Publications by authors named "Alan H Daniels"

296 Publications

Lateral Thoracolumbar Listhesis as an Independent Predictor of Disability in Adult Scoliosis Patients: Multivariable Assessment Before and After Surgical Realignment.

Neurosurgery 2021 Sep 11. Epub 2021 Sep 11.

Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Background: Lateral (ie, coronal) vertebral listhesis may contribute to disability in adult scoliosis patients.

Objective: To assess for a correlation between lateral listhesis and disability among patients with adult scoliosis.

Methods: This was a retrospective multi-center analysis of prospectively collected data. Patients eligible for a minimum of 2-yr follow-up and with coronal plane deformity (defined as maximum Cobb angle ≥20º) were included (n = 724). Outcome measures were Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and leg pain numeric scale rating. Lateral thoracolumbar listhesis was measured as the maximum vertebral listhesis as a percent of the superior endplate across T1-L5 levels. Linear and logistic regression was utilized, as appropriate. Multivariable analyses adjusted for demographics, comorbidities, surgical invasiveness, maximum Cobb angle, and T1-PA. Minimally clinically important difference (MCID) in ODI was defined as 12.8.

Results: In total, 724 adult patients were assessed. The mean baseline maximum lateral thoracolumbar listhesis was 18.3% (standard deviation 9.7%). The optimal statistical grouping for lateral listhesis was empirically determined to be none/mild (<6.7%), moderate (6.7-15.4%), and severe (≥15.4%). In multivariable analysis, listhesis of moderate and severe vs none/mild was associated with worse baseline ODI (none/mild = 33.7; moderate = 41.6; severe = 43.9; P < .001 for both comparisons) and leg pain NSR (none/mild = 2.9, moderate = 4.0, severe = 5.1, P < .05). Resolution of severe lateral listhesis to none/mild was independently associated with increased likelihood of reaching MCID in ODI at 2 yr postoperatively (odds ratio 2.1 95% confidence interval 1.2-3.7, P = .0097).

Conclusion: Lateral thoracolumbar listhesis is associated with worse baseline disability among adult scoliosis patients. Resolution of severe lateral listhesis following deformity correction was independently associated with increased likelihood of reaching MCID in ODI at 2-yr follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyab356DOI Listing
September 2021

Transforaminal 360° lumbar endoscopic foraminotomy in postfusion patients: technical note and case series.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Sep 10:1-7. Epub 2021 Sep 10.

3Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island.

Objective: This report describes a minimally invasive lumbar foraminotomy technique that can be applied in patients who underwent complex spine decompression procedures or in patients with severe foraminal stenosis.

Methods: Awake, endoscopic decompression surgery was performed in 538 patients over a 5-year period between 2014 and 2019. Transforaminal endoscopic foraminal decompression surgery using a high-speed endoscopic drill was performed in 34 patients who had previously undergone fusions at the treated level.

Results: At 2-year follow-up, the mean (± SD) preoperative visual analog scale score for leg pain and the Oswestry Disability Index improved from 7.1 (± 1.5) and 40.1% (± 12.1%) to 2.1 (± 1.9) and 13.6% (± 11.1%).

Conclusions: A minimally invasive, awake procedure is presented for the treatment of severe lumbar foraminal stenosis in patients with lumbar radiculopathy after lumbar fusion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.3.SPINE21206DOI Listing
September 2021

Evaluation and management of Cauda Equina Syndrome.

Am J Med 2021 Aug 30. Epub 2021 Aug 30.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI. Electronic address:

Cauda equina syndrome is a potentially devastating spinal condition. The diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome lacks sensitivity and specificity, sometimes occurring after irreparable neurological damage has happened. Timely diagnosis and treatment is imperative for optimal outcomes and in avoiding medicolegal ramifications. Cauda equina syndrome results from conditions that compress the nerves in the lumbosacral spinal canal. While no consensus definition exists, it generally presents with varying degrees of sensory loss, motor weakness, and bowel/bladder dysfunction (the latter of which is required to definitively establish the diagnosis). A thorough history and physical exam is imperative, followed by MRI or CT myelogram to aid in diagnosis and treatment. Once suspected, emergent spinal surgery referral is indicated, along with urgent decompression. Even with expeditious surgery, improvements remain inconsistent. However, early intervention has been shown to portend greater chance of neurologic recovery. All providers in clinical practice must understand the severity of this condition. Providers can optimize long term patient outcomes and minimize the risk of litigation by open communication, good clinical practice, thorough documentation, and expeditious care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2021.07.021DOI Listing
August 2021

Total Hip Arthroplasty After Hip Arthroscopy Has Increased Complications and Revision Risk.

J Arthroplasty 2021 Aug 4. Epub 2021 Aug 4.

Department of Orthopaedics Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI.

Background: There has been an increase in hip arthroscopy (HA) over the last decade. After HA, some patients may ultimately require a total hip arthroplasty (THA). However, there is a scarcity of research investigating the outcomes in patients undergoing THA with a history of ipsilateral HA.

Methods: The PearlDiver research program (www.pearldiverinc.com) was queried to capture all patients undergoing THA between 2015 and 2020. Propensity matching was performed to match patients undergoing THA with and without a history of ipsilateral THA. Rates of 30-day medical complications, 1-year surgical complications, and THA revision were compared using multivariate logistic regression. Kaplan-Meier analysis was conducted to estimate survival probabilities of each of the groups with patients undergoing THA .

Results: After propensity matching, cohorts of 1940 patients undergoing THA without prior HA and 1940 patients undergoing a THA with prior HA were isolated for analysis. The mean time from HA to THA was 1127 days (standard deviation 858). Patients with a history of ipsilateral HA had an increased risk for dislocation (odds ratio [OR] 1.56, P = .03) and overall decreased implant survival within 4 years of undergoing THA (OR 1.53; P = .05). Furthermore, our data demonstrate the timing of previous HA to be associated with the risk of complications, as illustrated by the increased risk for dislocation (OR 1.75, P = .03), aseptic loosening (OR 2.18, P = .03), and revision surgery at 2 (OR 1.92, P = .02) and 4 years (OR 2.05, P = .01) in patients undergoing THA within 1 year of HA compared twitho patients undergoing THA more than 1 year after HA or with no previous history of HA.

Conclusion: Patients undergoing THA after HA are at an increased risk for surgical complications, as well as the need for revision surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arth.2021.07.020DOI Listing
August 2021

Global coronal decompensation and adult spinal deformity surgery: comparison of upper-thoracic versus lower-thoracic proximal fixation for long fusions.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Aug 27:1-13. Epub 2021 Aug 27.

18Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Objective: Deterioration of global coronal alignment (GCA) may be associated with worse outcomes after adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery. The impact of fusion length and upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) selection on patients with this complication is unclear. The authors' objective was to compare outcomes between long sacropelvic fusion with upper-thoracic (UT) UIV and those with lower-thoracic (LT) UIV in patients with worsening GCA ≥ 1 cm.

Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of a prospective multicenter database of consecutive ASD patients. Index operations involved instrumented fusion from sacropelvis to thoracic spine. Global coronal deterioration was defined as worsening GCA ≥ 1 cm from preoperation to 2-year follow-up.

Results: Of 875 potentially eligible patients, 560 (64%) had complete 2-year follow-up data, of which 144 (25.7%) demonstrated worse GCA at 2-year postoperative follow-up (35.4% of UT patients vs 64.6% of LT patients). At baseline, UT patients were younger (61.6 ± 9.9 vs 64.5 ± 8.6 years, p = 0.008), a greater percentage of UT patients had osteoporosis (35.3% vs 16.1%, p = 0.009), and UT patients had worse scoliosis (51.9° ± 22.5° vs 32.5° ± 16.3°, p < 0.001). Index operations were comparable, except UT patients had longer fusions (16.4 ± 0.9 vs 9.7 ± 1.2 levels, p < 0.001) and operative duration (8.6 ± 3.2 vs 7.6 ± 3.0 hours, p = 0.023). At 2-year follow-up, global coronal deterioration averaged 2.7 ± 1.4 cm (1.9 to 4.6 cm, p < 0.001), scoliosis improved (39.3° ± 20.8° to 18.0° ± 14.8°, p < 0.001), and sagittal spinopelvic alignment improved significantly in all patients. UT patients maintained smaller positive C7 sagittal vertical axis (2.7 ± 5.7 vs 4.7 ± 5.7 cm, p = 0.014). Postoperative 2-year health-related quality of life (HRQL) significantly improved from baseline for all patients. HRQL comparisons demonstrated that UT patients had worse Scoliosis Research Society-22r (SRS-22r) Activity (3.2 ± 1.0 vs 3.6 ± 0.8, p = 0.040) and SRS-22r Satisfaction (3.9 ± 1.1 vs 4.3 ± 0.8, p = 0.021) scores. Also, fewer UT patients improved by ≥ 1 minimal clinically important difference in numerical rating scale scores for leg pain (41.3% vs 62.7%, p = 0.020). Comparable percentages of UT and LT patients had complications (208 total, including 53 reoperations, 77 major complications, and 78 minor complications), but the percentage of reoperated patients was higher among UT patients (35.3% vs 18.3%, p = 0.023). UT patients had higher reoperation rates of rod fracture (13.7% vs 2.2%, p = 0.006) and pseudarthrosis (7.8% vs 1.1%, p = 0.006) but not proximal junctional kyphosis (9.8% vs 8.6%, p = 0.810).

Conclusions: In ASD patients with worse 2-year GCA after long sacropelvic fusion, UT UIV was associated with worse 2-year HRQL compared with LT UIV. This may suggest that residual global coronal malalignment is clinically less tolerated in ASD patients with longer fusion to the proximal thoracic spine. These results may inform operative planning and improve patient counseling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.2.SPINE201938DOI Listing
August 2021

Global coronal decompensation and adult spinal deformity surgery: comparison of upper-thoracic versus lower-thoracic proximal fixation for long fusions.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Aug 27:1-13. Epub 2021 Aug 27.

18Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Objective: Deterioration of global coronal alignment (GCA) may be associated with worse outcomes after adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery. The impact of fusion length and upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) selection on patients with this complication is unclear. The authors' objective was to compare outcomes between long sacropelvic fusion with upper-thoracic (UT) UIV and those with lower-thoracic (LT) UIV in patients with worsening GCA ≥ 1 cm.

Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of a prospective multicenter database of consecutive ASD patients. Index operations involved instrumented fusion from sacropelvis to thoracic spine. Global coronal deterioration was defined as worsening GCA ≥ 1 cm from preoperation to 2-year follow-up.

Results: Of 875 potentially eligible patients, 560 (64%) had complete 2-year follow-up data, of which 144 (25.7%) demonstrated worse GCA at 2-year postoperative follow-up (35.4% of UT patients vs 64.6% of LT patients). At baseline, UT patients were younger (61.6 ± 9.9 vs 64.5 ± 8.6 years, p = 0.008), a greater percentage of UT patients had osteoporosis (35.3% vs 16.1%, p = 0.009), and UT patients had worse scoliosis (51.9° ± 22.5° vs 32.5° ± 16.3°, p < 0.001). Index operations were comparable, except UT patients had longer fusions (16.4 ± 0.9 vs 9.7 ± 1.2 levels, p < 0.001) and operative duration (8.6 ± 3.2 vs 7.6 ± 3.0 hours, p = 0.023). At 2-year follow-up, global coronal deterioration averaged 2.7 ± 1.4 cm (1.9 to 4.6 cm, p < 0.001), scoliosis improved (39.3° ± 20.8° to 18.0° ± 14.8°, p < 0.001), and sagittal spinopelvic alignment improved significantly in all patients. UT patients maintained smaller positive C7 sagittal vertical axis (2.7 ± 5.7 vs 4.7 ± 5.7 cm, p = 0.014). Postoperative 2-year health-related quality of life (HRQL) significantly improved from baseline for all patients. HRQL comparisons demonstrated that UT patients had worse Scoliosis Research Society-22r (SRS-22r) Activity (3.2 ± 1.0 vs 3.6 ± 0.8, p = 0.040) and SRS-22r Satisfaction (3.9 ± 1.1 vs 4.3 ± 0.8, p = 0.021) scores. Also, fewer UT patients improved by ≥ 1 minimal clinically important difference in numerical rating scale scores for leg pain (41.3% vs 62.7%, p = 0.020). Comparable percentages of UT and LT patients had complications (208 total, including 53 reoperations, 77 major complications, and 78 minor complications), but the percentage of reoperated patients was higher among UT patients (35.3% vs 18.3%, p = 0.023). UT patients had higher reoperation rates of rod fracture (13.7% vs 2.2%, p = 0.006) and pseudarthrosis (7.8% vs 1.1%, p = 0.006) but not proximal junctional kyphosis (9.8% vs 8.6%, p = 0.810).

Conclusions: In ASD patients with worse 2-year GCA after long sacropelvic fusion, UT UIV was associated with worse 2-year HRQL compared with LT UIV. This may suggest that residual global coronal malalignment is clinically less tolerated in ASD patients with longer fusion to the proximal thoracic spine. These results may inform operative planning and improve patient counseling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.2.SPINE201938DOI Listing
August 2021

Multicenter assessment of outcomes and complications associated with transforaminal versus anterior lumbar interbody fusion for fractional curve correction.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Aug 20:1-14. Epub 2021 Aug 20.

18Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Objective: Few studies have compared fractional curve correction after long fusion between transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) and anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) for adult symptomatic thoracolumbar/lumbar scoliosis (ASLS). The objective of this study was to compare fractional correction, health-related quality of life (HRQL), and complications associated with L4-S1 TLIF versus those of ALIF as an operative treatment of ASLS.

Methods: The authors retrospectively analyzed a prospective multicenter adult spinal deformity database. Inclusion required a fractional curve ≥ 10°, a thoracolumbar/lumbar curve ≥ 30°, index TLIF or ALIF performed at L4-5 and/or L5-S1, and a minimum 2-year follow-up. TLIF and ALIF patients were propensity matched according to the number and type of interbody fusion at L4-S1.

Results: Of 135 potentially eligible consecutive patients, 106 (78.5%) achieved the minimum 2-year follow-up (mean ± SD age 60.6 ± 9.3 years, 85% women, 44.3% underwent TLIF, and 55.7% underwent ALIF). Index operations had mean ± SD 12.2 ± 3.6 posterior levels, 86.6% of patients underwent iliac fixation, 67.0% underwent TLIF/ALIF at L4-5, and 84.0% underwent TLIF/ALIF at L5-S1. Compared with TLIF patients, ALIF patients had greater cage height (10.9 ± 2.1 mm for TLIF patients vs 14.5 ± 3.0 mm for ALIF patients, p = 0.001) and lordosis (6.3° ± 1.6° for TLIF patients vs 17.0° ± 9.9° for ALIF patients, p = 0.001) and longer operative duration (6.7 ± 1.5 hours for TLIF patients vs 8.9 ± 2.5 hours for ALIF patients, p < 0.001). In all patients, final alignment improved significantly in terms of the fractional curve (20.2° ± 7.0° to 6.9° ± 5.2°), maximum coronal Cobb angle (55.0° ± 14.8° to 23.9° ± 14.3°), C7 sagittal vertical axis (5.1 ± 6.2 cm to 2.3 ± 5.4 cm), pelvic tilt (24.6° ± 8.1° to 22.7° ± 9.5°), and lumbar lordosis (32.3° ± 18.8° to 51.4° ± 14.1°) (all p < 0.05). Matched analysis demonstrated comparable fractional correction (-13.6° ± 6.7° for TLIF patients vs -13.6° ± 8.1° for ALIF patients, p = 0.982). In all patients, final HRQL improved significantly in terms of Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score (42.4 ± 16.3 to 24.2 ± 19.9), physical component summary (PCS) score of the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (32.6 ± 9.3 to 41.3 ± 11.7), and Scoliosis Research Society-22r score (2.9 ± 0.6 to 3.7 ± 0.7) (all p < 0.05). Matched analysis demonstrated worse ODI (30.9 ± 21.1 for TLIF patients vs 17.9 ± 17.1 for ALIF patients, p = 0.017) and PCS (38.3 ± 12.0 for TLIF patients vs 45.3 ± 10.1 for ALIF patients, p = 0.020) scores for TLIF patients at the last follow-up (despite no differences in these parameters at baseline). The rates of total complications were similar (76.6% for TLIF patients vs 71.2% for ALIF patients, p = 0.530), but significantly more TLIF patients had rod fracture (28.6% of TLIF patients vs 7.1% of ALIF patients, p = 0.036). Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that a 1-mm increase in L4-5 TLIF cage height led to a 2.2° reduction in L4 coronal tilt (p = 0.011), and a 1° increase in L5-S1 ALIF cage lordosis led to a 0.4° increase in L5-S1 segmental lordosis (p = 0.045).

Conclusions: Operative treatment of ASLS with L4-S1 TLIF versus ALIF demonstrated comparable mean fractional curve correction (66.7% vs 64.8%), despite use of significantly larger, more lordotic ALIF cages. TLIF cage height had a significant impact on leveling L4 coronal tilt, whereas ALIF cage lordosis had a significant impact on restoration of lumbosacral lordosis. The advantages of TLIF may include reduced operative duration and hospitalization; however, associated HRQL was inferior and more rod fractures were detected in the TLIF patients included in this study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.11.SPINE201915DOI Listing
August 2021

Multicenter assessment of outcomes and complications associated with transforaminal versus anterior lumbar interbody fusion for fractional curve correction.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Aug 20:1-14. Epub 2021 Aug 20.

18Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Objective: Few studies have compared fractional curve correction after long fusion between transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) and anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) for adult symptomatic thoracolumbar/lumbar scoliosis (ASLS). The objective of this study was to compare fractional correction, health-related quality of life (HRQL), and complications associated with L4-S1 TLIF versus those of ALIF as an operative treatment of ASLS.

Methods: The authors retrospectively analyzed a prospective multicenter adult spinal deformity database. Inclusion required a fractional curve ≥ 10°, a thoracolumbar/lumbar curve ≥ 30°, index TLIF or ALIF performed at L4-5 and/or L5-S1, and a minimum 2-year follow-up. TLIF and ALIF patients were propensity matched according to the number and type of interbody fusion at L4-S1.

Results: Of 135 potentially eligible consecutive patients, 106 (78.5%) achieved the minimum 2-year follow-up (mean ± SD age 60.6 ± 9.3 years, 85% women, 44.3% underwent TLIF, and 55.7% underwent ALIF). Index operations had mean ± SD 12.2 ± 3.6 posterior levels, 86.6% of patients underwent iliac fixation, 67.0% underwent TLIF/ALIF at L4-5, and 84.0% underwent TLIF/ALIF at L5-S1. Compared with TLIF patients, ALIF patients had greater cage height (10.9 ± 2.1 mm for TLIF patients vs 14.5 ± 3.0 mm for ALIF patients, p = 0.001) and lordosis (6.3° ± 1.6° for TLIF patients vs 17.0° ± 9.9° for ALIF patients, p = 0.001) and longer operative duration (6.7 ± 1.5 hours for TLIF patients vs 8.9 ± 2.5 hours for ALIF patients, p < 0.001). In all patients, final alignment improved significantly in terms of the fractional curve (20.2° ± 7.0° to 6.9° ± 5.2°), maximum coronal Cobb angle (55.0° ± 14.8° to 23.9° ± 14.3°), C7 sagittal vertical axis (5.1 ± 6.2 cm to 2.3 ± 5.4 cm), pelvic tilt (24.6° ± 8.1° to 22.7° ± 9.5°), and lumbar lordosis (32.3° ± 18.8° to 51.4° ± 14.1°) (all p < 0.05). Matched analysis demonstrated comparable fractional correction (-13.6° ± 6.7° for TLIF patients vs -13.6° ± 8.1° for ALIF patients, p = 0.982). In all patients, final HRQL improved significantly in terms of Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score (42.4 ± 16.3 to 24.2 ± 19.9), physical component summary (PCS) score of the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (32.6 ± 9.3 to 41.3 ± 11.7), and Scoliosis Research Society-22r score (2.9 ± 0.6 to 3.7 ± 0.7) (all p < 0.05). Matched analysis demonstrated worse ODI (30.9 ± 21.1 for TLIF patients vs 17.9 ± 17.1 for ALIF patients, p = 0.017) and PCS (38.3 ± 12.0 for TLIF patients vs 45.3 ± 10.1 for ALIF patients, p = 0.020) scores for TLIF patients at the last follow-up (despite no differences in these parameters at baseline). The rates of total complications were similar (76.6% for TLIF patients vs 71.2% for ALIF patients, p = 0.530), but significantly more TLIF patients had rod fracture (28.6% of TLIF patients vs 7.1% of ALIF patients, p = 0.036). Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that a 1-mm increase in L4-5 TLIF cage height led to a 2.2° reduction in L4 coronal tilt (p = 0.011), and a 1° increase in L5-S1 ALIF cage lordosis led to a 0.4° increase in L5-S1 segmental lordosis (p = 0.045).

Conclusions: Operative treatment of ASLS with L4-S1 TLIF versus ALIF demonstrated comparable mean fractional curve correction (66.7% vs 64.8%), despite use of significantly larger, more lordotic ALIF cages. TLIF cage height had a significant impact on leveling L4 coronal tilt, whereas ALIF cage lordosis had a significant impact on restoration of lumbosacral lordosis. The advantages of TLIF may include reduced operative duration and hospitalization; however, associated HRQL was inferior and more rod fractures were detected in the TLIF patients included in this study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.11.SPINE201915DOI Listing
August 2021

Examination of Adult Spinal Deformity Patients Undergoing Surgery with Implanted Spinal Cord Stimulators and Intrathecal Pumps.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Jul 23. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Department of Orthopaedics, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, RI Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, RI Brown University, Providence, RI Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA Department of Orthopedics, NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital, New York, NY University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA Duke University, Durham, NC Washington University, St. Louis, MO University of California-Davis, Sacramento, CA Norton Leatherman Spine Center, Louisville, KY Scripp's Clinic, La Jolla, CA Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD University of Calgary Spine Program, University of Calgary, Alberta Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Baylor Scoliosis Center, Dallas, TX University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas City, KS Denver International Spine Center, Denver, CO University of California-San Francisco, CA Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Seattle, WA.

Study Design: Retrospective cohort study of a prospectively collected multi-center database of adult spinal deformity (ASD) patients.

Objective: We hypothesized that patients undergoing ASD surgery with and without previous SCS/ITP would exhibit increased complication rates but comparable improvement in HRQOL.

Summary Of Background Data: ASD patients sometimes seek pain management with spinal cord stimulators (SCS) or intrathecal medication pumps (ITP) prior to spinal deformity correction. Few studies have examined outcomes in this patient population.

Methods: Patients undergoing ASD surgery and eligible for 2-year follow-up were included. Pre-operative radiographs were reviewed for the presence of SCS/ITP. Outcomes included complications, ODI, SF-36 MCS, and SRS-22r. Propensity score matching was utilized.

Results: In total, out of 1,034 eligible ASD patients, a propensity score-matched cohort of 60 patients (30 with SCS/ITP, 30 controls) was developed. SCS/ITP were removed intra-operatively in most patients (56.7%, n = 17). The overall complication rate was 80.0% versus 76.7% for SCS/ITP versus control (p > 0.2), with similarly non-significant differences for intraoperative and infection complications (all p > 0.2). ODI was significantly higher among patients with SCS/ITP at baseline (59.2 versus 47.6, p = 0.0057) and at 2-year follow-up (44.4 versus 27.7, p = 0.0295). The magnitude of improvement, however, did not significantly differ (p = 0.45). Similar results were observed for SRS-22r pain domain. Satisfaction did not differ between groups at either baseline or follow-up (p > 0.2). No significant difference was observed in the proportion of patients with SCS/ITP versus control reaching MCID in ODI (47.6% versus 60.9%, p = 0.38). Narcotic usage was more common among patients with SCS/ITP at both baseline and follow-up (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: ASD patients undergoing surgery with SCS/ITP exhibited worse preoperative and post-operative ODI and SRS-22r pain domain; however, the mean improvement in outcome scores was not significantly different from patients without stimulators or pumps. No significant differences in complications were observed between patients with versus without SCS/ITP.Level of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000004176DOI Listing
July 2021

Risk Factors for Failure After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in a Pediatric Population: A Prediction Algorithm.

Orthop J Sports Med 2021 Mar 24;9(3):2325967121991165. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rhode Island Hospital and Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

Background: Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) in pediatric patients is becoming increasingly common. There is growing yet limited literature on the risk factors for revision in this demographic.

Purpose: To (1) determine the rate of pediatric revision ACLR in a nationally representative sample, (2) ascertain the associated patient- and injury-specific risk factors for revision ACLR, and (3) examine the differences in the rate and risks of revision ACLR between pediatric and adult patients.

Study Design: Case-control study; Level of evidence, 3.

Methods: The PearlDiver patient record database was used to identify adult patients (age ≥20 years) and pediatric patients (age <20 years) who underwent primary ACLR between 2010 and 2015. At 5 years postoperatively, the risk of revision ACLR was compared between the adult and pediatric groups. ACLR to the contralateral side was also compared. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the significant risk factors for revision ACLR and the overall reoperation rates in pediatric and adult patients; from these risk factors, an algorithm was developed to predict the risk of revision ACLR in pediatric patients.

Results: Included were 2055 pediatric patients, 1778 adult patients aged 20 to 29 years, and 1646 adult patients aged 30 to 39 years who underwent ACLR. At 5 years postoperatively, pediatric patients faced a higher risk of revision surgery when compared with adults (18.0 % vs 9.2% [adults 20-29 years] and 7.1% [adults 30-39 years]; < .0001), with significantly decreased survivorship of the index ACLR ( < .0001; log-rank test). Pediatric patients were also at higher risk of undergoing contralateral ACLR as compared with adults (5.8% vs 1.6% [adults 20-29 years] and 1.9% [adults 30-39 years]; < .0001). Among the pediatric cohort, boys (odds ratio [OR], 0.78; 95% CI, 0.63-0.96; = .0204) and patients >14 years old (OR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.45-0.86; = .0035) had a decreased risk of overall reoperation; patients undergoing concurrent meniscal repair (OR, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.43-2.38; < .0001) or meniscectomy (OR, 2.20; 95% CI, 1.72-2.82; < .0001) had an increased risk of revision surgery. According to the risk algorithm, the highest probability for revision ACLR was in girls <15 years old with concomitant meniscal and medial collateral ligament injury (36% risk of revision).

Conclusion: As compared with adults, pediatric patients had an increased likelihood of revision ACLR, contralateral ACLR, and meniscal reoperation within 5 years of an index ACLR. Families of pediatric patients-especially female patients, younger patients, and those with concomitant medial collateral ligament and meniscal injuries-should be counseled on such risks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2325967121991165DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8226238PMC
March 2021

Redefining cervical spine deformity classification through novel cutoffs: An assessment of the relationship between radiographic parameters and functional neurological outcomes.

J Craniovertebr Junction Spine 2021 Apr-Jun;12(2):157-164. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Department of Spine Surgery, Denver International Spine Center, Presbyterian St. Luke's/Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, Denver, Colorado, USA.

Purpose: The aim is to investigate the relationship between cervical parameters and the modified Japanese Orthopedic Association scale (mJOA).

Materials And Methods: Surgical adult cervical deformity (CD) patients were included in this retrospective analysis. After determining data followed a parametric distribution through the Shapiro-Wilk Normality ( = 0.15, > 0.05), Pearson correlations were run for radiographic parameters and mJOA. For significant correlations, logistic regressions were performed to determine a threshold of radiographic measures for which the correlation with mJOA scores was most significant. mJOA score of 14 and <12 reported cut-off values for moderate (M) and severe (S) disability. New modifiers were compared to an existing classification using Spearman's rho and logistic regression analyses to predict outcomes up to 2 years.

Results: A total of 123 CD patients were included (60.5 years, 65%F, 29.1 kg/m). For significant baseline factors from Pearson correlations, the following thresholds were predicted: MGS (M:-12 to-9° and 0°-19°, = 0.020; S: >19° and <-12°, χ= 4.291, = 0.036), TS-CL (M: 26°to 45°, = 0.201; S: >45°, χ= 7.8, = 0.005), CL (M:-21° to 3°, χ= 8.947, = 0.004; S: <-21°, χ= 9.3, = 0.009), C2-T3 (M: -35° to -25°, χ= 5.485, = 0.046; S: <-35°, χ= 4.1, = 0.041), C2 Slope (M: 33° to 49°, = 0.122; S: >49°, χ= 5.7, = 0.008), and Frailty (Mild: 0.18-0.27, = 0.129; Severe: >0.27, = 0.002). Compared to existing Ames- International Spine Study Group classification, the novel thresholds demonstrated significant predictive value for reoperation and mortality up to 2 years.

Conclusions: Collectively, these radiographic values can be utilized in refining existing classifications and developing collective understanding of severity and surgical targets in corrective surgery for adult CD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/jcvjs.jcvjs_22_21DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8214235PMC
June 2021

Defining a Surgical Invasiveness Threshold for Increased Risk of a Major Complication Following Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Jul;46(14):931-938

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.

Study Design: Retrospective review.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to define a surgical invasiveness threshold that predicts major complications after adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery; use this threshold to categorize patients into quartiles by invasiveness; and determine the odds of major complications by quartile.

Summary Of Background Data: Understanding the relationship between surgical invasiveness and major complications is important for estimating the likelihood of major complications after ASD surgery.

Methods: Using a multicenter database, we identified 574 ASD patients (more than 5 levels fused; mean age, 60 ± 15 years) with minimum 2-year follow-up. Invasiveness was calculated as the ASD Surgical and Radiographic (ASD-SR) score. Youden index was used to identify the invasiveness score cut-off associated with optimal sensitivity and specificity for predicting major complications. Resulting high- and low-invasiveness groups were divided in half to create quartiles. Odds of developing a major complication were analyzed for each quartile using logistic regression (alpha = 0.05).

Results: The ASD-SR cutoff score that maximally predicted major complications was 90 points. ASD-SR quartiles were 0 to 65 (Q1), 66 to 89 (Q2), 90 to 119 (Q3), and ≥120 (Q4). Risk of a major complication was 17% in Q1, 21% in Q2, 35% in Q3, and 33% in Q4 (P < 0.001). Comparisons of adjacent quartiles showed an increase in the odds of a major complication from Q2 to Q3 (odds ratio [OR] 1.8; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.0-3.0), but not from Q1 to Q2 or from Q3 to Q4. Patients with ASD-SR scores ≥90 were 1.9 times as likely to have a major complication than patients with scores <90 (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.3-2.9). Mean ASD-SR scores above and below 90 points were 121 ± 25 and 63 ± 17, respectively.

Conclusion: The odds of major complications after ASD surgery are significantly greater when the procedure has an ASD-SR score ≥90. ASD-SR score can be used to counsel patients regarding these increased odds.Level of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003949DOI Listing
July 2021

Temporal and Geographic Trends in Medicare Reimbursement of Primary and Revision Shoulder Arthroplasty: 2000 to 2020.

J Am Acad Orthop Surg 2021 Jun 18. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Brown University/Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Providence, RI (Testa, Li, Gil, Daniels, Paxton), and the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, Phoenix, AZ (Haglin, Moore).

Introduction: A comprehensive understanding of the trends for financial reimbursement of shoulder arthroplasty is important as progress is made toward achieving sustainable payment models in orthopaedics. This study analyzes Medicare reimbursement trends for shoulder arthroplasty. We hypothesize that Medicare reimbursement has decreased for shoulder arthroplasty procedures from 2000 to 2020 and that revision procedures have experienced greater decreases in reimbursement.

Methods: The Physician Fee Schedule Look-Up Tool from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services was queried for each Current Procedural Terminology code used in shoulder arthroplasty, and physician reimbursement data were extracted. All monetary data were adjusted for inflation to 2020 US dollars. Both the average annual and the total percentage change in surgeon reimbursement were calculated based on these adjusted trends for all included procedures. Mean percentage change in adjusted reimbursement among primary procedures in comparison to revision procedures was calculated. The mean reimbursement was assessed and visually represented by geographic state.

Results: The average reimbursement for all shoulder arthroplasty procedures decreased by 35.5% from 2000 to 2020. Revision total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) experienced the greatest mean decrease (-44.6%), whereas primary TSA (-23.9%) experienced the smallest mean decrease. The adjusted reimbursement rate for all included procedures decreased by an average of 1.8% each year. The mean reimbursement for revision procedures decreased more than the mean reimbursement for primary procedures (-41.1% for revision, -29.9% for primary; P < 0.001). The mean reimbursement for TSA in 2020, and the percent change in reimbursement from 2000 to 2020, varied by state.

Discussion: Medicare reimbursement for shoulder arthroplasty procedures has decreased from 2000 to 2020, with revision procedures experiencing the greatest decrease. Increased awareness and consideration of these trends will be important as healthcare reform evolves, and reimbursements for large joint arthroplasty are routinely adjusted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5435/JAAOS-D-20-01369DOI Listing
June 2021

Artificial intelligence clustering of adult spinal deformity sagittal plane morphology predicts surgical characteristics, alignment, and outcomes.

Eur Spine J 2021 Aug 15;30(8):2157-2166. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Alpert Medical School, Providence, Rhode Island, 1 Kettle Point Avenue, East Providence, RI, 02914, USA.

Purpose: AI algorithms have shown promise in medical image analysis. Previous studies of ASD clusters have analyzed alignment metrics-this study sought to complement these efforts by analyzing images of sagittal anatomical spinopelvic landmarks. We hypothesized that an AI algorithm would cluster preoperative lateral radiographs into groups with distinct morphology.

Methods: This was a retrospective review of a multicenter, prospectively collected database of adult spinal deformity. A total of 915 patients with adult spinal deformity and preoperative lateral radiographs were included. A 2 × 3, self-organizing map-a form of artificial neural network frequently employed in unsupervised classification tasks-was developed. The mean spine shape was plotted for each of the six clusters. Alignment, surgical characteristics, and outcomes were compared.

Results: Qualitatively, clusters C and D exhibited only mild sagittal plane deformity. Clusters B, E, and F, however, exhibited marked positive sagittal balance and loss of lumbar lordosis. Cluster A had mixed characteristics, likely representing compensated deformity. Patients in clusters B, E, and F disproportionately underwent 3-CO. PJK and PJF were particularly prevalent among clusters A and E. Among clusters B and F, patients who experienced PJK had significantly greater positive sagittal balance than those who did not.

Conclusions: This study clustered preoperative lateral radiographs of ASD patients into groups with highly distinct overall spinal morphology and association with sagittal alignment parameters, baseline HRQOL, and surgical characteristics. The relationship between SVA and PJK differed by cluster. This study represents significant progress toward incorporation of computer vision into clinically relevant classification systems in adult spinal deformity.

Level Of Evidence Iv: Diagnostic: individual cross-sectional studies with the consistently applied reference standard and blinding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00586-021-06799-zDOI Listing
August 2021

Effect of age-adjusted alignment goals and distal inclination angle on the fate of distal junctional kyphosis in cervical deformity surgery.

J Craniovertebr Junction Spine 2021 Jan-Mar;12(1):65-71. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Background: Age-adjusted alignment targets in the context of distal junctional kyphosis (DJK) development have yet to be investigated. Our aim was to assess age-adjusted alignment targets, reciprocal changes, and role of lowest instrumented level orientation in DJK development in cervical deformity (CD) patients.

Methods: CD patients were evaluated based on lowest fused level: cervical (C7 or above), upper thoracic (UT: T1-T6), and lower thoracic (LT: T7-T12). Age-adjusted alignment targets were calculated using published formulas for sagittal vertical axis (SVA), pelvic incidence-lumbar lordosis (PI-LL), pelvic tilt (PT), T1 pelvic angle (TPA), and LL-thoracic kyphosis (TK). Outcome measures were cervical and global alignment parameters: Cervical SVA (cSVA), cervical lordosis, C2 slope, C2-T3 angle, C2-T3 SVA, TS-CL, PI-LL, PT, and SVA. Subanalysis matched baseline PI to assess age-adjusted alignment between DJK and non-DJK.

Results: Seventy-six CD patients included. By 1Y, 20 patients developed DJK. Non-DJK patients had 27% cervical lowest instrumented vertebra (LIV), 68% UT, and 5% LT. DJK patients had 25% cervical, 50% UT, and 25% LT. There were no baseline or 1Y differences for PI, PI-LL, SVA, TPA, or PT for actual and age-adjusted targets. DJK patients had worse baseline cSVA and more severe 1Y cSVA, C2-T3 SVA, and C2 slope ( < 0.05). The distribution of over/under corrected patients and the offset between actual and ideal alignment for SVA, PT, TPA, PI-LL, and LL-TK were similar between DJK and non-DJK patients. DJK patients requiring reoperation had worse postoperative changes in all cervical parameters and trended toward larger offsets for global parameters.

Conclusion: CD patients with severe baseline malalignment went on to develop postoperative DJK. Age-adjusted alignment targets did not capture differences in these populations, suggesting the need for cervical-specific goals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_170_20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8035585PMC
March 2021

Response to Letter to the Editor "Spinal Navigation Is Not the Same as Robotic Assistance in Surgery".

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Jun;46(12):E701

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000004056DOI Listing
June 2021

Predicting Readmission After Anterior, Posterior, and Posterior Interbody Lumbar Spinal Fusion: A Neural Network Machine Learning Approach.

World Neurosurg 2021 07 18;151:e19-e27. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Readmission after spine surgery is costly and a relatively common occurrence. Previous research identified several risk factors for readmission; however, the conclusions remain equivocal. Machine learning algorithms offer a unique perspective in analysis of risk factors for readmission and can help predict the likelihood of this occurrence. This study evaluated a neural network (NN), a supervised machine learning technique, to determine whether it could predict readmission after 3 lumbar fusion procedures.

Methods: The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database was queried between 2009 and 2018. Patients who had undergone anterior, lateral, and/or posterior lumbar fusion were included in the study. The Python scikit Learn package was used to run the NN algorithm. A multivariate regression was performed to determine risk factors for readmission.

Results: There were 63,533 patients analyzed (12,915 anterior lumbar interbody fusion, 27,212 posterior lumbar interbody fusion, and 23,406 posterior spinal fusion cases). The NN algorithm was able to successfully predict 30-day readmission for 94.6% of anterior lumbar interbody fusion, 94.0% of posterior lumbar interbody fusion, and 92.6% of posterior spinal fusion cases with area under the curve values of 0.64-0.65. Multivariate regression indicated that age >65 years and American Society of Anesthesiologists class >II were linked to increased risk for readmission for all 3 procedures.

Conclusions: The accurate metrics presented indicate the capability for NN algorithms to predict readmission after lumbar arthrodesis. Moreover, the results of this study serve as a catalyst for further research into the utility of machine learning in spine surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.02.114DOI Listing
July 2021

Appropriate Risk Stratification and Accounting for Age-Adjusted Reciprocal Changes in the Thoracolumbar Spine Reduces the Incidence and Magnitude of Distal Junctional Kyphosis in Cervical Deformity Surgery.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Mar 11. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Department of Orthopedics, NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital, New York, NY, USA Department of Orthopedics, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, USA Department of Orthopedic Surgery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rocky Mountain Scoliosis and Spine, Denver, CO Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, USA Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, USA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA San Diego Center for Spinal Disorders, La Jolla, CA, USA Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, CA, USA Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA Department of Neurosurgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective cohort study of a prospective cervical deformity (CD) database.

Objective: Identify factors associated with Distal Junctional Kyphosis (DJK); assess differences across DJK types.

Summary Of Background Data: DJK may develop as compensation for mal-correction of sagittal deformity in the thoracic curve. There is limited understanding of DJK drivers, especially for different DJK types.

Methods: Included: patients with pre- and postoperative clinical/radiographic data. Excluded: patients with previous fusion to L5 or below. DJK was defined per surgeon note or DJK angle (kyphosis from LIV to LIV-2)<-10°, and pre- to postoperative change in DJK angle by<-10°. Age-specific target LL-TK alignment was calculated as published. Offset from target LL-TK was correlated to DJK magnitude and inclination. DJK types: severe (DJK<-20°), progressive (DJK increase>4.4°), symptomatic (reoperation or published disability thresholds of NDI ≥ 24 or mJOA≤14). Random forest identified factors associated with DJK. Means comparison tests assessed differences.

Results: Included: 136 CD patients (61 ± 10yrs, 61%F). DJK rate was 30%. Postop offset from ideal LL-TK correlated with greater DJK angle (r = 0.428) and inclination of the distal end of the fusion construct (r = 0.244, both p < 0.02). Seven of the top 15 factors associated with DJK were radiographic, four surgical, and four clinical. Breakdown by type: severe (22%), progressive (24%), symptomatic (61%). Symptomatic had more posterior osteotomies than asymptomatic (p = 0.018). Severe had worse NDI and upper-cervical deformity (CL, C2 slope, C0-C2), as well as more posterior osteotomies than non-severe (all p < 0.01). Progressive had greater malalignment both globally and in the cervical spine (all p < 0.03) than static. Each type had varying associated factors.

Conclusion: Offset from age-specific alignment is associated with greater DJK and more anterior distal construct inclination, suggesting DJK may develop due to inappropriate realignment. Preoperative clinical and radiographic factors are associated with symptomatic and progressive DJK, suggesting the need for preoperative risk stratification.Level of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000004033DOI Listing
March 2021

Increased Medical and Implant-Related Complications in Total Hip Arthroplasty Patients With Underlying Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

J Arthroplasty 2021 07 10;36(7S):S277-S281.e2. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI.

Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been associated with impaired bone metabolism. The purpose of this study is to investigate rates of readmission, respiratory complications, implant-related complications, and revision after total hip arthroplasty (THA) in patients with and without underlying COPD.

Methods: The PearlDiver Mariners database was used to divide patients undergoing primary THA (CPT-27130) into two cohorts: 1) THA with COPD (including asthma) or 2) THA without COPD. The incidence of 30-day readmission, COPD exacerbation, pneumonia, other respiratory complications as well as dislocations, mechanical loosening, and joint prosthetic infection was calculated through logistic regression. The risk of THA revision was also assessed through Cox-proportional hazards regression. All regression controlled for age, gender, and medical comorbidities found to be associated with COPD.

Results: Between 2010 and 2018, 97,784 THA patients with COPD and 338,243 THA patient without COPD were studied. THA patients with COPD had higher risk of 30-day readmission (aOR = 1.17, 95% CI 1.11-1.23, P < .0001). There was higher risk of 30-day pneumonia (aOR = 2.07, 95% CI 1.76-2.44, P < .0001). THA patients with COPD also faced higher risk of 30-day dislocations (aOR = 1.31, 95% CI 1.19-1.45, P < .0001), joint prosthetic infections (aOR = 1.25, 95% CI 1.14-1.37, P < .0001), and periprosthetic fracture (aOR = 1.19, 95% CI 1.07-1.32, P = .0015). Regarding revisions, 3.3% of THA patients with COPD underwent THA revision at 1 year, a higher risk than THA patients without COPD (aOR = 1.11, 95% CI 1.06-1.16, P < .0001).

Conclusion: Patients undergoing THA with underlying COPD face a higher rate of comorbidities, respiratory complications, implant complications, and revision surgeries, than patients without COPD.

Level Of Evidence: III.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arth.2021.02.011DOI Listing
July 2021

Understanding Health Economics in Spine Surgery.

JBJS Rev 2021 03 5;9(3). Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

»: The United States has faced substantial increases in health-care expenditure, with specifically large increases in spine surgery costs.

»: Many different formulas are utilized to determine value in spine surgery, including cost- benefit analyses, cost-effectiveness analyses, and cost-utility analyses, with the overall determination of value being quality/cost.

»: Quality often is calculated indirectly using either process measures or outcome measures and represents the potential benefit of a given intervention, usually over a specific time period to yield quality-adjusted life years.

»: Costs are particularly difficult to calculate given the interhospital, regional, national, and global variability, as well as indirect costs of an intervention, and many different methods are utilized to estimate costs.

»: Spine surgeons should be familiar with the elements that compose cost-effectiveness and their potential shortcomings in order for providers and health-care policy makers to identify the highest-quality studies and interventions that provide the greatest benefit to patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.RVW.20.00124DOI Listing
March 2021

Malpractice Litigation Involving Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation.

World Neurosurg 2021 05 23;149:e108-e115. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Department of Orthopedics, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

Objective: To evaluate the relationship between chiropractic spinal manipulation and medical malpractice using a legal database.

Methods: The legal database VerdictSearch was queried using the terms "chiropractor" OR "spinal manipulation" under the classification of "Medical Malpractice" between 1988 and 2018. Cases with chiropractors as defendants were identified. Relevant medicolegal characteristics were obtained, including legal outcome (plaintiff/defense verdict, settlement), payment amount, nature of plaintiff claim, and type and location of alleged injury.

Results: Forty-eight cases involving chiropractic management in the United States were reported. Of these, 93.8% (n = 45) featured allegations involving spinal manipulation. The defense (practitioner) was victorious in 70.8% (n = 34) of cases, with a plaintiff (patient) victory in 20.8% (n = 10) (mean payment $658,487 ± $697,045) and settlement in 8.3% (n = 4) (mean payment $596,667 ± $402,534). Overaggressive manipulation was the most frequent allegation (33.3%; 16 cases). A majority of cases alleged neurological injury of the spine as the reason for litigation (66.7%, 32 cases) with 87.5% (28/32) requiring surgery. C5-C6 disc herniation was the most frequently alleged injury (32.4%, 11/34, 83.3% requiring surgery) followed by C6-C7 herniation (26.5%, 9/34, 88.9% requiring surgery). Claims also alleged 7 cases of stroke (14.6%) and 2 rib fractures (4.2%) from manipulation therapy.

Conclusions: Litigation claims following chiropractic care predominately alleged neurological injury with consequent surgical management. Plaintiffs primarily alleged overaggressive treatment, though a majority of trials ended in defensive verdicts. Ongoing analysis of malpractice provides a unique lens through which to view this complicated topic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.02.067DOI Listing
May 2021

Baseline Frailty Status Influences Recovery Patterns and Outcomes Following Alignment Correction of Cervical Deformity.

Neurosurgery 2021 05;88(6):1121-1127

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.

Background: Frailty severity may be an important determinant for impaired recovery after cervical spine deformity (CD) corrective surgery.

Objective: To evaluate postop clinical recovery among CD patients between frailty states undergoing primary procedures.

Methods: Patients >18 yr old undergoing surgery for CD with health-related quality of life (HRQL) data at baseline, 3-mo, and 1-yr postoperative were identified. Patients were stratified by the modified CD frailty index scale from 0 to 1 (no frailty [NF] <0.3, mild/severe fraily [F] >0.3). Patients in NF and F groups were propensity score matched for TS-CL (T1 slope [TS] minus angle between the C2 inferior end plate and the C7 inferior end plate [CL]) to control for baseline deformity. Area under the curve was calculated for follow-up time intervals determining overall normalized, time-adjusted HRQL outcomes; Integrated Health State (IHS) was compared between NF and F groups.

Results: A total of 106 CD patients were included (61.7 yr, 66% F, 27.7 kg/m2)-by frailty group: 52.8% NF, 47.2% F. After propensity score matching for TS-CL (mean: 38.1°), 38 patients remained in each of the NF and F groups. IHS-adjusted HRQL outcomes from baseline to 1 yr showed a significant difference in Euro-Qol 5 Dimension scores (NF: 1.02, F: 1.07, P = .016). No significant differences were found in the IHS Neck Disability Index (NDI) and modified Japanese Orthopedic Association between frailty groups (P > .05). F patients had more postop major complications (31.3%) compared to the NF (8.9%), P = .004, though DJK occurrence and reoperation between the groups was not significant.

Conclusion: While all groups exhibited improved postop disability and pain scores, frail patients experienced greater amount of improvement in overall health state compared to baseline disability. This signifies that with frailty severity, patients have more room for improvement postop compared to baseline quality of life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyab039DOI Listing
May 2021

Surgical outcomes in rigid versus flexible cervical deformities.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Feb 12:1-9. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

13Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, California.

Objective: Cervical deformity (CD) patients have severe disability and poor health status. However, little is known about how patients with rigid CD compare with those with flexible CD. The main objectives of this study were to 1) assess whether patients with rigid CD have worse baseline alignment and therefore require more aggressive surgical corrections and 2) determine whether patients with rigid CD have similar postoperative outcomes as those with flexible CD.

Methods: This is a retrospective review of a prospective, multicenter CD database. Rigid CD was defined as cervical lordosis (CL) change < 10° between flexion and extension radiographs, and flexible CD was defined as a CL change ≥ 10°. Patients with rigid CD were compared with those with flexible CD in terms of cervical alignment and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) at baseline and at multiple postoperative time points. The patients were also compared in terms of surgical and intraoperative factors such as operative time, blood loss, and number of levels fused.

Results: A total of 127 patients met inclusion criteria (32 with rigid and 95 with flexible CD, 63.4% of whom were females; mean age 60.8 years; mean BMI 27.4); 47.2% of cases were revisions. Rigid CD was associated with worse preoperative alignment in terms of T1 slope minus CL, T1 slope, C2-7 sagittal vertical axis (cSVA), and C2 slope (C2S; all p < 0.05). Postoperatively, patients with rigid CD had an increased mean C2S (29.1° vs 22.2°) at 3 months and increased cSVA (47.1 mm vs 37.5 mm) at 1 year (p < 0.05) compared with those with flexible CD. Patients with rigid CD had more posterior levels fused (9.5 vs 6.3), fewer anterior levels fused (1 vs 2.0), greater blood loss (1036.7 mL vs 698.5 mL), more 3-column osteotomies (40.6% vs 12.6%), greater total osteotomy grade (6.5 vs 4.5), and mean osteotomy grade per level (3.3 vs 2.1) (p < 0.05 for all). There were no significant differences in baseline HRQOL scores, the rate of distal junctional kyphosis, or major/minor complications between patients with rigid and flexible CD. Both rigid and flexible CD patients reported significant improvements from baseline to 1 year according to the numeric rating scale for the neck (-2.4 and -2.7, respectively), Neck Disability Index (-8.4 and -13.3, respectively), modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association score (0.1 and 0.6), and EQ-5D (0.01 and 0.05) (p < 0.05). However, HRQOL changes from baseline to 1 year did not differ between rigid and flexible CD patients.

Conclusions: Patients with rigid CD have worse baseline cervical malalignment compared with those with flexible CD but do not significantly differ in terms of baseline disability. Rigid CD was associated with more invasive surgery and more aggressive corrections, resulting in increased operative time and blood loss. Despite more extensive surgeries, rigid CD patients had equivalent improvements in HRQOL compared with flexible CD patients. This study quantifies the importance of analyzing flexion-extension images, creating a prognostic tool for surgeons planning CD correction, and counseling patients who are considering CD surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.8.SPINE191185DOI Listing
February 2021

Parenthood Among Orthopedic Surgery Residents: Assessment of Resident and Program Director Perceptions on Training.

Orthopedics 2021 Mar-Apr;44(2):98-104. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Orthopedic residency training overlaps with common childbearing ages. The purpose of this study was to describe factors affecting male and female residents' family-planning decisions and attitudes of program directors (PDs) toward parenthood during residency. In 2018, using an anonymous survey model, residents and PDs in Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited orthopedic surgery programs were asked about their perceptions of parenthood on training, the availability of family-oriented services at their programs, and the effect of residency culture and policies on their decision to have children. This survey occurred in 2018. Three hundred forty-nine (76.2%) of 458 resident respondents were male and 109 (23.8%) were female. Two hundred four (49.9%) of 409 residents were unsure of their program's parental leave policy. Male residents reported taking an average of 0.8 weeks (95% CI, 0.0-4.0 weeks) of parental leave and females an average of 4.6 weeks (95% CI, 2.0-6.5 weeks) (<.001). Female residents were more likely to report delaying having children during residency (56.73% vs 38.71%, =.001) and were more likely to cite reputational concerns (57.63% vs 0.76%, <.001) and effects on career opportunities (42.37% vs 7.57%, <.001) as reasons for delaying parenthood. The most commonly cited negative effect of parenthood on residency training by PDs was reduction in off-duty educational time (15 of 29, 51.72%). Twenty-four (80%) of 30 PDs believe that training may need to be extended based on amount of maternity/paternity leave time taken off. Although parenthood during orthopedic training is common, both male and female residents reported delaying parenthood because of residency-related factors. Improved clarification of leave policies and establishment of clear guidelines for parenthood in residency may improve resident wellness. [. 2021;44(2):98-104.].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3928/01477447-20210201-08DOI Listing
July 2021

Is Opioid-Limiting Legislation Effective for Hand Surgery Patients?

Hand (N Y) 2021 Feb 3:1558944720988132. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.

Background: The Rhode Island State Legislature passed the in 2016 to limit opioid prescriptions. We aimed to objectively evaluate its effect on opioid prescribing for hand surgery patients and also identify risk factors for prolonged opioid use.

Methods: A 6-month period (January-June 2016) prior to passage of the law was compared with a period following its implementation (July-December 2017). Thumb carpometacarpal arthroplasty and distal radius fracture fixation were classified as "major surgery" and carpal tunnel and trigger finger release as "minor surgery." Prescription Drug Monitoring Database was used to review controlled substances filled during the study periods.

Results: A total of 1380 patients met our inclusion criteria, with 644 and 736 . Patients undergoing "major surgery" saw a significant decrease in the number of pills issued in the first postoperative prescription (41.1 vs 21.0) and a corresponding decrease in morphine milligram equivalents (MMEs) (318.6 vs 159.2 MMEs) after implementation. A 30% decrease in MMEs was also seen in those undergoing "major surgery" in the first 30 days postoperatively (544.7 vs 381.7 MMEs). Risk factors for prolonged opioid use included male sex and preoperative opioid use.

Conclusions: In Rhode Island, opioid-limiting legislation resulted in a significant decrease in the number of pills and MMEs of the initial prescription and a 30% decrease in total MMEs in the 30-day postoperative period after "major hand surgery." Additional research is needed to explore the association between legislation and clinical outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1558944720988132DOI Listing
February 2021

Improving the online presence of residency programs to ameliorate COVID-19's impact on residency applications.

Postgrad Med 2021 May 27;133(4):404-408. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.

: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created several challenges for residency programs and prospective interns alike during the upcoming application cycle, including the cancellation of away sub-internships and in-person interviews. Given prior research documenting that applicants' application and ranking decisions are significantly influenced by residency webpages, a potential solution to the loss of in-person experiences during the pandemic is the expansion of residency programs' online presence through their program websites, provision of virtual grand rounds and pseudo-away rotations, and enhancement of virtual interviews. This study seeks to summarize the existing literature on these areas and provide concrete suggestions for improving programs' virtual presence.: The authors summarize earlier literature querying the content of program websites across 14 medical specialties, which documented significant gaps in the content of interest to applicants.: Among 14 analyzed specialties, the majority of programs had a functional website (>90%), with the exception of interventional radiology (73.9%). However, significant gaps in content were documented, with the percentage of content variables contained on websites ranging from 33.3% to 70.5% (median = 47.0%, interquartile range = 37.8-52.6%). Program websites were also limited by underrepresentation of content most valued by applicants as well as potential areas of inaccurate or outdated information.: There are several interventions programs can undertake to address existing gaps in online presence. During an application cycle facing unprecedented resource strain, bolstering the online presence of programs may facilitate an improved fit between programs and future residents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00325481.2021.1874195DOI Listing
May 2021

Letter to the Editor regarding: "Risk of Postoperative Complications and Revision Surgery Following Robot-assisted Posterior Lumbar Spinal Fusion" by Yang et al.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Mar;46(6):E412

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003874DOI Listing
March 2021

Multicenter assessment of surgical outcomes in adult spinal deformity patients with severe global coronal malalignment: determination of target coronal realignment threshold.

J Neurosurg Spine 2020 Dec 4:1-14. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

18Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, California.

Objective: The impact of global coronal malalignment (GCM; C7 plumb line-midsacral offset) on adult spinal deformity (ASD) treatment outcomes is unclear. Here, the authors' primary objective was to assess surgical outcomes and complications in patients with severe GCM, with a secondary aim of investigating potential surgical target coronal thresholds for optimal outcomes.

Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of a prospective multicenter database. Operative patients with severe GCM (≥ 1 SD above the mean) and a minimum 2-year follow-up were identified. Demographic, surgical, radiographic, health-related quality of life (HRQOL), and complications data were analyzed.

Results: Of 691 potentially eligible operative patients (mean GCM 4 ± 3 cm), 80 met the criteria for severe GCM ≥ 7 cm. Of these, 62 (78%; mean age 63.7 ± 10.7 years, 81% women) had a minimum 2-year follow-up (mean follow-up 3.3 ± 1.1 years). The mean ASD-Frailty Index was 3.9 ± 1.5 (frail), 50% had undergone prior fusion, and 81% had concurrent severe sagittal spinopelvic deformity with GCM and C7-S1 sagittal vertical axis (SVA) positively correlated (r = 0.313, p = 0.015). Surgical characteristics included posterior-only (58%) versus anterior-posterior (42%) approach, mean fusion of 13.2 ± 3.8 levels, iliac fixation (90%), 3-column osteotomy (36%), operative duration of 8.3 ± 3.0 hours, and estimated blood loss of 2.3 ± 1.7 L. Final alignment and HRQOL significantly improved (p < 0.01): GCM, 11 to 4 cm; maximum coronal Cobb angle, 43° to 20°; SVA, 13 to 4 cm; pelvic tilt, 29° to 23°; pelvic incidence-lumbar lordosis mismatch, 31° to 5°; Oswestry Disability Index, 51 to 37; physical component summary of SF-36 (PCS), 29 to 37; 22-Item Scoliosis Research Society Patient Questionnaire (SRS-22r) Total, 2.6 to 3.5; and numeric rating scale score for back and leg pain, 7 to 4 and 5 to 3, respectively. Residual GCM ≥ 3 cm was associated with worse SRS-22r Appearance (p = 0.04) and SRS-22r Satisfaction (p = 0.02). The minimal clinically important difference and/or substantial clinical benefit (MCID/SCB) was met in 43%-83% (highest for SRS-22r Appearance [MCID 83%] and PCS [SCB 53%]). The severity of baseline GCM (≥ 2 SD above the mean) significantly impacted postoperative SRS-22r Satisfaction and MCID/SCB improvement for PCS. No significant partial correlations were demonstrated between GCM or SVA correction and HRQOL improvement. There were 89 total complications (34 minor and 55 major), 45 (73%) patients with ≥ 1 complication (most commonly rod fracture [19%] and proximal junctional kyphosis [PJK; 18%]), and 34 reoperations in 22 (35%) patients (most commonly for rod fracture and PJK).

Conclusions: Study results demonstrated that ASD surgery in patients with substantial GCM was associated with significant radiographic and HRQOL improvement despite high complication rates. MCID improvement was highest for SRS-22r Appearance/Self-Image. A residual GCM ≥ 3 cm was associated with a worse outcome, suggesting a potential coronal realignment target threshold to assist surgical planning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.7.SPINE20606DOI Listing
December 2020

Predicting Postoperative Mortality After Metastatic Intraspinal Neoplasm Excision: Development of a Machine-Learning Approach.

World Neurosurg 2021 02 16;146:e917-e924. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: Mortality following surgical resection of spinal tumors is a devastating outcome. Naïve Bayes machine learning algorithms may be leveraged in surgical planning to predict mortality. In this investigation, we use a Naïve Bayes classification algorithm to predict mortality following spinal tumor excision within 30 days of surgery.

Methods: Patients who underwent laminectomies between 2006 and 2018 for excisions of intraspinal neoplasms were selected from the National Surgical Quality Initiative Program. Naïve Bayes classifier analysis was conducted in Python. The area under the receiver operating curve (AUC) was calculated to evaluate the classifier's ability to predict mortality within 30 days of surgery. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed in R to identify risk factors for 30-day postoperative mortality.

Results: In total, 2094 spine tumor surgery patients were included in the study. The 30-day mortality rate was 5.16%. The classifier yielded an AUC of 0.898, which exceeds the predictive capacity of the National Surgical Quality Initiative Program mortality probability calculator's AUC of 0.722 (P < 0.0001). The multivariable regression indicated that smoking history, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, disseminated cancer, bleeding disorder history, dyspnea, and low albumin levels were strongly associated with 30-day mortality.

Conclusions: The Naïve Bayes classifier may be used to predict 30-day mortality for patients undergoing spine tumor excisions, with an increasing degree of accuracy as the model better performs by learning continuously from the input patient data. Patient outcomes can be improved by identifying high-risk populations early using the algorithm and applying that data to inform preoperative decision making, as well as patient selection and education.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.11.037DOI Listing
February 2021
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