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September 12, 2007

Cost of Rotator Cuff Surgery

In today’s challenging economic environment,  many people have to foot the bill for some of their own costs of procedures and treatment.  Many times it’s difficult to follow the dollar in medicine.  Recently some researchers have put together an interesting cost analysis of rotator cuff repair, and I think it’s important for patients to know about the actual cost of the surgery prior to going in.  Keep in mind that a cost of the surgery in this study which was performed through Columbia University in New York did analyze the cost of the surgery and all the associated costs and then the six month follow-up costs that included some rehab.  Keep in mind it did not include any of the doctor visits and attend said physical therapy prior to the surgery.  In any case, the total cost of a rotator cuff repair averaged $12,464, a figure driven largely by physician’s fees which were on average $2,392, operating room costs average $3001, and a total per diem hospital cost average $2,122.  The remainder of the costs were largely physical therapy.  Again, sometimes the cost of medicine is difficult for people to track down.  The other costs that this study did not take into account is wages lost.  Keep in mind every, there of course, the hospital days, there’s a few days after the surgery where most people are unable to go to work, and there’s all the missed time from work in regards to the physical therapy appointments.


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I just had rotator cuff surgery (with a couple of other minor procedures once he got in), the surgeon was at for only about 75 minutes, it was an outpatient procedure and I was on my way home by 3pm. I recently got the bill that said before any inusrance adjustments were made that the cost of the surgery was in excess of $45k, can that even be possible?? I had a cuff repair, I just don't get it. . . .

Sounds a bit on the high side. In defense of your doctor he probably only made about 1/15th of the bill. Perhaps you could ask your insurance company if your procedure is out of the norm.

My boyfriend had rotator cuff surgery on June 4th 07, he has been doing all the therapy involved and is now up to four hours five days a week called work conditioning as he is in construction. He is told his range is good but he is in constant pain, has trouble sleeping and still can't do many of the everyday things. He 's miserable and this is effecting his whole life, is this normal, everyone tells him he's coming along but he cannot take the 24/7 pain. Thank you.

SOMETHING IS WRONG! He should be doing much better. The fact that the shoulder is getting better range of motion with no improvement in his pain is concerning. He could have a problem with the nerves coming out of his neck that supply the shoulder. You need to go to his next appointment with him. Some guys (particularly the tough construction guys) absolutely freeze up in the doctors office as they feel any complaining is unmanly. While this is great for the doctor staying on time with his schedule, it is not helping your boyfriend. If you feel like you have been blown off by the doctor I would transfer care. I would find the nearest board certified orthopedic surgeon fellowship trained in shoulder surgery. Maybe the best way to find that doc is to just call the large orthopedic groups around and ask if they have one. Good luck.

I was in a car accident in September in which I had to hold the steering wheel straight while I went over a camaro at 45mph. I have had extreme shoulder pain ever since. I have been to a Orthopedic witha no contrast MRI, he says no loss of stength and the MRI conclude nothig is wrong. I am still in Pain, Should I see someone else or just go to physical therapy as my first doctor suggested?

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