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Surgery vs Therapy: What’s the Difference in Costs?
Costs of Surgery vs Therapy

Choosing Conservative Treatment Before Surgery

 

The cost of surgery, therapy, or other healthcare treatment varies from location to location. However, one thing remains fairly consistent: surgery tends to cost more than conservative treatment options. But, cost alone is never a good reason to select one treatment option over the other. You want to select a treatment option that is both effective and supported by research. Otherwise, you make decisions based on your bank account balance, and not what’s the best for you and your situation.

 

Cost and Benefits of Surgery & Therapy

To that end, it helps to understand what the research says about selecting conservative treatments vs surgery for muscle or joint pain. The research suggests that conservative treatments, like physical or occupational therapy, should be the first line treatment option for muscle or joint pain [1].

Not only do these treatment options provide similar results to surgery, they also cost a lot less!

Before considering more invasive procedures like surgery or injections to address pain, research suggests trying conservative treatments like physical and occupational therapy. Research shows that these non-invasive treatment options often deliver similar outcomes to surgery but at a lower cost. Use the calculator below to enter your own insurance information to see how much physical or occupational therapy could save you in out of pocket expenses [1].

We actually published an article on this topic. Here’s the list for that article:

  1. Low Cost
  2. Low Risk
  3. High Benefit
  4. Possibility of avoiding surgery

Check out the recent video we did on this subject below:

 

Comparing the Costs of Surgery and Therapy

 

And if want to explore the cost-benefit of surgery vs therapy, run the numbers. Below, we’ve developed a simple calculator that gives an estimate for both the cost of surgery, the cost of therapy, and the difference between the two. Now, this should in no way replace checking with both a licensed medical provider and your own insurance company. But, it’s a good starting point.

 

Cost Calculator: Surgery vs. Therapy

Before considering more invasive procedures like surgery or injections to address pain, research suggests trying conservative treatments like physical and occupational therapy. Research shows that these non-invasive treatment options often deliver similar outcomes to surgery but at a lower cost. Use the calculator below to enter your own insurance information to see how much physical or occupational therapy could save you in out of pocket expenses.

The numbers used to calculate costs are based on national averages for major surgery (around $20,000-$50,000) and minor surgery (around $5,000-$10,000). For this calculator, we chose to use the averages on the lower end of the scale.

If the number at the end is positive, it means that conservative treatment (like therapy) may save you the amount shown when compared to surgery costs. If the number is negative, it means that therapy would cost you the amount shown when compared to surgery.

Cost Calculator

If you have any specific questions about your results, or if you want to learn more, simply enter your information and hit the “send more info” button, and one of our team members will reach out to discuss your specific situation.


 

Summary

 

Ultimately, the decision to choose surgery or conservative treatment shouldn’t be left to a calculator. You need to speak with a qualified healthcare specialist about your own circumstances and situation. What we do know from the research is that conservative treatment options, like physical or occupational therapy, should be considered the first line treatment option for musculoskeletal pain. If you re in the Augusta area and would like to learn how ProActive Rehabilitation & Wellness can help you overcome pain and chart your path towards long-term healing, click here.

 

References

[1] Benefits and Harms of Interventions With Surgery Compared to Interventions Without Surgery for Musculoskeletal Conditions: A Systematic Review With Meta-analysis. Søren T. Skou, Erik Poulsen, Alessio Bricca, Mette Dideriksen, L. Stefan Lohmander, Ewa M. Roos, and Carsten B. Juhl. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy 2022 52:6, 312-344. https://www.jospt.org/doi/abs/10.2519/jospt.2022.11075

Are you dealing with pain?

We understand that struggling with the stress and strain of pain can be tough…Whether it’s waking up feeling stiff or severe tension after walking, running, or playing, no one wants to spend each day dealing with the soreness that pain brings. While many people choose surgery or injections for pain relief, at ProActive Rehabilitation & Wellness, we offer non-surgical therapies which prevents patients from going under the knife.

 

If you’d like to book a pain consultation now, with one of our top clinicians, click the button bellow or have your provider fax over a referral. We only book a limited amount of these consultations each month, so act quickly before they’re gone.

Rafi Salazar OT

Rafael E. Salazar II, MHS, OTR/L (Rafi) is the CEO & President of Proactive Rehabilitation & Wellness, as well as the Principal Owner of Rehab U Practice Solutions and the host of The Better Outcomes Show. He has experience in a variety of rehab settings, working with patients recovering from a variety of injuries and surgeries. He worked as the lead clinician in an outpatient specialty clinic at his local VA Medical center, where he worked on projects to improve patient & employee engagement and experience throughout the organization. He has experience as a faculty member at Augusta University’s Occupational Therapy Program, as a Licensed Board Member on the GA State OT Board, has served on several committees for the national OT Board (NBCOT), and as a consultant working for the State of Georgia’s DBHDD. He is also on the Board of Directors for NBCOT. Rafi also authored the book Better Outcomes: A Guide to Humanizing Healthcare