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Minimally invasive TLIF more cost-effective than open surgery, study finds

Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion is more cost effective than the open procedure, according to a study published in The Spine Journal on Jan. 22.

Study authors reviewed the literature in several databases, including PubMed and, with results from open and minimally invasive TLIF procedures to treat spondylolisthesis, lumbar instability or degenerative disc disease. There were 32 studies included in the analysis, with nine directly comparing the two procedures. Four takeaways: 1. Cost effectiveness for open TLIF ranged from $47,303 to $218,766 per quality-adjusted life year. 2. For minimally invasive TLIF, cost effectiveness was measured at $121,105 per quality-adjusted life year in one study where it was cited. 3. One meta analysis of hospital prospective costs for both techniques showed the open procedure cost around $2,650 more than the less invasive procedure. 4. The study authors concluded both the open and minimally invasive TLIF procedures were expensive when measured against the baseline $50,000 per quality-adjusted life year, but the minimally invasive technique could be more cost-effective.

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