Skip to main content
Explore URMC

UR Medicine

menu

Why Spine?

DisabilityYour spine is composed of 33 bones, vertebrae, and is divided into 4 sections: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral. In addition, discs serve as supporting structures between the vertebral bodies. These discs absorb shock along the spine. As you age, the discs are prone to injury and degeneration as they are subjected to prolonged wear and tear.

Spine Pain is the Highest Cost Chronic Condition

  • 80% of Americans having back pain at some point in their lives
  • 30% of U.S. adults experienced low back pain within the last 3 months (2010 NHS)
  • Next to the common cold, it is the main reason for missed work days and clinician visits1

The expenditures for lower back pain have more than doubled in the past decade with a total direct healthcare cost exceeding $90 billion dollars a year2.  Lower back pain has become an increasing economic and health concern in America due to increases in cost and high prevalence in the population.

Spinal Fusion Surgeries

Socioeconomic Factors are Important Risk Factors for the Onset of Back Pain and Disability Including

  • Job Dissatisfaction
  • Low Education
  • Workers Compensation
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Age
  • Depression

Workers out of work for more than 1 year due to low back pain have a 25% change of ever returning to work. The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation ranked conditions based on years lived with disability: lower back pain is associated with the highest number of years lived with disability compared to other conditions and neck pain is ranked 4th.3

Spine Care is a Major Health, Societal, and Economic Concern

With the platform of medical care changes we are obligated to begin to focus on:

  • Quality of Care
  • Patient Selection
  • Treatment Indications
  • Outcome Measures
  • Value Equation
  • Cost Effectiveness

References

  1. Anderson GBJ. Epidemiological features of chronic low back pain. Lancet. 1999; 345: 581-585.
  2. Rajaee SS, Bae HW, Kanim LE, Delamarter R. Spinal Fusion in the United States: Analysis of Trends from 1998-2008. Journal of Spine. 2012; 37(1): 67-76. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e31820cccfb
  3. Hoy D, March L, Brooks P, Blyth F, Woolf A, Bain C, et al. The global burden of low back pain: estimates from the global burden of disease 2010 study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2014; 73: 968-974. Doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204428.