are generally covered. This makes it more affordable, who will typically only need to worry about satisfying their deductible and paying their coinsurance. This varies depending on the insurance plan, but, for most people, the deductible is a fraction of the total price of a typical surgical procedure and coinsurance dramatically cuts the out-of-pocket cost.

Peace of mind

How long have you been suffering with back pain? Beyond the physical symptoms, there could be emotional side effects that are wreaking havoc. “Chronic pain gets worse as changes in your body make you more sensitive to pain. It can disrupt sleep and cause you to wake up at night. This can make you tired during and not as productive during the day,” said WebMD. “The ongoing pain can cause additional irritation and make it difficult for you to deal with others. If you have to care for children or work full-time, all this may make your life seem too challenging. These feelings can lead to irritability, depression, and even suicide.”

What’s even worse is that, “Depression magnifies pain,” which can create a vicious cycle. Having slipped disc surgery can fix the physical problem, helping you to live a pain-free life, which can also lift your mood and help address any depression you may have been feeling.

Cost to your lifestyle

Is your slipped disc keeping you from playing with your kids or spending time with your spouse, family, and friends? Are you missing work or important events? A prolonged injury or condition could be impacting your lifestyle or your livelihood—or both—because you are unable to participate in the way you would like due to the pain. There is also a danger of isolation that could further exacerbate any feelings of depression. The cost of slipped disc surgery pales in comparison to the potential cost to your well-being.

Cost to your health

If you’re avoiding treatment or surgery for a slipped disc because you’re afraid of what the treatment might entail or for cost reasons, it’s important to consider what delaying treatment could be doing to your body. Obviously, the longer you wait to seek treatment, the longer you have to suffer. But prolonged pain is not the only issue. If your slipped disc presses on a nerve, your pain can be extreme, especially if it happens to be the sciatic nerve. Painful symptoms of sciatica including searing or stabbing pain in your buttock, numbness or tingling in the back, and pins and needles down your leg.

A slipped disc can also progress in rare instances to an extremely dangerous condition called cauda equine syndrome. “Cauda equina syndrome, a rare disorder affecting the bundle of nerve roots (cauda equina) at the lower (lumbar) end of the spinal cord, is a surgical emergency,” said the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). “Cauda equina syndrome occurs when the nerve roots in the lumbar spine are compressed, cutting off sensation and movement. Nerve roots that control the function of the bladder and bowel are especially vulnerable to damage. If patients with cauda equina syndrome do not seek immediate treatment to relieve the pressure, it can result in permanent paralysis, impaired bladder and/or bowel control, loss of sexual sensation, and other problems.”

For any back injury or condition, and especially when there might be slipped disc surgery involved, having a leading back doctor by your side is key. If you’re ready to address your back pain, contact DISC Spine Institute, DFW’s leading experts in spinal surgery and minimally invasive treatments, the most effective medical procedures to treat and eliminate chronic back pain. Treating spinal pain is easier than ever today, with minimally invasive treatments that mean short hospital stays, and shorter recoveries.

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