Objective: Determine the relationship between time to surgery, lost time, and insurance costs. Method:Acohort of 582 claimants undergoing lumbar spine surgery (1999 to 2002) in the state of Louisiana was observed for 7 years. Results: The shorter the time interval between injury and first lumbar surgery, the lower the cost and time lost from work. Average days lost from work and claim costs for 42% of those undergoing early lumbar surgery did not differ from injured workers who lost time from work for claims not involving lumbar surgery. Claim cost for the remaining 58% who had delayed surgery was 5.7 times greater than that for the early surgery cohort. Conclusion: The decision to perform lumbar surgery is not necessarily associated with high claim costs or longer time out from work, provided that the determination to operate is early.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of occupational and environmental medicine|
|State||Published - May 1 2013|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health