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Cost of Single Level Lumbar Fusion

Hi all. I wanted to share this with you because I know I had no idea at all how much a single-level, minimally invasive TLIF fusion could cost.

Prior to this surgery, I'd had two microdiscectomies and they were both less than $10,000, which I guess seemed like what I would expect. (This is all with Anthem Blue Cross HSA high deductible coverage, if that helps).

My third surgery was almost 4 weeks ago and I just got the EOB and I almost choked...I stayed in the hospital for a total of 2 nights, had an I.V. for one of those nights, no morphine, just oral meds. My surgery was minimally invasive, single level with 4 titanium screws and 2 rods, plus a plastic spacer in the disc space. The grand total, minus any surgeon's fees so far, was $90,000, of which $66,000 was the implants.

I am almost positive that I will not have to pay any of this as I have met all my OOP expenses for the year, but I cannot imagine how people can ever afford this surgery without good insurance. I hope this helps someone who might be curious.
Left leg radiculopathy/sciatic pain
L5/S1 microdiscectomy - May 30, 2014
L5/S1 microdiscectomy - Aug 14, 2014
L5/S1 TLIF - Sept. 24, 2014
Left-side screws/rod removed along with bone fragment Dec. 29, 2014


  • It's insane, isn't it? My 2 level 360 fusion (read ALIF and PLIF) came in at $160,000 for the op, cardiovascular surgeon, neuro, 6 screws and two rods, 4 nights in hospital and meds (IV and oral) plus the miscellaneous costs. It's crazy to think I could buy a house for this amount!
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
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