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Orthopedic and Dental Industry News Complete Archive »

Cervical Artificial Discs Reduce Costs for Patients BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, APRIL 29, 2008

A new study funded by Medtronic and presented at this week's AANS meeting showed that compared to fusion, patients who underwent cervical disc replacement saved an average of $6,000 in the two years following treatment.

541 patients received either the artificial cervical disc or fusion; the artificial disc group returned to work more quickly, an average of 38 days sooner than fusion patients, and required fewer secondary procedures than the fusion group. In two years, this saved the patient an average of about $6,000, which helped to offset the higher up-front costs of the implant and procedure.

This cost-effectiveness study is one method of getting payers behind these devices. Synthes recently commented on the challenging reimbursement environment for its ProDisc-C, saying that only one private payer currently covered their implant; studies like this one may drive payer momentum, and in turn facilitate product adoption.

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