Spinal Infection and Complications

Lead Author(s): 

Sigurd H. Berven, MD
Matthew D. Hepler, MD

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

In 2011, total costs for patients discharged from a hospital with a diagnosis of either spinal infection or complications of spinal surgery were $12.4 billion. Hospital charges related to postsurgical infections were more than $25.5 billion. These estimates encompass hospital charges only; they do not include other direct costs such as physician charges, outpatient ancillary services, physical therapy, injections, or indirect costs including lost workdays and income. (Reference Table 3.4.4 PDF CSV)
Mean Hospital Charges for Spinal Infection, Post-Operative Infection, Complications of Surgery, and All Hospital Discharges, by Age and Sex, United States 2011
About one-half of patients treated for infection and complications were discharged to home (44% and 62%, respectively), but a substantial proportion were transferred to a long-term facility (29% and 16%, respectively), adding to the cost of treatment for spinal infection and complications from spinal surgery. Discharge status for postsurgical infection hospitalizations were similar. The likelihood of being transferred home declined with age for all groups, with a third to half of patients discharged to long-term care. One in four received additional home health care, increasing the cost of treating these conditions. (Reference Table 3.3.4 PDF CSV)
Hospital Discharge Status for Spinal Infection, Post-Operative Infection, and Complications of Spinal Surgery Patients, United States 2011


  • 2014

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