SPORT shows surgery better than conservative management at eight years

A recent publication published in Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2014 Jan 1;39(1):3-16 using data from SPORT (Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial) showed surgical treatment for lumbar disc herniation is associated with significantly greater improvements than non-operative management at eight years follow-up.

Vertebral Compression Fracture Treatment (VCF)

If you have had a recent vertebral body compression fracture the clock is ticking regarding your treatment options!

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The treatment of vertebral compression fractures (VCF) includes Percutaneous Vertebroplasty (PV) and Percutaneous Vertebral Augmentation (VBA), sometimes referred to as Kyphoplasty.  These treatment options for painful VCFs are now under strict regulation by payers largely due to the failure of some providers to adequately evaluate patients with VCFs, failure to inform patients of alternative treatments and potential complications of the percutaneous procedures, and inadequate follow-up after the procedure.

Kyphoplasty is an effective treatment option for some painful VCFs.  However, prior to considering undergoing a Kyphoplasty patients need to have an appropriate evaluation including history, physical examination, and imaging of the VCF.  This is best performed by a team of specialists board certified in the treatment of spine disorders such as VCFs.

CDA Spine is a comprehensive Neurosurgery and Spine Clinic providing comprehensive spine care including minimally invasive spine surgery and the treatment of VCFs by conservative care, percutaneous VBA, or minimally invasive spine surgery when necessary.

The comprehensive Vertebral Compression Fracture evaluation and treatment program at CDA Spine ensures that patients receive timely care including a comprehensive history and physical examination including evaluation for other potential pain generators, conservative/non-operative management for a reasonable period of time,  alternative treatment options with clear explanation of the potential complications of the injections procedures.  The evaluation may include a bone density study to assess your bone health and the risk of future fractures.

CDA Spine surgeon Jeffrey J. Larson, M.D. performs the first two-level Mobi-C disc arthoplasty in Idaho

Mobi-C 2 level disc arthoplasty. Pre-op x-ray shows the degenerative discs. Post-op x-ray shows the reconstructed spine with Mobi-C artificial discs and ROI-C interbody fusion device.  Dr. Larson is one of the foremost spine surgeons specializing in minimally invasive spine surgery and disc replacement surgery.  Mobi-C is now FDA approved for one and two-level disc arthroplasty.

Contact Dr. Larson.

Learn more about Mobi-C.

Do you think that you might need spine surgery?

By the time you finally get an appointment with a spine specialist you may feel that you are finally going to be able to have surgery, if it is deemed medically necessary.  What you might not be aware of is how controlling your insurance company may be in this process. 

Spine surgeons across the country are hearing they need more documentation from each case before payors will approve surgery. Sometimes surgeons can predict the type of documentation they will need, such as proof the patient took the appropriate pathway of physical therapy and epidural injections before deciding upon surgery; other times, the missing documentation isn’t quite as clear.


Great news about cervical artificial disc insurance coverage

We recently received word that Blue Cross of Idaho has adopted a positive coverage policy for cervical total disc replacement!

BC of Idaho has over 400,000 covered lives and is the top payer in Idaho-a significant addition to the existing coverage for PDC in the state.

Important note: Typically, policy changes take some time to be communicated and thoroughly adopted by the administrators of insurance plans. There may be instances of continued denials of coverage. Please pass on this information to your surgeons’ staffs that do pre-authorizations for coverage. Make sure they have the updated policy to reference.

If you have questions regarding eligibility for cervical disc arthroplasty you may contact your insurance provider. You may also contact a Spine Center proficient in cervical disc arthroplasty, CDA Spine at (208) 765-9100.