Clinical Research|Articles in Press

Short-Term Health Care Costs of High-Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation for the Treatment of Postsurgical Persistent Spinal Pain Syndrome



      High-frequency spinal cord stimulation (HF-SCS) is a treatment option for postsurgical persistent spinal pain syndrome (type 2 PSPS). We aimed to determine the health care costs associated with this therapy in a nationwide cohort.

      Materials and Methods

      IBM Marketscan® Research Databases were used to identify patients who underwent HF-SCS implantation from 2016 to 2019. Inclusion criteria included prior spine surgery or diagnoses of PSPS or postlaminectomy pain syndrome any time within the two years before implantation. Inpatient and outpatient service costs, medication costs, and out-of-pocket costs were collected six months before implantation (baseline) and one, three, and six months after implantation. The six-month explant rate was calculated. Costs were compared between baseline and six months after implant via Wilcoxon sign rank test.


      In total, 332 patients were included. At baseline, patients incurred median total costs of $15,393 (Q1: $9,266, Q3: $26,216), whereas the postimplant median total costs excluding device acquisition were $727 (Q1: $309, Q3: $1,765) at one month, $2,840 (Q1: $1,170, Q3: $6,026) at three months, and $6,380 (Q1: $2,805, Q3: $12,637) at six months. The average total cost was reduced from $21,410 (SD $21,230) from baseline to $14,312 (SD $25,687) at six months after implant for an average reduction of $7,237 (95% CI = $3212–$10,777, p < 0.001). The median device acquisition costs were $42,937 (Q1: $30,102, Q3: $65,880). The explant rate within six months was 3.4% (8/234).


      HF-SCS for PSPS was associated with significant decreases in total health care costs and offsets acquisition costs within 2.4 years. With the rising incidence of PSPS, it will be critical to use clinically effective and cost-efficient therapies for treatment.


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