The Costs of Curing Back Pain

Hospital administrators have a big responsibly when it comes to providing the correct tools and equipment for their surgeons. Newly hired administrative staff, interns, and purchasing agents-in-training need to be aware of all the basic essential equipment used in an operating room.

Surgical Equipment

When preparing an operating room for use, It’s easy to dwell on the big equipment, such as EKG machines, large LED screens, and vital sign monitors. It’s also important, however, to remember the multitude of smaller and more basic equipment and tools necessary before a successful surgery can take place. Think of the surgical lights, sterilization tools, chairs, temperature controls, disposable gloves, and much more that must be part of any purchasing plan when preparing an operating room for use.

Surgical equipment

The required equipment also depends on the type of surgery taking place. Your supply list will be different for a general hospital than it would be for a specialty surgical center.

Imagine you are preparing an operating room for a back surgery. An orthopedic surgeon will require a special set of tools and equipment. Depending on the procedure, the doctor may need a tubular retractor, pedicle screws, rod, clamps, and maybe even an endoscope.

Physical Therapy Equipment

It’s important to mention that back surgery is only offered as a last resort. Some people with chronic back pain require spinal surgery, but usually, there are other ways to treat the patient. Before a surgery is recommended other, less invasive, treatments are pursued.

Purchasing equipment for physical therapy is an entirely different set of costs. For example, therapy treatment tables can typically cost between $1,000 and $2,000 each. An ultrasound muscle stimulator can be purchased for under $4,000.

This device can be very helpful for providing the muscles with deep heat.  Another useful set of equipment is electronic muscle stimulators. These devices are much less expensive than ultrasound machines, and typically can be purchased for around $200.

Since physical therapy facilities provide treatment for many types of injuries and pain, there are other equipment considerations as well. While they may not help patients suffering from back pain, equipment such as treadmills and exercise bicycles should be purchased for any physical therapy clinics. Professional-grade treadmills are available from anywhere between $2,500 and $3,500, while quality exercise bikes are typically $1,500. This equipment is able to monitor the patient’s pulse, blood pressure, distance traveled, and more to provide additional information to the therapists who plan for various stages of treatment.

There are other minor costs to consider.  A variety of braces should be readily available for patients with back pain, knee problems, or for patients recovering from a procedure such as a shoulder surgery.  While much of these costs can often be passed onto the patient, the initial investment for small supplies can easily reach $5,000 to $10,000, and sometimes even more.

If physical therapy does not resolve a patient’s back issues, often a licensed pain specialist will try to treat the pain with an epidural steroid injection into the base of the patient’s spine. A few days after an injection, the patient should notice a significant decrease or complete absence of pain. The effects of the injection can last anywhere from two weeks to the lifespan of the patient. Purchasing equipment for this treatment can approach $100,000 in costs for the epidural device, x-ray monitors, procedure tables, and anesthesia equipment.

There are many equipment costs to consider during the journey of a patient’s treatment. From early back pain treatment and physical therapy to the epidural injection by a pain specialist, all the way up to the potential back surgery. It is important to plan for each stage of treatment in order to accurately assess the total costs of the facilities and ensure the best care is available for those in pain.