Minimally invasive spine procedures produce significant benefits for workers and employers


The Laser Spine Institute (Tampa, USA), along with Rivenbark Consulting, has released details of a study that shows the income and productivity gains provided by spinal decompression procedures performed by the Institute. The study includes surveyed outcomes for more than 100 qualified patients and a review of more than 20 peer reviewed journal articles that report surgical outcomes for open lumbar fusion procedures.

A press release states that cost savings to employers are defined in the study by increased production output as a result of employees returning to work faster than they would have following an open fusion procedure. The study found that the eight year value of these employer cost savings is significant – equal to one additional fiscal quarter of work.

Some additional key findings from the study include:

• On average, Laser Spine Institute’s minimally invasive procedures allow employees to return to work in 1.24 months, as opposed to 3.99 months for workers undergoing conventional open fusion surgery.

• The 2.75 additional months of working time available to Laser Spine Institute patients amounts to nearly a 70% reduction in lost productivity for employers in addition to income gains for patients.

• Average annual earnings for Laser Spine Institute’s working patients were US$73,402. A return to work 2.75 months faster amounts to recovery of US$16,759 in lost wages compared to patients undergoing traditional open fusion surgery for the same conditions.

“Our minimally invasive approach is the differentiator for patients selecting treatment for their back and neck pain,” said Dotty Bollinger, president and chief operating officer of Laser Spine Institute. “We are able to provide relief to patients in an outpatient setting that allows them to walk out the same day and, in many cases, feel positive impacts within days of surgery. This study shows that these impacts have benefits for more than just the patient, but for many aspects of the patient’s life—including getting back to work faster.”