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If you have back pain or sciatica, you understand how your symptoms can affect your ability to work, care for your family or enjoy normal recreational activities. Back pain can make sitting, standing, walking or running painful or impossible.

Common symptoms that you may be feeling that are likely coming from your back include:

  • Pain in the middle of your back or spine
  • Buttock pain
  • Pain in the front or back of your thigh
  • Pain in your calf
  • Tingling or numbness in your leg, foot or toes
  • Weakness in your hips or legs

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms coming from your back, you should visit your doctor to start the right treatment to correct your problem.

Many times, conservative therapies like injections or exercise can help eliminate your back pain. Sometimes, surgery may be recommended to treat your condition.

One surgery that is used to treat back pain or sciatica is spinal fusion. This type of surgery may be performed by a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic surgeon. During the surgery, an incision is made in your back and hardware is used to stabilize your spinal bones. The ultimate goal of spinal fusion surgery is to decompress your spinal nerves and to stabilize your vertebrae.

If your doctor recommends spinal fusion surgery, you will likely have many questions and concerns. Will the surgery be painful? When will you be back to work? How much does spinal fusion surgery cost in NJ and how much will you be expected to pay?

Learning about all aspects of your surgery can help limit your anxiety about the procedure, and knowing what to expect from a financial perspective is important.

Spinal fusion surgery cost in NJ: pricing factors

There are many different variables to consider when learning about spinal fusion surgery cost in NJ. Some variables are easy to control and understand; others are not.

Type of spinal fusion surgery

Your spinal fusion surgery cost in NJ may vary based on the type of surgical procedure your doctor performs. Your surgery may involve a minimally invasive approach or a standard open approach which could be a factor of the cost of your procedure.

You should talk to your spine surgeon to be clear on which approach will be used how this could effect the cost of your surgery.

Insurance coverage

The type of insurance coverage you carry can have an effect on your spinal fusion surgery cost in NJ. Some insurance plans require that you meet a deductible before coverage goes into effect.

Others require that you pay a co-payment for the surgical procedure. Some other insurance plans pay for a portion of your spinal fusion surgery, while you pay a portion.

Understanding your insurance coverage can be challenging. Some doctors offices offer insurance specialists who can work with you and your insurance company so you know exactly what to expect from your spinal fusion surgery cost.

Travel to and from the hospital or surgery center

Some people feel that traveling to a large city hospital is the best option for their surgery. There are also hospitals in the Northern NJ area that offer similar services as the centers in larger metropolitan areas, and travel to and from these facilities is simple.

While travel costs should be factored into the overall expense of your minimally invasive spinal surgery, you should be sure to choose a facility that offers modern amenities with a staff that is respectful and responsive to your personal needs.

Be aware of hidden costs

You may be unaware of some of the spinal fusion surgery costs that are not obvious. Things that may affect the overall out-of-pocket cost of your procedure may include:

  • Lost time at work
  • Surgical center facility fees
  • Increased need for medication to control pain
  • Complications of the surgery that may require an extended recovery period
  • Cost of ancillary services like physical therapy
  • Payments to other healthcare providers (like anesthesiologists or neurophysiologists) who assisted during your surgery

Knowing how and if these hidden costs will affect your spinal fusion surgery can be difficult. Everyone responds to surgery differently, and everyone has different needs.

You may be able to return to work quickly after your surgery, but some people who work physically demanding jobs may be required to remain out of work for a month or two after their surgery.

You should also be aware of a facility fee that will be assessed to your procedure to help cover the cost of supplies, ancillary staffers and incidentals provided by the hospital or facility where your surgery takes place.

When considering your surgery, be sure to ask about where it will take place and what the facility fees are. You can also talk to your insurance company to inquire about the coverage of facility fees. Many neurosurgery practices have specialists who can assist you with understanding this information.

In addition, keep in mind that an anesthesiologist and neurophysiologist may be present during your procedure. These services are billed for separately and it’s important to know whether this will incur any additional cost to you. You can contact your insurance company to see if these professionals are in your network.

The best way to understand your specific spinal fusion surgery cost is to work closely with your doctor and insurance company to learn about all of the possible costs associated with the procedure.

Find the best neurosurgeon fit for you

Although spinal fusion surgery cost is an important factor to weigh before your procedure, it is certainly not the only factor to consider. One of the most important factors to consider: the doctor who performs your surgery.

You need to choose a doctor who listens to your questions and concerns about surgery, responds in a professional manner and who makes you feel comfortable with your choice to have spinal fusion surgery.

When facing spinal fusion surgery in NJ, you need to work with a physician and office who understands how your back pain affects every aspect of your life.

Your doctor should be able to discuss with you the risks and benefits associated with your spinal fusion, and he or she should work with professionals who can help you navigate the financial labyrinth associated with your surgery.

Having a doctor who is compassionate, understanding and professional allows you to focus on your recovery after spinal fusion surgery. Appropriately focusing on your recovery means that you can quickly get back to your normal, active lifestyle.
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