Sciatica pain and discomfort, feeling numb or tingling radiating down the leg, generally is triggered by a medical condition such as a herniated disc, back stenosis, an injury, or other issues that lead to pressure on or inflammation of the sciatic nerve.
What are the normal expenses you should expect for this surgery?
For patients covered by medical insurance, out-of-pocket expenses normally include physician consultation copays, prescription medication copays, or coinsurance of 10% – 50%. Treatment for sciatica generally is covered by health insurance, however, particular treatments – such as spine decompression or acupuncture – might not be paid for, depending upon the health insurance you currently own.
For clients not covered by medical insurance, treatment for sciatica can start at about $550 for warm compresses, non-prescription or prescription painkiller, and other cheap treatments; it can cost anywhere between $50 and $350 per session or a total of hundreds to thousands of dollars for the physical treatment; it can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000 or more annually for epidural steroid injections, or for anticonvulsant medications recommended to deal with nerve discomfort, and it can cost about $20,000 to $90,000 or more for the surgical treatment that would fix the issue, depending upon the center and the kind of surgical treatment you are going for.
For instance, the website Drugstore charges about $12 to $15 for a one-month supply of a generic tricyclic antidepressant such as nortriptyline or amitriptyline, which have actually been known to ease pain and discomfort in some patients with sciatica. It will cost about $85 or more, depending upon dosage, for the generic prescription painkiller tolmetin salt.
The same website Drugstore charges about $20 to $100 or more for a one-month supply of the generic medication gabapentin, an anticonvulsant also utilized to deal with neurological pain, and charges anywhere from less than $75 to $500 or more for the brand-name equivalent, Neurontin. The same website will charge anywhere from less than $100 to $350 or more for a one-month supply of the anticonvulsant medication Lyrica, also utilized for neurological pain and discomfort.
Physical treatment normally costs $50 to $400 per session. Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in Nebraska charges about $1,100 to $1,700 for an epidural steroid injection, not including the doctor’s cost, with an extra $550 for fluoroscopy, a special type of X-ray, to guide the movement of the needle. Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center will also charge somewhere between $12,000 and $16,000, not including the cost of the physician, for a laminotomy, a surgical treatment that eliminates part of the lamina, the bony layer covering the spine. A surgical treatment that will fix a herniated disc normally costs $20,000 to $50,000 or more. On the other hand, a laminectomy, a surgical treatment that gets rid of the lamina completely, generally costs $55,000 to $100,000.
What should be included in the price?
A medical professional may initially recommend medication to alleviate the pain and discomfort, and some rest, especially if you are an active person or have a hard job. The University of Maryland Medical Center can give you more information on medications that are usually utilized for sciatica discomfort. According to WebMD, it is relatively common for sciatica symptoms to fix with time if the patient has enough rest. If that does not happen, or if symptoms are extreme and hard to ignore, a medical professional may recommend a tricyclic antidepressant or anticonvulsant medication such as gabapentin (brand name Neurontin) or pregabalin (trademark name Lyrica). Or, the doctor may prescribe epidural steroid injections.
A medical professional may also recommend physical treatment to enhance strength and flexibility and alleviate the pain and discomfort. The University of Maryland Medical Center also has information on exercise, physical treatment, and sciatica.
If other treatments do not work, and/or if there is a hidden condition such as a herniated disk or back stenosis, surgical treatment such as a microdiscectomy or laminectomy might be the only way to make things right.
Are there any extra expenses to consider?
Some patients will also need a walking cane, which generally costs about $15 to $80, or a walker, which can cost as much as $200 or more. Walking canes are usually pretty easy to find, so if you ask around one of your friends or family members might have one from a past injury.
Some patients also need a back brace or corset, which can cost as much as $220 or more.
Any discount rates or coupons you could take advantage of?
Numerous medical facilities and medical professionals offer discount rates of as much as 30% or more to uninsured patients that will pay in cash10. For instance, Washington Hospital Health Care System in California provides discount rates of up to 35% and sometimes even more.
Some medication makers provide patient help programs. Any patient without prescription medication coverage who also is not qualified for Medicare usually gets approved for the Together Rx Access, a discount rate card that provides 25% to 40% off brand-name medication from numerous companies. A lot of businesses also provide free medication to patients who have no protection and fulfill specific requirements.
How would you look for sciatica treatment?
Spine-Health has a locator for spinal column centers with groups of experts who all concentrate on the treatment of spine-related conditions. Or, the American Academy of Neurology provides a neurologist locator. A neurologist must be board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery provides an orthopedic cosmetic surgeon finder. The American Board of Neurological Surgery also provides a neurosurgeon locator.