Musculoskeletal Conditions Treated Without Surgery, Faster Recovery, and Lower Costs

By Caroline Kilgore

Musculoskeletal conditions are highly prevalent worldwide and are the leading contributor for rehabilitation in America. Nearly one in two Americans over the age of 18 – 126 million people – have a musculoskeletal disorder. For employees, musculoskeletal conditions can significantly limit mobility and dexterity, leading to an increase in lost workdays, early retirement, and lower levels of well-being. Additionally, musculoskeletal conditions and pain have proven to increase the risk of developing other noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease and mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.


For employers and brokers, those tasked with protecting the workforce, treatment of these conditions is extremely important as they can worsen overtime and become largely disabling; however, covering musculoskeletal disorders is costly. Musculoskeletal disorders account for 15-20% of health plan spending, 7.5-10% of that being for elective surgeries. While musculoskeletal conditions can be avoided and treated in a variety of ways including preventative measures, physical therapy/rehabilitation, and chiropractic adjustment, sometimes these methods just aren’t enough, and many find themselves resorting to surgery. Majority of musculoskeletal surgeries require significant recovery time off from work, prescription pain medication use, and heavy physical rehabilitation. Additionally, employers often find themselves covering costs for additional care following surgical recovery to further alleviate their employee’s symptoms. Because of the cost and risk of surgery, employers and brokers should seek alternative treatment methods to offer their employees. 


Many healthcare providers recognize the overwhelming expense of musculoskeletal surgery and have created innovative, nonsurgical benefits solutions to address the need for further care when conventional treatments such as physical therapy and over-the-counter medications just aren’t enough. Companies like Regenexx, which provides a needle based orthopedic surgery alternative, are leading the path to address this issue. 


Mark Testa, DC, MHA, Executive Vice President of Regenexx writes, “Our value prop to help employers reduce the need for up to 70% of elective orthopedic surgeries, cost, missed work, rehab, and opioid use. We provide an option in care when conservative therapies like PT, medication, and steroid injections are no longer helpful and before surgery.” Not only does Regenexx offer significant savings opportunities but aims to get employees back to their daily lives much faster than surgical recovery. Take a look at Regenexx versus surgical treatment of some common musculoskeletal conditions: 


Spine Surgery

Complications occur in 36% of surgical fusion patients and 76% still require narcotics for pain following their recovery from surgery. Surgical patients also miss three times as much work as surgical recovery can take 2-3 months. On the other hand, recovery from Interventional Orthopedic by Regenexx is just a matter of days. Regenexx treatment is minimally invasive and has less than a 0.1% risk for complications. Additionally, Regenexx spine treatment offers up to a 70% cost savings compared to the Health Care Blue Book Fair Market Cost for spinal surgery.



Torn Rotator Cuff

Rotator cuff surgery recovery time is extensive and can take anywhere for six months to a year to completely heal with return to work about six weeks. Return to work with Regenexx is again days, not weeks or months, and recovery from Regenexx rotator cuff treatment is a matter of weeks rather than months or years.


Cost savings offered by Regenexx are significant as they do not require the use of general anesthesia or extensive physical therapy, and it comes with no PEPM for the plan sponsor; cost is only incurred when used.


As the only national physician network offering these services, Regenexx works with employers in all 50 states who are looking to reduce costs while attracting and retaining employees. Musculoskeletal disorders are extremely common and can keep employees from feeling and doing their best. Considering nonsurgical solutions not only helps employers and brokers be more cost effective and innovative but provides their employees with practical and less taxing relief. 


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