Demographic and economic trends in vertebral fracture surgeries throughout the United States

Alexander M. Beschloss, Khaled M. Taghlabi, Daniel A. Rodriguez, Nathan Lee, Sachin Gupta, Kevin Bondar, Joseph M. Lombardi, Arya Varthi, Amir Faraji, Comron Saifi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Vertebral fractures, frequently resulting from high-impact trauma to the spine, are an increasingly relevant public health concern. Little is known about the long-term economic and demographic trends affecting patients undergoing surgery for such fractures. This study examines national economic and demographic trends in vertebral fracture surgery in the United States to improve value-based care and health care utilization. Methods: The National Inpatient Sample (NIS) was queried for patients who underwent surgical treatment of a vertebral fracture (ICD-9-CM-3.53) (excluding kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty) between 1993 and 2015. Demographic data included patient age, sex, income, insurance type, hospital size, and location. Economic data including aggregate charge, aggregate cost, hospital cost, and hospital charge were analyzed. Results: The number of vertebral fracture surgeries, excluding kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty, increased 461% from 3,331 in 1993 to 18,675 in 2014, while inpatient mortality increased from 1.9% to 2.5%. The mean age of patients undergoing vertebral fracture surgeries increased from 42 in 1993 to 53 in 2015. The aggregate cost of surgery increased from $189,164,625 in 2001 to $1,060,866,580 in 2014, a 461% increase. Conclusions: The significant increase in vertebral fracture surgeries between 1993 and 2014 may reflect an increased rate of fractures, more surgeons electing to treat fractures surgically, or a combination of both. The increasing rate of vertebral fracture surgery, coupled with increasing hospital costs and mortality, signifies that the treatment of vertebral fractures remains a challenging issue in healthcare. Further research is necessary to determine the underlying cause of both the increase in surgeries and the increasing mortality rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100175
Pages (from-to)100175
JournalNorth American Spine Society Journal
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Demographics
  • Economics
  • HCUP
  • National inpatient survey
  • Spine surgery
  • Vertebral fracture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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