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Doctors get KICKBACKS for spinal fusion Implants... - Printable Version

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Doctors get KICKBACKS for spinal fusion Implants... - 1171 - 12-20-2010

spinal implants became big profit generators for device makers. The screws used to drill into bone, known as pedicle screws, sell for $1,000 to $2,000 apiece but cost less than $100 to make. A bone-growth protein used to help vertebrae fuse can sell for more than $5,000 a pack, depending on the size.
......
Another study of workers' compensation cases published this year in the online edition of the journal Spine showed that patients who had a spinal fusion were much less likely to return to work within two years after their surgery than a group of patients with similar conditions who didn't have surgery, and that 27% of them had to be re-operated on. Their rate of permanent disability was more than five times as high as the patients whose spines weren't fused, and their daily intake of powerful narcotic painkillers increased by 41% after surgery.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703395204576024023361023138.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_US_News_3


RE: Doctors get KICKBACKS for spinal fusion Implants... - kev_b - 12-20-2010

(12-20-2010, 01:48 PM)1171 Wrote: spinal implants became big profit generators for device makers. The screws used to drill into bone, known as pedicle screws, sell for $1,000 to $2,000 apiece but cost less than $100 to make. A bone-growth protein used to help vertebrae fuse can sell for more than $5,000 a pack, depending on the size.
......
Another study of workers' compensation cases published this year in the online edition of the journal Spine showed that patients who had a spinal fusion were much less likely to return to work within two years after their surgery than a group of patients with similar conditions who didn't have surgery, and that 27% of them had to be re-operated on. Their rate of permanent disability was more than five times as high as the patients whose spines weren't fused, and their daily intake of powerful narcotic painkillers increased by 41% after surgery.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703395204576024023361023138.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_US_News_3

I really didn't need to read this little bit of info. lol



RE: Doctors get KICKBACKS for spinal fusion Implants... - bronco54501 - 12-20-2010

I can see that, even in my own expierence of a surgeon consult I was told alot of patients dont fuse properly, and even the ones that do are still in a lot of pain. But obvious patient to patient differ...


RE: Doctors get KICKBACKS for spinal fusion Implants... - blake - 12-20-2010

thank you for this iam going through a settlememnt process the last couple weeks and this should be a big help to me, i have a neck fusion done with the same hardware


RE: Doctors get KICKBACKS for spinal fusion Implants... - bodybuilder1958 - 12-20-2010

It is not really a kickback. It's called a 'Trial', and yes, a doctor is compensated for using that product. It also saves the hospital money. Trial instrument trays are very, very common in operating rooms for orthopedic surgeries. You literally have 'sales staff' who come into the OR (trained scrubs usually) who show the surgeons how to use the new implants. But it's the surgeons who do the surgery, trust me.
These 'trials' can last for several years. I recall one total hip replacement where there were 5 'Trial' pans.
If someone doesn't wish to have a 'trial' pan used then they need to talk to their surgeon. I've already discussed this with mine and I'm probably a couple of months out from having my TKR done. I will not have a trial pan used but then again, I'm going to be awake and very aware during my surgery.

I'm not saying that Kickbacks don't occur, they do. But the article can be trouble to some people who are mis-informed. I can also see the companies side to this, how can you test a product without using it? At the hospital I worked at if a 'Trial' pan was being used a patient was informed of that ahead of time. They had to consent to the use of that pan. They also had to consent to every person in the OR. This may not be the case in every hospital. Any fusion has potential problems. I see a problem occurring with my stepmother who had a fusion and the doctor wasn't aware or didn't care to find out if she had osteoporosis. So less than 4 years after the fusion her entire spine is twisted, both above and below the fusion. So she has to wear a brace from shoulder to below her hip every waking day to support her entire spine.


Bodybuilder1958
Certified Surgical Technologist


RE: Doctors get KICKBACKS for spinal fusion Implants... - 1171 - 12-20-2010

i'll let the credibility of the reporters, newspaper and their sources speak for themself:
"Corporate whistleblowers and congressional critics contend such arrangements—which are common in orthopedic surgery—amount to kickbacks to stoke sales of medical devices."


RE: Doctors get KICKBACKS for spinal fusion Implants... - bodybuilder1958 - 12-20-2010

Rather than listen to a skilled OR worker who worked with doctors, suppliers and considered doing a similar job. Went to 4 different interviews, two training seminars. Didn't take the job because of problems with my right knee.

I'm not saying that kick backs didn't happen. But it is common to have 'trial pans' in the OR, it allows for customizing implants on sometimes difficult patients.

The article mentioned patients where implants had failed. Sometimes those failures can be improper screening of patients. Patients who don't go for a second opinion and insist on surgery. Patients who are not good candidates, who don't rehab well, or quit therapy, patients who are too heavy or gain a lot of weight after surgery.


RE: Doctors get KICKBACKS for spinal fusion Implants... - 1171 - 12-21-2010

you're right; it's the patients fault.
sheesh!




RE: Doctors get KICKBACKS for spinal fusion Implants... - bronco54501 - 12-21-2010

You both are correct, as I said patients vary.. weight/pt/ot/ people dont try / people that do try.. There are several vaibles that factor the out come between failed/success.....

I have the popcorn ready...............lol


RE: Doctors get KICKBACKS for spinal fusion Implants... - jayne - 12-21-2010

I to believe its both...without someone to try it out on it would never get done...someone has to be first...in that batch you will have the ones that puch thru the pain and get up and move and the ones who lay there and cry and wont move and thosewho for reasons no one can figure it just doesnt work out....thats why its called trials.even after trials you are still gonna have the same group of people that will,wont or cant....I can tell you if I was given an even chance of getting rid of the pain I would go for it trial or not.....I am darn tired of constapation.....I am tired of taking a cocktail of pills everyday.....of never knowing if today those pills will stay down or if its a day that everything is gonna come up.....yep I will take that trial