Bone proteins costly in surgery, study says

Wall Street Journal, July 1, 2009
The use in spine surgery of bone-growth proteins has led to widespread nationwide increases in hospital charges ranging from 11% to 41% above conventional surgical costs, researchers found. The researchers studied the results of a broad U.S. sample of 328,000 spine surgeries from 2002 through 2006. The authors, from both Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston and from Yale, also found that by 2006 the use of the new bone proteins had increased to nearly 25% of all operations in which spinal vertebrae are fused together to alleviate back pain.

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