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Lower back pain affects nearly everyone at one point or another. Pain from your spine can limit your ability to walk, stand or sit for any length of time, and your symptoms may interfere with your normal, active lifestyle.

There are many treatments for back pain, sciatica or spinal pain that travels down your leg. These treatments may include physical therapy, injections or surgery

Of course, surgery for your low back is the final option when it comes to caring for your spine, and should only be considered when conservative treatments have failed or if your condition is an emergency that requires a surgical intervention right away.

There are different types of surgery available to help treat lower back pain and sciatica. These may include:

  • Laminectomy and discectomy
  • Foraminotomy
  • Microdiscectomy
  • Spinal fusion surgery

When considering any surgery for your lower back, you must take into account all facets of the surgical procedure. Will you miss time at work? Will it be painful and will your family be burdened while you recover? How much does a spinal surgery cost?

Many New Jersey residents who have failed conservative treatments for back pain and sciatica consider lumbar fusion surgery the definitive treatment. Fusion surgery is typically reserved for people with severe cases of pain caused by disc degeneration or spondylolisthesis, where surgical fixation of an unstable spine is necessary. By learning about your lumbar fusion surgery and by examining the personal cost associated with fusion surgery in New Jersey, you can focus your attention on your recovery after your procedure.

What is a Spinal Fusion?

Fusion surgery is performed whenever your spine is unstable and requires surgical fixation. The procedure is done in a New Jersey hospital, and you will be placed under general anesthesia during surgery. Your doctor will make an incision in your lower back, and specialized tools will be used to take pressure off of the pinched spinal nerves that may causing your pain.

Once your nerves are decompressed, your doctor will then create an environment that promotes bone growth between two of your lumbar vertebrae. This is known as an “arthrodesis”. Your doctor may also use hardware rods and screws to help stabilize your spinal bones while bone growth occurs.

Once your surgery is complete, the surgical tools will be removed from your back and your incisions will be sutured. You will then be brought to the recovery area. Expect to remain in the hospital for one to three days before going home to begin your recovery.

Spinal Fusion Cost in New Jersey

Lumbar fusion surgery is a major spinal procedure done to decrease your pain and improve your ability to function normally. When considering fusion surgery, you should understand the spinal fusion cost—both obvious and hidden—that may affect your out-of-pocket responsibilities related to the surgery.

Type of surgery

The type of surgical approach that you have for your back pain may have an effect on the overall cost. An open approach lumbar fusion with a large incision and muscular dissection may mean a lengthy hospital stay and recovery. This hospital stay may equate to higher out-of-pocket costs for you. A minimally invasive approach with a tiny incision for your lumbar fusion may mean a shorter postoperative recovery period and decreased overall costs.

Travel costs

Many NJ residents feel that traveling into New York City is the best option when considering lumbar fusion surgery, but many fail to realize that enormous cost of parking, tolls and travel that are associated with the trip. Finding a trusted New Jersey neurosurgeon who can perform your lumbar fusion close to home may mean decreased overall out-of-pocket costs to you and your family.

Type of insurance you carry

The type of health insurance you have can have an enormous effect on the overall cost of your lumbar fusion surgery. Some New Jersey residents have high deductible plans that may mean higher personal responsibilities and cost for their fusion surgery.

Other insurance plans may only require you pay a small co-payment for your lumbar fusion. Some NJ neurosurgeons have insurance specialists on staff who can assist you in understanding your insurance coverage and your costs associated with your lumbar fusion surgery.

Hidden spinal fusion costs and fees

When considering the cost of lumbar fusion surgery, you also need to examine some hidden or obscure fees that you may be charged. These may include:

  • Purchasing a lumbar brace to wear after surgery
  • Clinic or facility fees that may be charged by the hospital
  • Fees charged by anesthesiologists or neurophysiologists that assist during your surgery
  • Medication
  • Lost time at work

Some of these hidden fees are unavoidable, and some out-of-pocket costs of your lumbar fusion surgery depend upon your course of recovery. A faster recovery means less need for medication, less lost time at work and less need for extensive rehabilitation.

Keeping Your Costs Under Control

So how do you keep the cost of your lumbar surgery under control? First, you should work with a New Jersey neurosurgeon who has a staff that can help you navigate the insurance maze that you may encounter. You should also look for a top-rated hospital or surgical center that is close to home.

Keeping costs under control for your lumbar fusion surgery should be one of your top concerns when treating your back pain. Finding a trusted neurosurgeon who can perform your procedure should be the first thing you do when facing back surgery.

Finding a Neurosurgeon in NJ You Trust

A good way to have a successful outcome after your lumbar fusion surgery is to find the best doctor to perform your procedure. This may take a little legwork, but having a trusted surgeon as your ally when having a lumbar fusion surgery is worth its weight in gold.

To find a neurosurgeon you can trust, you should consider some simple strategies, including:

  • Ask family members and friends about their personal experiences with fusion surgery
  • Ask your primary care physician for a referral to a trusted spine specialist
  • Search the internet for reviews of NJ neurosurgeons who perform lumbar fusion surgery
  • Meeting with a few different doctors to learn about their patient care protocols and to get a feel for their bedside manner

When meeting with a neurosurgeon, have some questions about the cost of fusion surgery prepared. After asking these questions, listen and watch carefully to how your doctor responds. Your neurosurgeon should take time to answer your questions and concerns. By the end of your questioning, and he or she should feel like a trusted ally.

When you have back pain, you want to find relief fast. Relief may come in the form of lumbar fusion surgery, and if it does, you need to arm yourself with the knowledge of the cost of such a procedure. By understanding the cost of fusion surgery in NJ, you can focus your attention on your recovery and returning to your normal activities.
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