Spine surgery shouldn't be expensive but large out of pocket gap payments exist for reasons that are not really under our control. Firstly, most spine surgery these days involves a number of small operations, using different incisions, performed under the same anaesthetic or on different days. Most patients do not know this but whenever a surgeon performs a second incision / surgery the rebate from Medicare drops to 50% and sometimes 25%. Surgeons are simply not able to work for 25% of a government rebate fee. Secondly the recent freeze on rebate fees for 4 years or more has led to a complete inability to not charge a gap payment.