Health care expenditures are substantially increasing within the last two decades prompting the imperative need for economic evaluations in health care. Historically, economic evaluations in health care have been carried out by four approaches: (1) the human-capital approach (HCA), (2) cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA), (3) cost-utility analysis (CUA) and (4) cost-benefit analysis (CBA). While the HCA cannot be recommended because of methodological shortcomings, CEA and CUA have been used frequently in healthcare. In CEA, costs are measured in monetary terms and health effects are measured in a non-monetary unit, e.g. number of successfully treated patients. In an attempt to develop an effectiveness measure that incorporates effects on both quantity and quality of life, so-called Quality Adjusted Life Years (QUALYs) were introduced. Contingent valuation surveys are used in cost-benefit analyses (CBA) to elicit the consumer's monetary valuations for program benefits by applying the willingness-to-pay approach. A distinguished feature of CBA is that costs and benefits are expressed in the same units of value, i.e. money. Only recently, economic evaluations have started to explore various spinal interventions particularly the very expensive fusion operations. While most of the studies used CEA or CUA approaches, CBAs are still rare. Most studies fail to show that sophisticated spinal interventions are more cost-effective than conventional treatments. In spite of the lack of therapeutic or cost-effectiveness for most spinal surgeries, there is rapidly growing spinal implant market demonstrating market imperfection and information asymmetry. A change can only be anticipated when physicians start to focus on the improvement of health care quality as documented by outcome research and economic evaluations of cost-effectiveness and net benefits.