Journal of Neurosurgery Spine
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Published By Journal Of Neurosurgery Publishing Group

1547-5646, 1547-5654

2022 ◽  
pp. 1-9

OBJECTIVE The traditional anterior approach for multilevel severe cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) is demanding and risky. Recently, a novel surgical procedure—anterior controllable antedisplacement and fusion (ACAF)—was introduced by the authors to deal with these problems and achieve better clinical outcomes. However, to the authors’ knowledge, the immediate and long-term biomechanical stability obtained after this procedure has never been evaluated. Therefore, the authors compared the postoperative biomechanical stability of ACAF with those of more traditional approaches: anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) and anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion (ACCF). METHODS To determine and assess pre- and postsurgical range of motion (ROM) (2 Nm torque) in flexion-extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation in the cervical spine, the authors collected cervical areas (C1–T1) from 18 cadaveric spines. The cyclic fatigue loading test was set up with a 3-Nm cycled load (2 Hz, 3000 cycles). All samples used in this study were randomly divided into three groups according to surgical procedures: ACDF, ACAF, and ACCF. The spines were tested under the following conditions: 1) intact state flexibility test; 2) postoperative model (ACDF, ACAF, ACCF) flexibility test; 3) cyclic loading (n = 3000); and 4) fatigue model flexibility test. RESULTS After operations were performed on the cadaveric spines, the segmental and total postoperative ROM values in all directions showed significant reductions for all groups. Then, the ROMs tended to increase during the fatigue test. No significant crossover effect was detected between evaluation time and operation method. Therefore, segmental and total ROM change trends were parallel among the three groups. However, the postoperative and fatigue ROMs in the ACCF group tended to be larger in all directions. No significant differences between these ROMs were detected in the ACDF and ACAF groups. CONCLUSIONS This in vitro biomechanical study demonstrated that the biomechanical stability levels for ACAF and ACDF were similar and were both significantly greater than that of ACCF. The clinical superiority of ACAF combined with our current results showed that this procedure is likely to be an acceptable alternative method for multilevel cervical OPLL treatment.

2022 ◽  
pp. 1-8

OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to compare perioperative complications and postoperative outcomes between patients with lumbar recurrent stenosis without lumbar instability and radiculopathy who underwent decompression surgery and those who underwent decompression with fusion surgery. METHODS For this retrospective study, the authors identified 2606 consecutive patients who underwent posterior surgery for lumbar spinal canal stenosis at eight affiliated hospitals between April 2017 and June 2019. Among these patients, those with a history of prior decompression surgery and central canal restenosis with cauda equina syndrome were included in the study. Those patients with instability or radiculopathy were excluded. The patients were divided between the decompression group and decompression with fusion group. The demographic characteristics, numerical rating scale score for low-back pain, incidence rates of lower-extremity pain and lower-extremity numbness, Oswestry Disability Index score, 3-level EQ-5D score, and patient satisfaction rate were compared between the two groups using the Fisher’s exact probability test for nominal variables and the Student t-test for continuous variables, with p < 0.05 as the level of statistical significance. RESULTS Forty-six patients met the inclusion criteria (35 males and 11 females; 19 patients underwent decompression and 27 decompression and fusion; mean ± SD age 72.5 ± 8.8 years; mean ± SD follow-up 18.8 ± 6.0 months). Demographic data and perioperative complication rates were similar. The percentages of patients who achieved the minimal clinically important differences for patient-reported outcomes or satisfaction rate at 1 year were similar. CONCLUSIONS Among patients with central canal stenosis who underwent revision, the short-term outcomes of the patients who underwent decompression were comparable to those of the patients who underwent decompression and fusion. Decompression surgery may be effective for patients without instability or radiculopathy.

2022 ◽  
pp. 1-7

OBJECTIVE The authors’ objective was to investigate whether sagittal balance improves in patients with spinal stenosis after decompression alone. METHODS This prospective longitudinal cohort study compared preoperative and 6-month postoperative 36-inch full-length radiographs in patients aged older than 60 years. Patients underwent decompression alone for central lumbar spinal stenosis with either a minimally invasive bilateral laminotomy for central decompression, unilateral laminectomy as an over-the-top procedure for bilateral decompression, or traditional wide laminectomy with removal of the spinous processes on both sides. The following radiographic parameters were measured: sagittal vertical axis (SVA), lumbar lordosis (LL), pelvic tilt (PT), pelvic incidence (PI), PI-LL mismatch, coronal Cobb angle, and sacral slope (SS). Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) were collected, including scores on the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), visual analog scale (VAS) for leg and back pain, and EQ-5D. RESULTS Forty-five patients (24 males) with a mean ± SD age of 71.8 ± 5.6 years were included. Sagittal balance showed statistically significant improvement, with the mean SVA decreasing from 52.3 mm preoperatively to 33.9 mm postoperatively (p = 0.0001). The authors found an increase in LL, from mean −41.5° preoperatively to −43.9° postoperatively, but this was not statistically significant (p = 0.055). A statistically significant decrease in PI-LL mismatch from mean 8.4° preoperatively to 5.8° postoperatively was found (p = 0.002). All PROM scores showed significant improvement after spinal decompression surgery. The correlations between SVA and all PROMs were statistically significant at both preoperative and postoperative time points, although most correlations were weak except for those between preoperative SVA and ODI (r = 0.55) and between SVA and VAS for leg pain (r = 0.58). CONCLUSIONS Sagittal balance and PROMs show improvement at short-term follow-up evaluations in patients who have undergone decompression alone for lumbar spinal stenosis.

2021 ◽  
pp. 1-9
Travis Hamilton ◽  
Mohamed Macki ◽  
Seok Yoon Oh ◽  
Michael Bazydlo ◽  
Lonni Schultz ◽  

OBJECTIVE Socioeconomic factors have been shown to impact a host of healthcare-related outcomes. Level of education is a marker of socioeconomic status. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between patient education level and outcomes after elective lumbar surgery and to characterize any education-related disparities. METHODS The Michigan Spine Surgery Improvement Collaborative registry was queried for all lumbar spine operations. Primary outcomes included patient satisfaction determined by the North American Spine Society patient satisfaction index, and reaching the minimum clinically important difference of Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System Physical Function score and return to work up to 2 years after surgery. Multivariate Poisson generalized estimating equation models reported adjusted risk ratios. RESULTS A total of 26,229 lumbar spine patients had data available for inclusion in this study. On multivariate generalized estimating equation analysis all comparisons were done versus the high school (HS)/general equivalency development (GED)–level cohort. For North American Spine Society satisfaction scores after surgery the authors observed the following: at 90 days the likelihood of satisfaction significantly decreased by 11% (p < 0.001) among < HS, but increased by 1% (p = 0.52) among college-educated and 3% (p = 0.011) among postcollege-educated cohorts compared to the HS/GED cohort; at 1 year there was a decrease of 9% (p = 0.02) among < HS and increases of 3% (p = 0.02) among college-educated and 9% (p < 0.001) among postcollege-educated patients; and at 2 years, there was an increase of 5% (p = 0.001) among postcollege-educated patients compared to the < HS group. The likelihood of reaching a minimum clinically important difference of Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System Physical Function score at 90 days increased by 5% (p = 0.005) among college-educated and 9% (p < 0.001) among postcollege-educated cohorts; at 1 year, all comparison cohorts demonstrated significance, with a decrease of 12% (p = 0.007) among < HS, but an increase by 6% (p < 0.001) among college-educated patients and 14% (p < 0.001) among postcollege-educated compared to the HS/GED cohort; at 2 years, there was a significant decrease by 19% (p = 0.003) among the < HS cohort, an increase by 8% (p = 0.001) among the college-educated group, and an increase by 16% (p < 0.001) among the postcollege-educated group. For return to work, a significant increase was demonstrated at 90 days and 1 year when comparing the HS or less group with college or postcollege cohorts. CONCLUSIONS This study demonstrated negative associations on all primary outcomes with lower levels of education. This finding suggests a potential disparity linked to education in elective spine surgery.

OBJECTIVE The challenges of posterior cervical fusions (PCFs) at the cervicothoracic junction (CTJ) are widely known, including the development of adjacent-segment disease by stopping fusions at C7. One solution has been to cross the CTJ (T1/T2) rather than stopping at C7. This approach may have undue consequences, including increased reoperations for symptomatic nonunion (operative nonunion). The authors sought to investigate if there is a difference in operative nonunion in PCFs that stop at C7 versus T1/T2. METHODS A retrospective analysis identified patients from the authors’ spine registry (Kaiser Permanente) who underwent PCFs with caudal fusion levels at C7 and T1/T2. Demographics, diagnoses, operative times, lengths of stay, and reoperations were extracted from the registry. Operative nonunion was adjudicated via chart review. Patients were followed until validated operative nonunion, membership termination, death, or end of study (March 31, 2020). Descriptive statistics and 2-year crude incidence rates and 95% confidence intervals for operative nonunion for PCFs stopping at C7 or T1/T2 were reported. Time-dependent crude and adjusted multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were used to evaluate operative nonunion rates. RESULTS The authors identified 875 patients with PCFs (beginning at C3, C4, C5, or C6) stopping at either C7 (n = 470) or T1/T2 (n = 405) with a mean follow-up time of 4.6 ± 3.3 years and a mean time to operative nonunion of 0.9 ± 0.6 years. There were 17 operative nonunions, and, after adjustment for age at surgery and smoking status, the cumulative incidence rates were similar between constructs stopping at C7 and those that extended to T1/T2 (C7: 1.91% [95% CI 0.88%–3.60%]; T1/T2: 1.98% [95% CI 0.86%–3.85%]). In the crude model and model adjusted for age at surgery and smoking status, no difference in risk for constructs extended to T1/T2 compared to those stopping at C7 was found (adjusted HR 1.09 [95% CI 0.42–2.84], p = 0.86). CONCLUSIONS In one of the largest cohort of patients with PCFs stopping at C7 or T1/T2 with an average follow-up of > 4 years, the authors found no statistically significant difference in reoperation rates for symptomatic nonunion (operative nonunion). This finding shows that there is no added risk of operative nonunion by extending PCFs to T1/T2 or stopping at C7.

2021 ◽  
pp. 1-11

OBJECTIVE The authors sought to investigate clinical and radiological outcomes after thoracic posterior fusion surgery during a minimum of 10 years of follow-up, including postoperative progression of ossification, in patients with thoracic ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (T-OPLL). METHODS The study participants were 34 consecutive patients (15 men, 19 women) with an average age at surgery of 53.6 years (range 36–80 years) who underwent posterior decompression and fusion surgery with instrumentation at the authors’ hospital. The minimum follow-up period was 10 years. Estimated blood loss, operative time, pre- and postoperative Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scores, and JOA score recovery rates were investigated. Dekyphotic changes were evaluated on plain radiographs of thoracic kyphotic angles and fusion levels pre- and postoperatively and 10 years after surgery. The distal junctional angle (DJA) was measured preoperatively and at 10 years after surgery to evaluate distal junctional kyphosis (DJK). Ossification progression at distal intervertebrae was investigated on CT. RESULTS The Cobb angles at T1–12 were 46.8°, 38.7°, and 42.6°, and those at the fusion level were 39.6°, 31.1°, and 34.1° pre- and postoperatively and at 10 years after surgery, respectively. The changes in the kyphotic angles from pre- to postoperatively and to 10 years after surgery were 8.0° and 7.2° at T1–12 and 8.4° and 7.9° at the fusion level, respectively. The DJA changed from 4.5° postoperatively to 10.9° at 10 years after surgery. There were 11 patients (32.3%) with DJK during follow-up, including 4 (11.8%) with vertebral compression fractures at lower instrumented vertebrae or adjacent vertebrae. Progression of ossification of the ligamentum flavum (OLF) on the caudal side occurred in 8 cases (23.6%), but none had ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) progression. Cases with OLF progression had a significantly lower rate of DJK (0% vs 38.5%, p < 0.01), a lower DJA (3.4° vs 13.2°, p < 0.01), and a smaller change in DJA at 10 years after surgery (0.8° vs 8.1°, p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS Posterior decompression and fusion surgery with instrumentation for T-OPLL was found to be a relatively safe and stable surgical procedure based on the long-term outcomes. Progression of OLF on the caudal side occurred in 23.6% of cases, but cases with OLF progression did not have DJK. Progression of DJK shifts the load in the spinal canal forward and the load on the ligamentum flavum is decreased. This may explain the lack of ossification in cases with DJK.

2021 ◽  
pp. 1-9
Marie-Jacqueline Reisener ◽  
Alexander P. Hughes ◽  
Ichiro Okano ◽  
Jiaqi Zhu ◽  
Artine Arzani ◽  

OBJECTIVE Opioid stewardship programs combine clinical, regulatory, and educational interventions to minimize inappropriate opioid use and prescribing for orthopedic and spine surgery. Most evaluations of stewardship programs quantify effects on prescriber behavior, whereas patient-relevant outcomes have been relatively neglected. The authors evaluated the impact of an opioid stewardship program on perioperative opioid consumption, prescribing, and related clinical outcomes after multilevel lumbar fusion. METHODS The study was based on a retrospective, quasi-experimental, pretest-posttest design in 268 adult patients who underwent multilevel lumbar fusion in 2016 (preimplementation, n = 141) or 2019 (postimplementation, n = 127). The primary outcome was in-hospital opioid consumption (morphine equivalent dose [MED], mg). Secondary outcomes included numeric rating scale pain scores (0–10), length of stay (LOS), incidence of opioid-induced side effects (gastrointestinal, nausea/vomiting, respiratory, sedation, cognitive), and preoperative and discharge prescribing. Outcomes were measured continuously during the hospital admission. Differences in outcomes between the epochs were assessed in bivariable (Wilcoxon signed-rank or Fisher’s exact tests) and multivariable (Wald’s chi-square test) analyses. RESULTS In bivariable analyses, there were significant decreases in preoperative opioid use (46% vs 28% of patients, p = 0.002), preoperative opioid prescribing (MED 30 mg [IQR 20–60 mg] vs 20 mg [IQR 11–39 mg], p = 0.003), in-hospital opioid consumption (MED 329 mg [IQR 188–575 mg] vs 199 mg [100–372 mg], p < 0.001), the incidence of any opioid-related side effect (62% vs 50%, p = 0.03), and discharge opioid prescribing (MED 90 mg [IQR 60–135 mg] vs 60 mg [IQR 45–80 mg], p < 0.0001) between 2016 and 2019. There were no significant differences in postanesthesia care unit pain scores (4 [IQR 3–6] vs 5 [IQR 3–6], p = 0.33), nursing floor pain scores (4 [IQR 3–5] vs 4 [IQR 3–5], p = 0.93), or total LOS (118 hours [IQR 81–173 hours] vs 103 hours [IQR 81–132 hours], p = 0.21). On multivariable analysis, the opioid stewardship program was significantly associated with decreased discharge prescribing (Wald’s chi square = 9.45, effect size −52.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] −86 to −19.0, p = 0.002). The number of lumbar levels fused had the strongest effect on total opioid consumption during the hospital stay (Wald’s chi square = 16.53, effect size = 539, 95% CI 279.1 to 799, p < 0.001), followed by preoperative opioid use (Wald’s chi square = 44.04, effect size = 5, 95% CI 4 to 7, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS A significant decrease in perioperative opioid prescribing, consumption, and opioid-related side effects was found after implementation of an opioid stewardship program. These gains were achieved without adverse effects on pain scores or LOS. These results suggest the major impact of opioid stewardship programs for spine surgery may be on changing prescriber behavior.

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