Spinal cord stimulation versus reoperation for failed back surgery syndrome: a cost effectiveness and cost utility analysis based on a randomized, controlled trial

North, R. B., Kidd, D., Shipley, J. and Taylor, R. S. (2007) Spinal cord stimulation versus reoperation for failed back surgery syndrome: a cost effectiveness and cost utility analysis based on a randomized, controlled trial. Neurosurgery, 61(2), pp. 361-369. (doi: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000255522.42579.EA) (PMID:17762749)

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Abstract

Objective: We analyzed the cost-effectiveness and cost–utility of treating failed back–surgery syndrome using spinal cord stimulation (SCS) versus reoperation. Materials and methods: A disinterested third party collected charge data for the first 42 patients in a randomized controlled crossover trial. We computed the difference in cost with regard to success (cost–effectiveness) and mean quality–adjusted life years (cost–utility). We analyzed the patient–charge data with respect to intention to treat (costs and outcomes as a randomized group), treated as intended (costs as randomized; crossover failure assigned to a randomized group), and final treatment costs and outcomes. Results: By our mean 3.1–year follow–up, 13 of 21 patients (62%) crossed to reoperation versus 5 of 19 patients (26%) who crossed to SCS (P < 0.025). The mean cost per success was US $117,901 for crossovers to SCS. No crossovers to reoperation achieved success despite a mean per-patient expenditure of US $260,584. The mean per-patient costs were US $31,530 for SCS versus US $38,160 for reoperation (intention to treat), US $48,357 for SCS versus US $105,928 for reoperation (treated as intended), and US $34,371 for SCS versus US $36,341 for reoperation (final treatment). SCS was dominant (more effective and less expensive) in the incremental cost–effectiveness ratios and incremental cost–utility ratios. A bootstrapped simulation for incremental costs and quality–adjusted life years confirmed SCS's dominance, with approximately 72% of the cost results occurring below US policymakers' “maximum willingness to pay” threshold. Conclusion: SCS was less expensive and more effective than reoperation in selected failed back–surgery syndrome patients, and should be the initial therapy of choice. SCS is most cost–effective when patients forego repeat operation. Should SCS fail, reoperation is unlikely to succeed.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:A correction has been published: Erratum, Neurosurgery, Volume 64, Issue 4, April 2009, Page 601, https://doi.org/10.1227/01.NEU.0000349704.33601.8A
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Taylor, Professor Rod
Authors: North, R. B., Kidd, D., Shipley, J., and Taylor, R. S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Neurosurgery
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0148-396X
ISSN (Online):1524-4040

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