Spine

Cost of implants is a barrier to spinal deformity surgery in low income countries

Richard Schwend

Richard Schwend (Children’s Mercy Hospital and Clinics, Kansas City, USA) told delegates attending this year’s International Meeting for Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST; 16–19 July, Valencia, Spain) that implant costs and unsafe surgical facilities are among the principal barriers to children having corrective surgery for spinal deformity in low income countries even though the costs of pedicle screws is lower in these countries than in high income countries.

Schwend reported that the cost of pedicle screws “may restrict access to surgical care for children” and, therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate “how implant costs impact paediatric spinal deformity surgery globally. He and the lead author of the study, Sreeharsha Nandyala (University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine, Kansas City, USA), sent a 28-item survey (through Research Electric Data Capture) to published spinal surgeons and to members of the Scoliosis Research Society. The survey asked questions on patient characteristics, the cost of pedicle screws, strategies used to reduce the costs of implants and surgeries, and the barriers to paediatric spinal deformity surgery in the surgeons’ countries.

Overall, of 441 spinal surgeons in 58 countries contacted, 95 surgeons from 36 countries responded. Of these, 70 (74%) were from high income countries (gross national income per capita more than US $12,616) and 25 (26%) were from low income countries. Schwend noted that significantly more patients in low income countries pre-purchased implants from a vendor (45% vs. 3% respectively; p<0.001) or from the surgeon (30% vs. 2%, respectively; p<0.001) than patients in high income countries, and that these patients were more likely to use charity funds to pay for the surgery (72% vs. 40%, respectively; p=0.009). There were no significant differences between groups in the use of government funds.

– See more at: http://www.cxvascular.com/sn-latest-news/spinal-news—latest-news/cost-of-implants-is-a-barrier-to-spinal-deformity-surgery-in-low-income-countries?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Spinal+News+International+e-newsletter+31-07-14&utm_content=Spinal+News+International+e-newsletter+31-07-14+CID_ad70656b46c258a2f73e31ab543f3918&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=Cost%20of%20implants%20is%20a%20barrier%20to%20spinal%20deformity%20surgery%20in%20low%20income%20countries#sthash.7mSE2aiy.dpuf

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Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President of Ortho Sales Partners and Partner for The De Angelis Group. He also serves as Co-Founder and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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