Spinal Fusion cost in South Africa

The beginning of the last decade had witnessed more than 500,000 spinal fusions carried out in major healthcare facilities worldwide. Over the years, the number has kept on increasing. This is because, with every passing day and changing lifestyle, more and more number of spinal abnormalities are being reported. The procedure is implemented when any affected region in the spine fails to heal or recover naturally. In such cases, fusion surgeries are performed to help the spine heal artificially. In general, spinal fusion surgery cost may vary from $15,000 to $27,000 and may even exceed depending on a number of other factors. 

What is Spinal Fusion Surgery?

Spinal fusion surgery is performed to reduce friction or unruly motion of the affected or injured spine, which causes immense pain and suffering. Friction in such region mostly result from movement of a damaged, fractured or injured bone which causes excess pressure buildup on the nerves resulting into severe pain. In other cases, fusion surgeries are also performed in individuals suffering from spinal arthritis where the bone requires ceasing of any painful spinal motion. 

There are several types of spinal fusion surgeries, which are:

  • Anterior or lateral or transforaminal interbody fusion of lumbar region
  • Anterior discectomy or fusion of the cervical region
  • Scoliosis fusion

Ideal Candidates for Spinal Fusion Surgery 

Spinal fusion is mostly performed in case the individual suffers from persistent spinal conditions. Thus, ideal candidates for the procedure is decided, if the individual:

  • Suffers from spinal conditions like spondylolisthesis, spinal fractures, recurring and persistent spinal disc hernia, scoliosis, etc .
  • Is unresponsive to conservative treatments and physiotherapy
  • Is unable to perform daily activities 
  • Suffers from other conditions due to the same reason. 

Factors affecting the cost of Spinal Fusion Surgery

The spinal fusion surgery cost may be affected due to a number of factors, which are:

  • The type of condition an individual suffers from
  • The age, weight or the BMI of the individual
  • Any underlying disease or condition like diabetes, etc.
  • The extent of spinal fusion required
  • Type of surgical procedures required (if any) along with it.
Treatment and Cost

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About the Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusion surgery is a type of a spinal procedure used to join two or more bones permanently in the spine and to prevent movement between them. The bones that are joined are called as vertebrae. Spinal fusion surgery is performed along with other surgical procedures such as foraminotomy or laminectomy and after diskectomy in the neck. It is required if the patient has an injury or a fracture of the vertebrae. The spine will become weak due to an infection or tumors. Spinal fusion is also performed in abnormal curvatures that result from scoliosis or kyphosis.

How is Spinal Fusion performed?

This surgical procedure usually takes around three to four hours. The surgeon makes a surgical cut and views the spine. Surgeries such as a diskectomy, laminectomy, or a foraminotomy, are conducted first followed by spinal fusion.

Spinal fusion may be done on the back or neck or spine. The patient is made to lie with face down. The spine is exposed by separating the muscles and tissue. If surgery is on the lower back, the surgeon will use retractors to separate soft tissues and blood vessels. A graft is used to fuse the bones permanently. The surgeon gets the bone graft from other parts of the body, which is called autograft. Sometimes a bone substitute may also be used to fill in the space between the vertebrae and form a single long bone.

Recovery from Spinal Fusion

Pain medications will be given either by mouth or through an intravenous line. You will be taught the ways to stand properly, walk, sit and stand. You will not be able to eat for two to three days. Nutrients will be given through an intravenous route. You have to wear a bracelet after leaving the hospital. The surgeon will provide instructions to the patient regarding home care after surgery. Spinal fusion alleviates nerve pain by creating more space around the spinal cord and nerve roots. This surgery reduces post-decompressive deformity. The spine fusion surgery corrects any deformity which is present before surgery. The surgery ensures normal alignment of the spine. Laser spine institute can perform spinal fusion surgery in minimally invasive manner.

Sometimes spinal fusion can lead to more back pain and prolongs the recovery time. Inflammation and scaring is also possible after the surgery. Due to nerve irritation, pain or weakness can also occur. The fused segment may also cause stress near the fusion. Inform the doctor immediately in case you suffer from breathing problems or witness signs of infection.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the factors affecting the cost of Spinal Fusion in South Africa?

Different hospitals have different pricing policy when it comes to the cost of Spinal Fusion in South Africa. The top hospitals for Spinal Fusion in South Africa covers all the expenses related to the pre-surgery investigations of the candidate. The Spinal Fusion cost in South Africa includes the cost of anesthesia, medicines, hospitalization and the surgeon's fee. Extended hospital stay, complications after the surgery or new diagnosis may affect the overall cost of Spinal Fusion in South Africa.

Which are some of the best clinics in South Africa for Spinal Fusiont?

There are many hospitals that perform Spinal Fusion in South Africa. Some of the most renowned hospitals for Spinal Fusion in South Africa include the following:

  1. Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre
  2. Life Kingsbury Hospital
  3. Ahmed Kathrada Private Hospital
How many days does it take to recover post Spinal Fusion in South Africa?

The recovery of the patient many vary, depending on several factors. However, on an average, patient is supposed to stay for about 25 days in the country after discharge. This is important to ensure that the surgery was successful. During this time, control and follow-up tests take place to check for medical fitness.

Which are some of the other popular destinations for Spinal Fusion?

South Africa is undoubtedly one of the best countries for Spinal Fusion in the world. It offers the best medical expertise and good patient experience at an affordable cost. Some of the other popular destinations for Spinal Fusion include the following:

CountryCost
IndiaUSD 5000
PolandUSD 8500
SpainUSD 61500
ThailandUSD 18000
TunisiaUSD 6000
TurkeyUSD 15000
United Arab EmiratesUSD 16000
United KingdomUSD 20000
How much are the other expenses in South Africa apart from the cost of Spinal Fusion?

Apart from the Spinal Fusion cost, there are a few other daily charges that the patient may have to pay. These are the charges for daily meals and accommodation outside the hospital. The extra charges may start from USD 50 per person.

Which are the best cities in South Africa for Spinal Fusion Procedure?

Some of the best cities in South Africa which offer Spinal Fusion are:

  1. Johannesburg
  2. Durban
  3. Cape Town
  4. Lenasia
How many days does one have to spend in the hospital for Spinal Fusion in South Africa?

The average duration of stay at the hospital after Spinal Fusion is about 4 days for proper care and monitoring. During the recovery, the patient is carefully monitored and control tests are performed to see that everything is okay. If required, physiotherapy sessions are also planned during recovery in hospital.

What is the average rating of Hospitals in South Africa offering Spinal Fusion?

The average rating for Spinal Fusion hospitals in South Africa is 2.9. This rating is automatically calculated on the basis of several parameters such as the infrastructure of the hospital, quality of services, nursing support and other services.

How many hospitals offer Spinal Fusion in South Africa?

There are more than 3 hospitals that offer Spinal Fusion in South Africa. Such hospitals have the required infrastructure and a dedicated unit where patients can be treated. Such hospitals follow all legal protocols and guidelines as specified by the local medical affairs body when it comes to the treatment of international patients.

Who are the best doctors for Spinal Fusion in South Africa?

Some of the most sought after medical specialists for Spinal Fusion in South Africa are:

  1. Dr. KD Jivan
  2. Dr. K Ranchod

FAQ's Related to South Africa

Which are the popular multispecialty hospital groups in South Africa?

South Africa is one of the leading medical tourism destinations with top hospitals, such as:

  1. Ahmed Al-Kadi Private Hospital
  2. Busamed Hillcrest Private Hospital
  3. Busamed Gateway Private Hospital
  4. Busamed Modderfontein Private Hospital
  5. Busamed Lowveld Hospital
  6. Lenmed Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre
  7. Busamed Paardevlei Private Hospital
  8. Life Bay View Private Hospital
  9. Lenmed Shifa Hospital

Below are some of the parameters which reflect the quality of these hospitals:

  1. Providing clear information about medicines to patients
  2. Effective engagement between nursing staff/doctors and patients;
  3. Suitability of the hospital environment for meeting the needs of patients
  4. Effectively managing pain.

The hospitals are bound to provide quality treatment as the government of South Africa has framed strict healthcare rules to ensure there is no quality lapse. The hospitals are backed with state-of-art infrastructure, the latest medical equipment, and well-trained doctors and offer world-class facilities to enhance the patient experience.

What healthcare accreditation standards are followed in South Africa?

The healthcare system in South Africa is accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI) and Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA). COHSASA is responsible for developing and evaluating standards in all sectors and departments of a healthcare facility to ensure hospitals provide integrated and coordinated care. The SafeCare program launched by COHSASA, JCI, and SafeCare Foundation ensures the implementation of internationally recognized standards to improve health care delivery. Clinics and Hospitals that comply with standards are initially given two-year accreditations and this period is extended if they are consistent in providing quality care.

Why should I opt for healthcare in South Africa?

A large number of medical tourists visit South Africa every year due to low-cost treatment and modern infrastructure. South Africa has become the epicenter of medical tourism because of several other reasons like advanced technology, several facilities provided by hospitals, doctors trained abroad, and a large pool of accredited hospitals. In addition, South Africa’s liberal laws allow for the use of stem cells in medical practice, making it an invaluable destination for patients in need of advanced medical treatment. The patient-centric hospitals in South Africa help you with all kinds of organization and administrative tasks and provide a world-class patient experience through all-inclusive care and assistance on a 24/7 basis.

How is the quality of doctors in South Africa?

With quality at their core, the well-trained and highly qualified doctors in South Africa provide world-class treatment. Having trained in foreign countries like Australia and Cuba, doctors in South Africa use their global exposure in developing deep expertise in various procedures. Doctors in South Africa are known for their deep expertise in dental procedures and fertility treatments. There are several reasons why South Africa has a large pool of quality doctors, such as education at reputed colleges, compliance with global standards, using human touch in treatment, and adopting a patient-centric approach.

How to obtain a medical visa in South Africa?

A person can apply for a medical visa to South Africa for a period of 90 days. The High Commission helps one decide for how long a visa can be extended. Anyone willing to stay in the country for longer than 3 months needs to apply for a temporary residency permit. The validity of a visa begins the same day it is issued by the High Commission in South Africa. A visa application is accepted until 30 days prior to the departure date. Below documents are required for applying for a medical visa:

  1. Passport
  2. Passport-sized photographs
  3. Online Application form
  4. Full return flight reservation
  5. Proof of stay in South Africa
  6. Signed official medical letter from medical institution
  7. Signed medical letter from a recognized local practitioner
What are the popular procedures available in South Africa?

A large number of people visit South Africa to avail procedures like anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, total knee replacement, meniscus repairs, and hip replacement. Cosmetic surgery and infertility treatment are some of the other popular procedures in South Africa which have a high success rate. Fertility treatment through egg donation has seen a high success rate in South Africa wherein a person can opt for a surgical or non-surgical procedure, with quite low waiting times. Low-cost treatment, fast recovery, use of advanced medical technology, and highly trained doctors are some of the reasons for the popularity of these procedures.

Which are the most popular cities in South Africa for medical treatment?

Top destinations for medical tourism in South Africa are Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Durban. Cape Town a major tourist attraction that has a rich culture, world-class doctors, and modern health facilities. An efficient public transportation system, affordable accommodation, connectivity through airlines, and a wide range of food options are some of the reasons for the popularity of these cities among medical tourists. Johannesburg’s public and private healthcare sectors work in coordination with South Africa's medical schools to produce internationally recognized medical specialists and the city’s medical care quality matches with that of Great Britain.

Is it mandatory to take vaccinations before going to South Africa?

Yes, vaccination is compulsory before visiting South Africa. The vaccines recommended by WHO and the National Travel Health Network and Centre are Rabies and tetanus, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, Yellow fever, hepatitis A. Infants of 6 to 11 months old are at greater risk of contracting measles, so they must get MMR vaccine before travelling to South Africa. It is always recommended that you get typhoid vaccination if you are going to stay with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas of South Africa. It is best to refer to the travel advisory to know in detail about the required vaccines. You can also get in touch with your doctor or the hospital in South Africa for more information on vaccination.