Spinal Curvature: Adult Scoliosis

Lead Author(s): 

Adolfo Correa, MD, PhD

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

The cost of care for adults with scoliosis includes direct costs and indirect costs including lost wages, time from work, cost of care providers, and opportunity costs. Estimates of the direct costs of nonsurgical care in adult scoliosis are estimated to be as high as $14,000 per year.1

The national mean cost of a hospitalization (presumably for surgical treatment) for patients with a primary diagnosis of idiopathic scoliosis was $67,400 in 2011 for an average hospital stay of 5.6 days. The HCUP NIS database does not provide hospitalization costs associated with secondary discharge diagnoses, and does not include fees to doctors, tests, and other typical charges associated with hospitalization. Therefore, the most conservative estimate of only the hospitalization cost for adult scoliosis in 2011 was an estimated $15.44 million (229,000 hospitalizations). The real cost of the management of adult scoliosis to our healthcare system is significant, and the value of care measured by change in health status remains incompletely defined for both nonsurgical and surgical care. (Reference Table 3.4.1 PDF CSV)

Mean charges for scoliosis diagnosed patients are similar to those for other spinal deformity diagnoses, but significantly higher than for all hospital discharge patients.
Mean Hospital Charges for Scoliosis Diagnoses Discharges and All Hospital Discharges, by Age and Sex, United States 2011

  • 1. Glassman SD, Carreon LY, Shaffrey CI, Polly DW, Ondra SL, Berven SH, Bridwell KH: The costs and benefits of non-operative management for adult scoliosis. Spine 2010 Mar 1;35(5):578-582.


  • 2014

Chapter Graphs

To save an individual graph, right-click and select Save Image As