Comparing Costs of Spinal Surgery for Two Types of Scoliosis
In this study researchers at the University of Utah compared children who had spinal surgery for two types of scoliosis (curvature of the spine). The first type of scoliosis is called neuromuscular scoliosis (NMS). NMS often accompanies other conditions such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and spina bifida. The second type is idiopathic scoliosis (IS). Idiopathic scoliosis occurs in otherwise able-bodied children, especially girls. The cause is unknown.
Treatment with surgery to keep the curves from getting worse is more common with NMS but may be needed with IS as well. A special database of information collected from hospitals in 2000 was used in this study. It's called the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids Inpatient Database or HUCP KID.
By studying the discharge records of children with both types of scoliosis the authors report the following findings:
The authors conclude children having spinal surgery for NMS have longer and more costly hospitalizations compared to children with IS. Children with NMS are also at greater risk for complications after spinal surgery. Further study is needed to find ways to reduce risk factors for children with NMS undergoing this type of surgery.
Nancy Alice Murphy, MD, et al. Spinal Surgery in Children with Idiopathic and Neuromuscular Scoliosis. What's the Difference? In Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. March/April 2006. Vol. 26. No. 2. Pp. 216-220.