Do spine patients prefer hospitals or ASCs?


The number of spinal procedures performed in the ASC setting is on the rise, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to 2022 data from Newport Beach, Calif.-based Hoag Orthopedics, more than 190 ASCs in the U.S. now offer minimally invasive spine surgery. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, patients were hesitant to seek out treatment in hospitals for fear of contracting an infection. Spine patients shared this preference, with more opting to undergo procedures in the ASC setting during the pandemic's height, according to a study published by Cureus in 2022. 

The small study surveyed 58 patients who were candidates for elective lumbar and cervical spinal surgery between September 2021 and February 2022. The survey measured patients' age, gender, vaccination status, fear of contracting COVID-19 and preference of surgical location.

Of the patients surveyed, 30 said they would prefer to undergo a spine operation in the ASC setting, while 28 said they would prefer to undergo surgery in a hospital setting. 

The patients who preferred to undergo surgery in the ASC setting also reported a higher fear of contracting COVID-19.

Males were more likely to want to undergo a procedure in the hospital setting, but they also had lower fear rates of contracting COVID-19 and lower vaccination rates.

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