Jeffrey N. Katz, MD, MSc; Elena Losina, PhD
Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.
Requests for Single Reprints: Jeffrey N. Katz, MD, MSc, Orthopedic and Arthritis Center for Outcomes Research, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, OBC-4, Boston, MA 02115; e-mail, email@example.com.
Current Author Addresses: Drs. Katz: Orthopedic and Arthritis Center for Outcomes Research, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, OBC-4, Boston, MA 02115.
Katz JN, Losina E. Cost-Effectiveness of Spine Surgery: The Jury Is Out. Ann Intern Med. 2008;149:901-903. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-149-12-200812160-00010
Download citation file:
Published: Ann Intern Med. 2008;149(12):901-903.
Back pain affects more than 80% of persons and costs more than $100 billion annually in the United States (1). Although most patients with low back pain can be managed nonoperatively, spine surgery is an important option for patients with disabling herniated nucleus pulposus, lumbar spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis with stenosis. More than 650 000 surgical procedures are performed annually for these disorders in the United States, at a cost exceeding $20 billion (2, 3). Whether this investment provides good value is largely unknown.
In this issue, Tosteson and colleagues (4) investigate the cost-effectiveness of surgery for spinal stenosis. This work is critically important in the context of limited resources and seemingly unlimited costly therapies for chronic disease. The validity of cost-effectiveness analyses hinges on several questions, including 2 particularly pertinent to the work of Tosteson and colleagues. First, does the intervention improve health outcomes? Second, does the cost-effectiveness analysis incorporate all relevant costs, harms, and benefits (5–7)?
to gain full access to the content and tools.
Learn more about subscription options.
Register Now for a free account.
Healthcare Delivery and Policy.
Results provided by:
Copyright © 2016 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
Conditions of Use
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only