Low back pain strikes nearly everyone at one time or another. It may come on as a simple muscle spasm, or you may feel full blown sciatica with pain, numbness or tingling down one or both of your legs. Your pain may prevent you from enjoying your normal everyday work and recreational activities.
Causes of back pain and sciatica may include:
- Facet joint arthritis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Compression fracture
- Herniated or bulging discs
If you have back pain or sciatica caused by herniated or bulging discs, your doctor may have you attempt conservative treatments like physical therapy or injections to alleviate your symptoms. If your pain persists, your doctor may recommend spinal surgery to definitively treat your problem.
There are many different approaches to spinal surgery for herniated discs. Some spine doctors use an open approach to remove herniated disc material and decompress your pinched nerves. This involves a large incision and dissection of your back muscles to visualize your spinal anatomy.
Some New Jersey neurosurgeons are using a minimally invasive approach to spinal disc surgery. They perform a minimally invasive microdiscectomy that requires a tiny incision that spares your back muscles from significant trauma. This procedure is preferred by active people who desire a rapid return to their previous lifestyle.
What is Microdiscectomy Surgery?
Microdiscectomy surgery is performed to relieve pain due to pinched nerves from herniated spinal discs. When a disc pushes out of place, it can place significant pressure on spinal nerves, and this can cause pain that courses through your back and into your buttocks, thighs or legs. Microdiscectomy surgery is a specialized approach to treating herniated spinal discs.
During microdiscectomy surgery, your doctor will make a small incision and use specialized instruments to visualize your spinal bones, nerves and discs. An intraoperative microscope may be used to closely inspect the area, and surgical tools designed specifically for microdiscectomy will be used to cut away herniated disc material. This helps to take pressure off of your pinched spinal nerves.
When meeting your doctor to discuss spinal microdiscectomy, you should find out as much as you can about the surgery. Will it hurt? Will you need to miss much time at work? How soon can you get back to your normal active lifestyle? All of these questions will need to be answered so you can have a true picture of what to expect from microdiscectomy surgery.
Finally, when discussing microdiscectomy surgery with your doctor, you should inquire about the personal out-of-pocket cost of the procedure. That way, you can plan ahead for your procedure and be ready-financially and emotionally-for your recovery.
Microdiscectomy Cost in New Jersey
When considering microdiscectomy surgery, you should understand some of the costs that may affect your decision. Some of these costs are obvious, while other costs may be a little more obscure. By knowing the cost of your microdiscectomy surgery, you can be sure to plan appropriately for your procedure.
Surgical procedure performed
The type of spine surgery your doctor chooses to perform for your condition may have an effect on the cost of your procedure. Some minimally invasive spine surgeries are covered by insurance companies while others are not.
Your specific procedure can alter the overall cost, so understanding what is to be done during surgery is paramount when considering microdiscectomy surgery in NJ.
The best surgical spine care facilities have state of the art equipment. Finding a facility that uses up-to-date imaging devices and surgical suites should be of vital importance. Equally as important are doctors who practice innovative spine care techniques.
Having a great staff who know to properly care for your individual needs can make a world of difference when you are recovering from microdiscectomy surgery. Great spine surgery facilities understand that while state-of-the-art equipment is important, having a nursing and technician staff who properly care for their patients is critical.
Type of insurance you carry
The type of health insurance you have can have an enormous effect on the overall cost of your procedure. Some people have high deductible plans that may mean a higher out-of-pocket cost for their microdiscectomy.
Other insurance plans may only require you pay a small co-payment for your microdiscectomy. Finding a doctor who has an insurance specialist on staff means that you can get help with understanding the convoluted maze that comes with dealing with health insurance.
Many NJ residents feel that traveling into the big city is the best option when considering microdiscectomy. However, many fail to realize the enormous cost of parking, travel and tolls that come with such travel.
Finding a trusted New Jersey neurosurgeon who can perform your microdiscectomy close to home may mean decreased overall out-of-pocket costs to you and your family.
Neurophysiologists and surgical assistants
For some surgeries, additional staff such as a neurophysiologist or surgical assistant may need to be present.
These specialists will need to be compensated for their individual expertise and may or may not be in the same network as your surgeon. If they are not in your network, they will be billed separately and will often result in an additional cost to you.
Once your surgery is complete, you may require specialized services to help you fully recover. A short course of physical therapy may be necessary to learn exercises to help you recover and prevent future spine problems. When considering microdiscectomy surgery in NJ, be sure to ask your doctor about the expected postoperative care that may be necessary after your procedure.
Hidden Fees That You May Not Expect
When measuring the cost of microdiscectomy surgery, you also need to consider some hidden or obscure fees that you may be charged. These include:
- Clinic or facility fees
- Medication after your surgery
- Missed time at work
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
Be sure to call your insurance company to understand the financial implications involved. Some New Jersey neurosurgeons have insurance and billing specialists that can assist you in understanding your insurance coverage and your financial responsibility related to your surgery. Some of these hidden fees are unavoidable, but working with your doctor’s insurance specialist can help you plan for these costs.
Finding the Best Neurosurgeon for Your Microdiscectomy
When facing microdiscectomy surgery to manage your back pain or sciatica, the price tag should not be the only variable you consider. More important than the cost associated with the surgery is finding the best New Jersey neurosurgeon to perform your procedure.
A top-rated, trusted doctor will put your mind at ease on surgery day and make your postoperative recovery a simple one. Finding the best doctor for your microdiscectomy can take a little work, but if you do your homework right, you can find the best doctor for your condition.
Some ideas to help you find the right doctor include:
- Ask family members or friends who have had a microdiscectomy about their experience
- Ask your personal doctor who he or she would recommend for a microdiscectomy
- Search the internet for positive (and negative) reviews of NJ neurosurgeons
In order to find the best New Jersey neurosurgeon for your back pain, meet with a few doctors. Be prepared to ask questions about your pain and pending surgery, and listen carefully to your doctor’s responses.
The best doctor to perform your microdiscectomy is one that listens to your concerns and takes time to answer all of your questions. She/he should offer you alternatives to surgery and you should feel that they are truly working in your best interest. Most importantly, you should feel like you and your doctor are working together in a therapeutic alliance to help you manage your back pain.
Facing spinal surgery can be a scary experience. You may have many questions about what to expect, and you may be unsure about the financial implications that go along with a microdiscectomy.