Cost of a spine surgery

Cost of a spine surgery

Real cost of a spine surgery is dependent from the type of the surgery, the need for implants, the length of hospital stay. The variety in countries, the travel and accommodation costs highly influence the total expenses related to the surgical treatment of different spinal conditions.

Here, we provide a summary about the costs of different spine surgeries in different countries including the expected hospital stay (LOS) (data are from public sources).

Cost of a microdiscectomy/decompression surgery in different countries

avg. length of hospital stay = 3 days

Budapest* 3-5,000 €
Germany 9-12,000 €
UK 15,000 €
France 13,000 €
USA 25,000 €
Czech Republic 8-9,000 €
Croatia 6,000 €
Latvia 5,000 €

*cost in practice of Dr. Lazary depends on number of spinal levels and need for ICU after the surgery (e.g. elderly patients with lot of medical problems)

Cost of a anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACIF) in different countries

avg. length of hospital stay = 3 days


5-8,000 €

Germany 13-18,000 €
UK 20-25,000 €
France 15-20,000 €
USA 100,000 €
Czech Republic 10,000 €
Croatia 8,000 €
Latvia 6,000 €

 *cost depends on number of spinal levels and type of implants

Cost of a single-level lumbar fusion (TLIF , OLIF or ALIF) in different countries

avg. length of hospital stay = 4 days


6-12,000 €

Germany 13-25,000 €
UK 20-30,000 €
France 15-25,000 €
USA 120,000 €
Czech Republic 12,000 €
Croatia 8-15,000 €
Latvia 6-12,000 €

 *cost depends on surgical approach type of implants




A number of health care providers offer different solutions for spinal surgeries all over the world. The diversity of quality and costs is very high even inside Europe. On the other hand, health tourism is more and more popular and patients seek for safe and high quality possibilities in affordable cost. Here, we would like to help patients needing a spine surgery in selection of a health care provider by discussing some important factors.

From Latvia to UK, a number of spine “centers”  advertise themselves as top-quality hospitals for spine surgeries with internationally recognized experts and world-leading team. Behind the curtain, in most cases, there is a small private praxis with one or two neurosurgeons or orthopedists performing the most simple spine surgical procedures in a limited number per year. These providers can help a group of people, but the situation above can be dangerous for a number of patients suffering from a spinal condition.

  • Even the most simple procedures can have complications. Management of surgical and non-surgical adverse events requires higher level of experience and more diverse surgical practice.
  • A significant part of patients requires careful monitoring (often on intensive care unit (ICU)) after the surgery, but most of the private spine hospitals does not have an ICU or postoperative ward.
  • The limited number of surgical procedures includes the risk for a “wide indication” of the surgery what the given surgeon can perform (e.g. endoscopic microdecompression for everybody).
  • Modern spine surgery is patient-specific in surgical indication, use and type of implants and postoperative care. Small centers and limited surgical practice often have got limited possibilities.
  • The economical background of these spine surgical practices can influence their indication and type of surgeries and implants. On the price list of these providers, there are a number of off-label or potentially harmful procedures which are not supported by scientific evidences.



  • By checking your surgeon’s qualifications and surgical practice, you can trust his/her professional level
  • The international scientific prestige of a medical doctor is usually a sign of reliability and professional credibility
  • Academic position of a surgeon and/or a center is the highest level of national recognition
  • Check the participation of the center/surgeon in international clinical trials, registries. In these studies, there  is a full transparency regarding number of procedures, surgical results and adverse events
  • Consider the infrastructure of the center and the personal skills of the surgeon. Is there a safe postoperative ward/ICU in the hospital, is the surgeon trained and experienced in management of complications?
  • Check the rehabilitation/physiotherapy options in the hospital
  • Be informed about the follow-up protocol of the institution/surgeon. Most spine surgeries requires long-term follow-up
  • Calculate the cost. There is a high diversity in costs of spine surgeries over the world and additional costs (travel, accommodation, etc) also increase the expenses. Here you can find a detailed summary about costs of different interventions in different countries. 


Dr. Lazary performs wide range of spine surgical interventions in the Buda Health Center, which is an internationnally recognized spine center with high quality services in the heart of  Budapest, Hungary. Due to its location and rich connections Budapest is easily accessible from all parts of Europe and also from Middle-East and North-America.

Spine surgical consultation during the pandemic

Spine surgical consultation during the pandemic

Our private spine surgical consultation and spine care service is running in the Buda Health Center according to the relevant regulation. Examination and treatment are performed in accordance with the decree of the government. Safety of patients and health care providers is priority.

Appointment for spine surgical consultation is to be asked by phone (+36-1-489-5200).

Surgical or non-surgical treatment of the whole spectrum of spinal disorders is provided on an internationally recognized high level.

Safety. Life. Quality.

Comprehensive spine surgery

Comprehensive spine surgery

Modern spine care is the effective and safe combination of evidence-based diagnostic and surgical techniques and different patient-specific solutions providing the best outcome for the patients.

Highly educated spine surgeons use modern, safe diagnostic tools to find the source of complaints, patient-specific approach for the decision on treatment and evidence-based spinal surgical techniques to cure the patient. In spine surgery, only the life-long learning process can provide the up-to-date knowledge and appropriate level of skills for the clinician. Complication rate, objective and subjective treatment outcome and patient-satisfaction together characterize a surgical practice.


Comprehensive spine surgery

Comprehensive spine surgery

Modern spine care is the effective and safe combination of evidence-based diagnostic and surgical techniques and different patient-specific solutions providing the best outcome for the patients. Highly educated spine surgeons use modern, safe diagnostic tools to find...

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Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally Invasive Surgery

In general, the goal of minimally invasive spine surgery (MIS)  is to stabilize the vertebral bones and spinal joints and/or relieve pressure being applied to the spinal nerves — often a result of conditions such as a spinal instability, bone spurs, herniated discs,...

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The normal spine is structurally balanced for optimal flexibility and support of the body’s weight. When viewed from the side, it has three gentle curves. The lumbar (lower) spine has an inward curve called lordosis. The thoracic (middle) spine has an outward curve...

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Segmental instability

Segmental instability

Each spinal segment is like a well-tuned part of a machine. All of the parts should work together to allow weight bearing, movement, and support. A spinal segment is composed of two vertebrae attached together by ligaments, with a soft disc separating them. The facet joints fit between the two vertebrae, allowing for movement, and the foramen between the vertebrae allows space for the nerve roots to travel freely from your spinal cord to the rest of your body. When all the parts are functioning properly, the spinal segments join to make up a remarkably strong structure called the spine. When one segment deteriorates to the point of instability, it can lead to localized pain and difficulties.

Segmental instability occurs when there is too much movement between two vertebrae in your spine. The excess movement of the vertebrae can cause pinching or irritation of nerve roots. It can also cause too much pressure on your facet joints, leading to inflammation of facet joints. It also may cause muscle spasms as the paraspinal muscles in your back try to stop the spinal segment from moving too much. The instability eventually results in faster degeneration of your spine in this area.


Your spine is stabilized by an intricate set of systems working in concert to both limit and allow flexibility in your spine. These systems are:

The passive system – which includes your vertebrae, facet joints, intervertebral discs, and ligaments. This system stabilizes your spine when you bend and twist.
The active system – which includes the muscles and tendons that are attached to your spine. This system stabilizes your spine when it is in the neutral zone (neither bent nor twisted).
The neural system – which includes the nerves that control the muscles in your spine. This system receives input from the other systems to determine what your spine requires to maintain stability when it is in motion and when it is neutral.
These 3 systems of spinal stability must work together at all times to keep your spine strong and safe. If a problem occurs in any one of the systems, such as a fractured vertebra, a herniated disc, a muscle strain or tendon sprain, or a pinched nerve (called radiculopathy), this puts added stress on the remaining systems to keep your spine stable.

It is hard to determine which problem comes first in segmental instability. In some cases, degeneration of a disc in your spine begins the process. Once the disc is no longer able to function normally, the degeneration process of ALL parts of the spinal segment begins. As your disc continues to degenerate, the facet joints become arthritic, bone spurs form around the joints, and the segmental instability gets worse. This cycle continues until it is corrected.

Segmental instability of your spine can also result post-operatively after spinal surgery and after trauma to your spine. It can also be caused by other conditions including scoliosis, infection, and tumors.


Low back pain is a common symptom reported by up to 30% of patients with segmental instability. The pain you feel when you have segmental instability may be chronic, which means you feel it all the time, or it may recur either with certain movements or when you hold your back still. The pain may come on suddenly and in response to a movement that normally would not be painful. You may also feel like popping or cracking your back would make the pain feel better. If you have segmental instability, you may also feel like your back is weak, or that it catches or locks when you move.


The first step in diagnosing segmental instability is to perform a complete history and physical exam. Your doctor may ask you about your history of low back pain and back trauma and how it has been treated in the past. During the physical exam your doctor will check how your back works through various types of motion. To diagnose your back problem, your doctor may also ask you to wear a back brace for awhile to see whether it provides relief of your symptoms. If the brace provides pain relief, this suggests you may have segmental instability.

Diagnosing segmental instability can be difficult because there is not a agreed standard on what other types of diagnostic tests to perform. This is because radiologic tests cannot show how your spine works throughout the entire range of motion.

Your doctor will likely take X-rays of your spine in the neutral position (standing straight) and at different degrees of flexion. X-rays will show your doctor the amount of space between your facet joints and the condition of your vertebrae. Other diagnostic tests your doctor may perform include a CT scan to get a better look at your vertebrae and facet joints including any bone spurs that may be present. An MRI may also be ordered to check for lesions such as a herniated disc. Your doctor may also order an electromyogram (EMG) of your spine to check for signs of segmental instability.

Treatment Options

Conservative Treatment

If you have been diagnosed with segmental instability, your doctor will likely recommend conservative treatment to start. Conservative treatments for segmental instability include the use of a brace to support and stabilize your spine. Your doctor will also likely recommend physical therapy including stabilization exercises to strengthen and control the muscles in your spine, and education about how to protect your spine during everyday activities.

Surgical Treatment

Surgery to correct segmental instability is usually reserved for patients with severe spinal disability after conservative treatment has failed to provide adequate relief. Spinal fusion may be recommended if one of the vertebra in your spine is able to move out of alignment by more than 4 mm (millimeters) or if the vertebra is able to rotate 10 degrees or more compared to the other vertebrae in your spine. Spinal fusion will correct the instability in your spine by permanently connecting the unstable segment to the stable segment above or below it.

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Spine tumors

Spine tumors

Increasing number of people are suffering from a spine tumor. While primary tumors are rare conditions, metastatic lesions (a distant secondary tumor of a primary cancer) are more frequent due to the population aging and extended survival of cancer patients. These tumors can cause severe pain, neurological deficit and a significant decrease of quality of life. Due to the development of spine surgical techniques and also the modern radiotherapy, most of the spinal tumors can be succesfully treated providing a pain relief and improvement of the patient’s quality of life. The emergence of minimally invasive surgical techniques have widen the group of surgically manageable patients. Because of the severity of the disease and the complexity of the therapy, spine tumor surgeries can be performed effectively and safely only by experienced spine surgeons in spine tumor centers.

Primary spine tumors

These tumors are rare diseases where surgical treatment is often the only one therapeutic option.

Spinal metastasis

Secondary spinal cancer is a frequent, painful and disabling condition, where surgery can improve the quality of life.

AOSpine KF on Tumors

World-wide leader group of international spine tumor experts – including Dr. Lazary – performs high quality research.

Spine tumors

Spine tumors

Increasing number of people are suffering from a spine tumor. While primary tumors are rare conditions, metastatic lesions (a distant secondary tumor of a primary cancer) are more frequent due to the population aging and extended survival of cancer patients. These...

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