Chronic pain of spinal origin: The costs of intervention

Barry N. Straus*, Joshua Prager, Joel Saal, Paul Slosar, Dennis Turk, F. Todd Wetzel, Gunnar B.J. Andersson, James Neil Weinstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


The cost of chronic benign spinal pain is large and growing. The costs of interventional treatment for spinal pain were at a minimum of $13 billion (U.S. dollars) in 1990, and the costs are growing at least 7% per year. Medical treatment of chronic pain costs $9000 to $19,000 per person per year. The costs of interventional therapy is calculated. Methods of evaluating differential treatments in terms of costs are described. Cost-minimization versus cost-effectiveness approaches are described. Spinal cord stimulation and intraspinal drug infusion systems are alternatives that can be justified on a cost basis. Cost minimization analysis suggests that epidural injections under fluoroscopy may not be justified by the current literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2614-2620
Number of pages7
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 15 2002


  • Chronic pain
  • Costs
  • Intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology

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