Publications by authors named "Christopher Shaffrey"

581 Publications

Patient outcomes after circumferential minimally invasive surgery compared with those of open correction for adult spinal deformity: initial analysis of prospectively collected data.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Sep 24:1-12. Epub 2021 Sep 24.

1Department of Neurosurgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

Objective: Circumferential minimally invasive spine surgery (cMIS) for adult scoliosis has become more advanced and powerful, but direct comparison with traditional open correction using prospectively collected data is limited. The authors performed a retrospective review of prospectively collected, multicenter adult spinal deformity data. The authors directly compared cMIS for adult scoliosis with open correction in propensity-matched cohorts using health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) measures and surgical parameters.

Methods: Data from a prospective, multicenter adult spinal deformity database were retrospectively reviewed. Inclusion criteria were age > 18 years, minimum 1-year follow-up, and one of the following characteristics: pelvic tilt (PT) > 25°, pelvic incidence minus lumbar lordosis (PI-LL) > 10°, Cobb angle > 20°, or sagittal vertical axis (SVA) > 5 cm. Patients were categorized as undergoing cMIS (percutaneous screws with minimally invasive anterior interbody fusion) or open correction (traditional open deformity correction). Propensity matching was used to create two equal groups and to control for age, BMI, preoperative PI-LL, pelvic incidence (PI), T1 pelvic angle (T1PA), SVA, PT, and number of posterior levels fused.

Results: A total of 154 patients (77 underwent open procedures and 77 underwent cMIS) were included after matching for age, BMI, PI-LL (mean 15° vs 17°, respectively), PI (54° vs 54°), T1PA (21° vs 22°), and mean number of levels fused (6.3 vs 6). Patients who underwent three-column osteotomy were excluded. Follow-up was 1 year for all patients. Postoperative Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) (p = 0.50), Scoliosis Research Society-total (p = 0.45), and EQ-5D (p = 0.33) scores were not different between cMIS and open patients. Maximum Cobb angles were similar for open and cMIS patients at baseline (25.9° vs 26.3°, p = 0.85) and at 1 year postoperation (15.0° vs 17.5°, p = 0.17). In total, 58.3% of open patients and 64.4% of cMIS patients (p = 0.31) reached the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) in ODI at 1 year. At 1 year, no differences were observed in terms of PI-LL (p = 0.71), SVA (p = 0.46), PT (p = 0.9), or Cobb angle (p = 0.20). Open patients had greater estimated blood loss compared with cMIS patients (1.36 L vs 0.524 L, p < 0.05) and fewer levels of interbody fusion (1.87 vs 3.46, p < 0.05), but shorter operative times (356 minutes vs 452 minutes, p = 0.003). Revision surgery rates between the two cohorts were similar (p = 0.97).

Conclusions: When cMIS was compared with open adult scoliosis correction with propensity matching, HRQOL improvement, spinopelvic parameters, revision surgery rates, and proportions of patients who reached MCID were similar between cohorts. However, well-selected cMIS patients had less blood loss, comparable results, and longer operative times in comparison with open patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.3.SPINE201825DOI Listing
September 2021

At What Point Should the Thoracolumbar Region Be Addressed in Patients Undergoing Corrective Cervical Deformity Surgery?

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Oct;46(20):E1113-E1118

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

Study Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of cervical to thoracolumbar ratios on poor outcomes in cervical deformity (CD) corrective surgery.

Summary Of Background Data: Consideration of distal regional and global alignment is a critical determinant of outcomes in CD surgery. For operative CD patients, it is unknown whether certain thoracolumbar parameters play a significant role in poor outcomes and whether addressing such parameters is warranted.

Methods: Included: surgical CD patients (C2-C7 Cobb >10°, cervical lordosis [CL] >10°, C2-C7 sagittal vertical axis (cSVA) >4 cm, or chin-brow vertical angle >25°) with baseline and 1-year data. Patients were assessed for ratios of preop cervical and global parameters including: C2 Slope/T1 slope, T1 slope minus C2-C7 lordosis (TS-CL)/mismatch between pelvic incidence and lumbar lordosis (PI-LL), cSVA/sagittal vertical axis (SVA). Deformity classification ratios of cervical (Ames-ISSG) to spinopelvic (SRS-Schwab) were investigated: cSVA modifier/SVA modifier, TS-CL modifier/PI-LL modifier. Cervical to thoracic ratios included C2-C7 lordosis/T4-T12 kyphosis. Correlations assessed the relationship between ratios and poor outcomes (major complication, reoperation, distal junctional kyphosis (DJK), or failure to meet minimal clinically important difference [MCID]). Decision tree analysis through multiple iterations of multivariate regressions assessed cut-offs for ratios for acquiring suboptimal outcomes.

Results: A total of 110 CD patients were included (61.5 years, 66% F, 28.8 kg/m2). Mean preoperative radiographic ratios calculated: C2 slope/T1 slope of 1.56, TS-CL/PI-LL of 11.1, cSVA/SVA of 5.4, CL/thoracic kyphosis (TK) of 0.26. Ames-ISSG and SRS-Schwab modifier ratios: cSVA/SVA of 0.1 and TS-CL/PI-LL of 0.35. Pearson correlations demonstrated a relationship between major complications and baseline TS-CL/PI-LL, Ames TS-CL/Schwab PI-LL modifiers, and the CL/TK ratios (P < 0.050). Reoperation had significant correlation with TS-CL/PI-LL and cSVA/SVA ratios. Postoperative DJK correlated with C2 slope/T1 slope and CL/TK ratios. Not meeting MCID for Neck Disability Index (NDI) correlated with CL/TK ratio and not meeting MCID for EQ5D correlated with Ames TS-CL/Schwab PI-LL.

Conclusion: Consideration of cervical to global alignment is a critical determinant of outcomes in CD corrective surgery. Key ratios of cervical to global alignment correlate with suboptimal clinical outcomes. A larger cervical lordosis to TK predicted postoperative complication, DJK, and not meeting MCID for NDI.Level of Evidence: 4.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000004045DOI Listing
October 2021

Does reduction of the Meyerding grade correlate with outcomes in patients undergoing decompression and fusion for grade I degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis?

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Sep 17:1-8. Epub 2021 Sep 17.

1Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

Objective: Reduction of Meyerding grade is often performed during fusion for spondylolisthesis. Although radiographic appearance may improve, correlation with patient-reported outcomes (PROs) is rarely reported. In this study, the authors' aim was to assess the impact of spondylolisthesis reduction on 24-month PRO measures after decompression and fusion surgery for Meyerding grade I degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis.

Methods: The Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) was queried for patients undergoing posterior lumbar fusion for spondylolisthesis with a minimum 24-month follow-up, and quantitative correlation between Meyerding slippage reduction and PROs was performed. Baseline and 24-month PROs, including the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), EQ-5D, Numeric Rating Scale (NRS)-back pain (NRS-BP), NRS-leg pain (NRS-LP), and satisfaction (North American Spine Society patient satisfaction questionnaire) scores were noted. Multivariable regression models were fitted for 24-month PROs and complications after adjusting for an array of preoperative and surgical variables. Data were analyzed for magnitude of slippage reduction and correlated with PROs. Patients were divided into two groups: < 3 mm reduction and ≥ 3 mm reduction.

Results: Of 608 patients from 12 participating sites, 206 patients with complete data were identified in the QOD and included in this study. Baseline patient demographics, comorbidities, and clinical characteristics were similarly distributed between the cohorts except for depression, listhesis magnitude, and the proportion with dynamic listhesis (which were accounted for in the multivariable analysis). One hundred four (50.5%) patients underwent lumbar decompression and fusion with slippage reduction ≥ 3 mm (mean 5.19, range 3 to 11), and 102 (49.5%) patients underwent lumbar decompression and fusion with slippage reduction < 3 mm (mean 0.41, range 2 to -2). Patients in both groups (slippage reduction ≥ 3 mm, and slippage reduction < 3 mm) reported significant improvement in all primary patient reported outcomes (all p < 0.001). There was no significant difference with regard to the PROs between patients with or without intraoperative reduction of listhesis on univariate and multivariable analyses (ODI, EQ-5D, NRS-BP, NRS-LP, or satisfaction). There was no significant difference in complications between cohorts.

Conclusions: Significant improvement was found in terms of all PROs in patients undergoing decompression and fusion for lumbar spondylolisthesis. There was no correlation with clinical outcomes and magnitude of Meyerding slippage reduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.3.SPINE202059DOI Listing
September 2021

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

Reaching the medicare allowable threshold in adult spinal deformity surgery: multicenter cost analysis comparing actual direct hospital costs versus what the government will pay.

Spine Deform 2021 Sep 1. Epub 2021 Sep 1.

Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, Denver, CO, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective multicenter cost analysis.

Objective: To (1) determine if index episode of care (iEOC) costs of Adult Spinal Deformity (ASD) surgeries are below the Medicare Allowable (MA) threshold, and (2) identify variables that can predict iEOC cases that are below MA. Previous studies have suggested that actual direct hospital cost of Adult Spinal Deformity (ASD) surgery is higher than Medicare Allowable (MA) rates, which has become the benchmark reimbursement target for hospital accounting systems.

Methods: From a prospective, multicenter ASD surgical database, patients undergoing long instrumented fusions (> 5 level) with cost data were identified. iEOC cost was calculated utilizing actual direct hospital cost. MA rates were calculated using hospital specific, year-appropriate CMS Inpatient Pricer Payment System. Recursive partitioning identified potentially modifiable variables that can predict iEOC cost < MA.

Results: Administrative direct cost data from 210 patients were obtained from 4 of 11 centers. Ninety-five (45%) patients had iEOC cost < MA. There was significant variation across the four centers in both iEOC cost ($56,788-$78,878, p < 0.0001) and reimbursement ($40,623-$91,351, p < 0.0001) across deformity-specific DRGs (453,454,456,457). Academic centers were more likely to have iEOC costs < MA (67.2% vs 8.9%, p < 0.0001). Recursive partitioning (r = 0.309) identified rhBMP-2 use of < 24 mg, sagittal plane deformity, a combined anterior/posterior approach, and an SF36-MCS < 39 as predictive for iEOC cost < MA. Performing an anterior/posterior approach reimburses between 14.7% and 121.1% more (2.2-fold) than posterior-only approach. This change in DRG allows iEOC cost to be more likely below the MA threshold.

Conclusion: There is significant institutional (private vs academic) variation in ASD reimbursement. BMP use, deformity type, approach, and baseline mental health impact ASD surgery cost being below Medicare reimbursement. ASD surgeries with anterior/posterior approaches are in DRGs that can potentially reimburse 2.2-fold the posterior-only surgery, making it more likely to fall below the MA threshold.

Level Of Evidence: III.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-021-00405-4DOI Listing
September 2021

A Novel Weave Tether Technique for Proximal Junctional Kyphosis Prevention in 71 Adult Spinal Deformity Patients: A Preliminary Case Series Assessing Early Complications and Efficacy.

Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown) 2021 Sep 1. Epub 2021 Sep 1.

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

Background: Proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) rates may be as high as 69.4% after adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery. PJK is one of the greatest unsolved challenges in long-segment fusions for ASD and remains a common indication for costly and impactful revision surgery. Junctional tethers may help to reduce the occurrence of PJK by attenuating adjacent-segment stress.

Objective: To report our experience and assess early safety associated with a novel "weave-tether technique" (WTT) for PJK prophylaxis in a large series of patients.

Methods: This single-center retrospective study evaluated consecutive patients who underwent ASD surgery including WTT between 2017 and 2018. Patient demographics, operative details, standard radiographic measurements, and complications were analyzed.

Results: A total of 71 patients (mean age 66 ± 12 yr, 65% women) were identified. WTT included application to the upper-most instrumented vertebrae (UIV) + 1 and UIV + 2 in 38(53.5%) and 33(46.5%) patients, respectively. No complications directly attributed to WTT usage were identified. For patients with radiographic follow-up (96%; mean duration 14 ± 12 mo), PJK occurred in 15% (mean 1.8 ± 1.0 mo postoperatively). Proximal junctional angle increased an average 4° (10° to 14°, P = .004). Rates of symptomatic PJK and revision for PJK were 8.8% and 2.9%, respectively.

Conclusion: Preliminary results support the safety of the WTT for PJK prophylaxis. Approximately 15% of patients developed radiographic PJK, no complications were directly attributed to WTT usage, and the revision rate for PJK was low. These early results warrant future research to assess longer-term efficacy of the WTT for PJK prophylaxis in ASD surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ons/opab305DOI Listing
September 2021

Sagittal age-adjusted score (SAAS) for adult spinal deformity (ASD) more effectively predicts surgical outcomes and proximal junctional kyphosis than previous classifications.

Spine Deform 2021 Aug 30. Epub 2021 Aug 30.

Department of Orthopedics, Hospital for Special Surgery, 525 E 71st St., Belaire 4E, New York, NY, 10021, USA.

Background: Several methodologies have been proposed to determine ideal ASD sagittal spinopelvic alignment (SRS-Schwab classification) global alignment and proportion (GAP) score, patient age-adjusted alignment). A recent study revealed the ability and limitations of these methodologies to predict PJK. The aim of the study was to develop a new approach, inspired by SRS classification, GAP score, and age-alignment to improve the evaluation of the sagittal plane.

Method: A multi-center ASD database was retrospectively evaluated for surgically treated ASD patients with complete fusion of the lumbar spine, and minimum 2 year follow-up. The Sagittal age-adjusted score (SAAS) methodology was created by assigning numerical values to the difference between each patient's postoperative sagittal alignment and ideal alignment defined by previously reported age generational norms for PI-LL, PT, and TPA. Postoperative HRQOL and PJK severity between each SAAS categories were evaluated.

Results: 409 of 667 (61.3%) patients meeting inclusion criteria were evaluated. At 2 year SAAS score showed that 27.0% of the patients were under-corrected, 51.7% over-corrected, and 21.3% matched their age-adjusted target. SAAS score increased as PJK worsened (from SAAS = 0.2 for no-PJK, to 4.0 for PJF, p < 0.001). Post-operatively, HRQOL differences between SAAS groups included ODI, SRS pain, and SRS total.

Conclusion: Inspired by SRS classification, the concept of the GAP score, and age-adjusted alignment targets, the results demonstrated significant association with PJK and patient reported outcomes. With a lower rate of failure and better HRQOL, the SAAS seems to represent a "sweet spot" to optimize HRQOL while mitigating the risk of mechanical complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-021-00397-1DOI Listing
August 2021

The Scoli-RISK 1 results of lower extremity motor function 5 years after complex adult spinal deformity surgery.

Eur Spine J 2021 Aug 30. Epub 2021 Aug 30.

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

Introduction: Neurologic complications after complex adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery are important, yet outcomes are heterogeneously reported, and long-term follow-up of actual lower extremity motor function is unknown.

Objective: To prospectively evaluate lower extremity motor function scores (LEMS) before and at 5 years after surgical correction of complex ASD.

Design: Retrospective analysis of a prospective, multicenter, international observational study.

Methods: The Scoli-RISK-1 study enrolled 272 ASD patients undergoing surgery from 15 centers around the world. Inclusion criteria were Cobb angle of > 80°, corrective osteotomy for congenital or revision deformity and/or 3-column osteotomy. Among patients with 5-year follow-up, comparisons of LEMS to baseline and within each follow-up period were made via documented neurologic exams on each patient.

Results: Seventy-seven (28.3%) patients had 5-year follow-up. Among these 77 patients with 5-year follow-up, rates of postoperative LEMS deterioration were: 14.3% hospital discharge, 10.7% at 6 weeks, 6.5% at 6 months, 9.5% at 2 years and 9.3% at 5 years postoperative. During the 2-5 year window, while mean LEMS did not change significantly (-0.5, p = 0.442), eight (11.1%) patients deteriorated (of which 3 were ≥ 4 motor points), and six (8.3%) patients improved (of which 2 were ≥ 4 points). Of the 14 neurologic complications, four (28.6%) were surgery-related, three of which required reoperation. While mean LEMS were not impacted in patients with a major surgery-related complication, mean LEMS were significantly lower in patients with neurologic surgery-related complications at discharge (p = 0.041) and 6 months (p = 0.008) between the two groups as well as the change from baseline to 5 years (p = 0.041).

Conclusions: In 77 patients undergoing complex ASD surgery with 5-year follow-up, while mean LEMS did not change from 2 to 5 years, subtle neurologic changes occurred in approximately 1 in 5 patients (11.1% deteriorated; 8.3% improved). Major surgery-related complication did not result in decreased LEMS; however, those with neurologic surgery-related complications continued to have decreased lower extremity motor function at 5 years postoperative. These results underscore the importance of long-term follow-up to 5 years, using individual motor scores rather than group averages, and comparing outcomes to both baseline and last follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00586-021-06969-zDOI 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

Orthopedic disease burden in adult patients with symptomatic lumbar scoliosis: results from a prospective multicenter study.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Aug 20:1-9. Epub 2021 Aug 20.

3Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.

Objective: Although the health impact of adult symptomatic lumbar scoliosis (ASLS) is substantial, these patients often have other orthopedic problems that have not been previously quantified. The objective of this study was to assess disease burden of other orthopedic conditions in patients with ASLS based on a retrospective review of a prospective multicenter cohort.

Methods: The ASLS-1 study is an NIH-sponsored prospective multicenter study designed to assess operative versus nonoperative treatment for ASLS. Patients were 40-80 years old with ASLS, defined as a lumbar coronal Cobb angle ≥ 30° and Oswestry Disability Index ≥ 20, or Scoliosis Research Society-22 questionnaire score ≤ 4.0 in pain, function, and/or self-image domains. Nonthoracolumbar orthopedic events, defined as fractures and other orthopedic conditions receiving surgical treatment, were assessed from enrollment to the 4-year follow-up.

Results: Two hundred eighty-six patients (mean age 60.3 years, 90% women) were enrolled, with 173 operative and 113 nonoperative patients, and 81% with 4-year follow-up data. At a mean (± SD) follow-up of 3.8 ± 0.9 years, 104 nonthoracolumbar orthopedic events were reported, affecting 69 patients (24.1%). The most common events were arthroplasty (n = 38), fracture (n = 25), joint ligament/cartilage repair (n = 13), and cervical decompression/fusion (n = 7). Based on the final adjusted model, patients with a nonthoracolumbar orthopedic event were older (HR 1.44 per decade, 95% CI 1.07-1.94), more likely to have a history of tobacco use (HR 1.63, 95% CI 1.00-2.66), and had worse baseline leg pain scores (HR 1.10, 95% CI 1.01-1.19).

Conclusions: Patients with ASLS have high orthopedic disease burden, with almost 25% having a fracture or nonthoracolumbar orthopedic condition requiring surgical treatment during the mean 3.8 years following enrollment. Comparisons with previous studies suggest that the rate of total knee arthroplasty was considerably greater and the rates of total hip arthroplasty were at least as high in the ASLS-1 cohort compared with the similarly aged general US population. These conditions may further impact health-related quality of life and outcomes assessments of both nonoperative and operative treatment approaches in patients with ASLS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.1.SPINE201911DOI 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

Does Achieving Global Spinal Alignment Lead to Higher Patient Satisfaction and Lower Disability in Adult Spinal Deformity?

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Aug;46(16):1105-1110

Spine service, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY.

Study Design: Multicenter retrospective review of prospective database.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate potential associations between postoperative alignment and satisfaction.

Summary Of Background Data: Achieving high satisfaction is the main goal of any treatment, including adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery. Despite being one of the key elements, literature is sparse regarding postoperative factors influencing patient satisfaction.

Methods: ASD patients with 2-year follow-up were retrospectively reviewed. Patients without revision after the index procedure were stratified according to deformity type: sagittal (T1 pelvic angle >22°), coronal (C7 plumb line [C7PL] >5 cm or MaxCobb >50°), or mixed. Bivariate correlation between satisfaction and postoperative data was conducted on the entire cohort as well as by type of preoperative deformity. Multivariate regression controlling for pre-op alignment and demographic information was used to identify independent predictors of 2Y satisfaction.

Results: A total of 509 patients were included in the analysis (58.7 ± 14.8, 80% females). The quality of life significantly improved between pre- and 2-year (ΔOswestry Disability Index [ODI]: 17.6, p < 0.001). At 2 years, SRS22 satisfaction was 4.27 ± 0.89 (median 4.5). Significant associations were found between satisfaction and disability (ODI, r = -0.50) and global coronal (C7PL r = -0.15) and sagittal (sagittal vertical axis [SVA], r = -0.10) alignment (all p < 0.01) but not with the coronal clavicle angle. Stratification by preoperative deformity revealed significant associations between satisfaction and SVA for sagittal deformity only, C7PL and MaxCobb for coronal only, and C7PL for combined deformity. In the multivariate analysis controlling for demographic and pre-op deformity, 2-year ODI and 2-year C7PL were independent predictors of satisfaction. Multilinear regression demonstrated 2-year SVA, pre-op ODI and patient's age were the independent predictors 2-year ODI.

Conclusion: The ability to restore global alignment depends on the severity of the preoperative deformity as well as the correction of the main aspect of the deformity. Achieving global coronal and sagittal alignment is an independent predictor of both satisfaction and disability at 2 years post-op. Patients who continue to be disabled are also not satisfied.Level of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000004002DOI Listing
August 2021

Increasing Cost Efficiency in Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery: Identifying Predictors of Lower Total Costs.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Aug 13. Epub 2021 Aug 13.

Division of Spinal Surgery/Departments of Orthopaedic and Neurosurgery, NYU Medical Center, NY Spine Institute, New York, NY, USA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Norton Leatherman Spine Center, Louisville, KY, USA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Seattle, WA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Baylor Scoliosis Center, Dallas, Texas, USA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Johns Hopkins Medical Center, Baltimore, MD, USA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD Department of Spine Surgery, Denver International Spine Clinic, Presbyterian St. Luke's/Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, Denver, Colorado. Department of Neurosurgery and Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA.

Study Design: Retrospective study of a prospective multicenter database.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of lower total surgery costs at 3 years for Adult Spinal Deformity (ASD) patients.

Summary Of Background Data: ASD surgery involves complex deformity correction.

Methods: Inclusion criteria: surgical ASD (scoliosis≥20°, SVA≥5 cm, PT≥25°, or thoracic kyphosis ≥60°) patients >18 years. Total costs for surgery were calculated using the PearlDiver database. Cost per quality adjusted life year was assessed. A Conditional Variable Importance Table used non-replacement sampling set of 20,000 Conditional Inference trees to identify top factors associated with lower cost surgery for low (LSVA), moderate (MSVA), and high (HSVA) SRS Schwab SVA grades.

Results: 316/322 ASD patients met inclusion criteria. At 3Y follow up, the potential cost of ASD surgery ranged from $57,606.88 to $116,312.54. The average costs of surgery at 3 years was found to be $72,947.87, with no significant difference in costs between deformity groups (p > 0.05). There were 152 LSVA patients, 53 MSVA patients, and 111 HSVA patients. For all patients, the top predictors of lower costs were frailty scores <0.19, BL SRS Activity >1.5, baseline (BL) ODI <50 (all p < 0.05). For LSVA patients, no history of osteoporosis, SRS Activity scores >1.5, age <64, were the top predictors of lower costs (all p < 0.05). Among MSVA patients, ASD invasiveness scores <94.16, no past history of cancer, and frailty scores <0.3 trended towards lower total costs (p = 0.071, p = 0.210). For HSVA, no history of smoking and BMI <27.8 trended towards lower costs (both p = 0.060).

Conclusions: ASD surgery has the potential for improved cost efficiency, as costs ranged from $57,606.88 to $116,312.54. Predictors of lower costs included higher baseline SRS activity, decreased frailty, and not having depression. Additionally, predictors of lower costs were identified for different baseline deformity profiles, allowing for the optimization of cost efficiency for all patients.Level of Evidence: 3.
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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

Reduced occurrence of primary rod fracture after adult spinal deformity surgery with accessory supplemental rods: retrospective analysis of 114 patients with minimum 2-year follow-up.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Jul 23:1-12. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

1Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia; and.

Objective: Rod fracture (RF) after adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery is reported in approximately 6.8%-33% of patients and is associated with loss of deformity correction and higher reoperation rates. The authors' objective was to determine the effect of accessory supplemental rod (ASR) placement on postoperative occurrence of primary RF after ASD surgery.

Methods: This retrospective analysis examined patients who underwent ASD surgery between 2014 and 2017 by the senior authors. Inclusion criteria were age > 18 years, ≥ 5 instrumented levels including sacropelvic fixation, and diagnosis of ASD, which was defined as the presence of pelvic tilt ≥ 25°, sagittal vertical axis ≥ 5 cm, thoracic kyphosis ≥ 60°, coronal Cobb angle ≥ 20°, or pelvic incidence to lumbar lordosis mismatch ≥ 10°. The primary focus was patients with a minimum 2-year follow-up.

Results: Of 148 patients who otherwise met the inclusion criteria, 114 (77.0%) achieved minimum 2-year follow-up and were included (68.4% were women, mean age 67.9 years, average body mass index 30.4 kg/m2). Sixty-two (54.4%) patients were treated with traditional dual-rod construct (DRC), and 52 (45.6%) were treated with ASR. Overall, the mean number of levels fused was 11.7, 79.8% of patients underwent Smith-Petersen osteotomy (SPO), 19.3% underwent pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO), and 66.7% underwent transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). Significantly more patients in the DRC cohort underwent SPO (88.7% of the DRC cohort vs 69.2% of the ASR cohort, p = 0.010) and TLIF (77.4% of the DRC cohort vs 53.8% of the ASR cohort, p = 0.0001). Patients treated with ASR had greater baseline sagittal malalignment (12.0 vs 8.6 cm, p = 0.014) than patients treated with DRC, and more patients in the ASR cohort underwent PSO (40.3% vs 1.6%, p < 0.0001). Among the 114 patients who completed follow-up, postoperative occurrence of RF was reported in 16 (14.0%) patients, with mean ± SD time to RF of 27.5 ± 11.8 months. There was significantly greater occurrence of RF among patients who underwent DRC compared with those who underwent ASR (21.0% vs 5.8%, p = 0.012) at comparable mean follow-up (38.4 vs 34.9 months, p = 0.072). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that ASR had a significant protective effect against RF (OR 0.231, 95% CI 0.051-0.770, p = 0.029).

Conclusions: This study demonstrated a statistically significant decrease in the occurrence of RF among ASD patients treated with ASR, despite greater baseline deformity and higher rate of PSO. These findings suggest that ASR placement may provide benefit to patients who undergo ASD surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.12.SPINE201527DOI Listing
July 2021

Stratifying outcome based on the Oswestry Disability Index for operative treatment of adult spinal deformity on patients 60 years of age or older: a multicenter, multi-continental study on Prospective Evaluation of Elderly Deformity Surgery (PEEDS).

Spine J 2021 Jul 15. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Department of Neurosurgery and Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Background Context: Patients with adult spinal deformity suffer from disease related disability as measured by the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) for which surgery can result in significant improvements.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to show the change in overall and individual components of the ODI in patients aged 60 years or older following multi-level spinal deformity surgery.

Study Design: Prospective, multicenter, multi-continental, observational longitudinal cohort study PATIENT SAMPLE: Patients ≥60 years undergoing primary spinal fusion surgery of ≥5 levels for coronal, sagittal or combined deformity.

Outcome Measures: Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) METHODS: : Patients completed the ODI pre-operatively for baseline, then at 10 weeks, 12 months and 24 months post-operatively. ODI scores were grouped into deciles, and change was calculated with numerical score and improvement or worsening was further categorized from baseline as substantial (≥20%), marginal (≥10-<20%) or no change (within 10%).

Results: Two-hundred nineteen patients met inclusion criteria for the study. The median number of spinal levels fused was 9 [Q1=5.0, Q3=12.0]. Two-year mean (95% CI) ODI improvement was 19.3% (16.7%; 21.9%; p<.001) for all age groups, with mean scores improved from a baseline of 46.3% (44.1%; 48.4%) to 41.1% (38.5%; 43.6%) at 10 weeks (p<.001), 28.1% (25.6%; 30.6%) at 12 months (p<.001), and 27.0% (24.4%; 29.5%) at 24 months (p<.001). At 2 years, 45.5% of patients showed 20% or greater improvement in ODI, 23.7% improved between 10% and 20%, 26.3% reported no change (defined as±10% from baseline), 4.5% of patients reported a worsening between 10% to 20%, and none reported worsening greater than 20%. 59.0% of patients were severely disabled (ODI >40%) pre-operatively, which decreased to 20.2% at 2 years. Significant improvement was observed across all 10 ODI items at 12 and 24 months. The largest improvements were seen in pain, walking, standing, sex life, social life and traveling.

Conclusions: In this prospective, multicenter, multi-continental study of patients 60 years or older undergoing multi-level spinal deformity surgery, almost 70% of patients reported significant improvements in ODI without taking into account surgical indications, techniques or complications. Clear data is presented demonstrating the particular change from baseline for each decile of pre-operative ODI score, for each sub-score, and for each age group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2021.07.007DOI Listing
July 2021

Impact of predominant symptom location among patients undergoing cervical spine surgery on 12-month outcomes: an analysis from the Quality Outcomes Database.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Jul 9:1-11. Epub 2021 Jul 9.

4Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Objective: The impact of the type of pain presentation on outcomes of spine surgery remains elusive. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of predominant symptom location (predominant arm pain vs predominant neck pain vs equal neck and arm pain) on postoperative improvement in patient-reported outcomes.

Methods: The Quality Outcomes Database cervical spine module was queried for patients undergoing 1- or 2-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) for degenerative spine disease.

Results: A total of 9277 patients were included in the final analysis. Of these patients, 18.4% presented with predominant arm pain, 32.3% presented with predominant neck pain, and 49.3% presented with equal neck and arm pain. Patients with predominant neck pain were found to have higher (worse) 12-month Neck Disability Index (NDI) scores (coefficient 0.24, 95% CI 0.15-0.33; p < 0.0001). The three groups did not differ significantly in odds of return to work and achieving minimal clinically important difference in NDI score at the 12-month follow-up.

Conclusions: Analysis from a national spine registry showed significantly lower odds of patient satisfaction and worse NDI score at 1 year after surgery for patients with predominant neck pain when compared with patients with predominant arm pain and those with equal neck and arm pain after 1- or 2-level ACDF. With regard to return to work, all three groups (arm pain, neck pain, and equal arm and neck pain) were found to be similar after multivariable analysis. The authors' results suggest that predominant pain location, especially predominant neck pain, might be a significant determinant of improvement in functional outcomes and patient satisfaction after ACDF for degenerative spine disease. In addition to confirmation of the common experience that patients with predominant neck pain have worse outcomes, the authors' findings provide potential targets for improvement in patient management for these specific populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.12.SPINE202002DOI Listing
July 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

The Influence of Unemployment and Disability Status on Clinical Outcomes in Patients Receiving Surgery for Low Back-Related Disorders: An Observational Study.

Spine Surg Relat Res 2021 20;5(3):182-188. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Department of Neurosurgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, USA.

Introduction: Employment status plays an essential role as a social determinant of health. Unemployed are more likely to have a longer length of hospital stay and a nearly twofold greater rate of 30 day readmission than those who were well employed at the time of back surgery. This study aimed to investigate whether employment status influenced post-surgery outcomes and if so, the differences were clinically meaningful among groups.

Methods: This retrospective observational study used data from the Quality Outcomes Database Lumbar Registry. Data refinement was used to isolate individuals 18 to 64 who received primary spine surgeries and had a designation of employed, unemployed, or disabled. Outcomes included 12 and 24 month back and leg pain, disability, patient satisfaction, and quality of life. Differences in descriptive variables, comorbidities, and outcomes measures (at 12 and 24 months) were analyzed using chi-square and linear mixed-effects modeling. When differences were present among groups, we evaluated whether they were clinically significant or not.

Results: Differences (between employed, unemployed, and disabled) among baseline characteristics and comorbidities were present in nearly every category (p<0.01). In all cases, those who were disabled represented the least healthy, followed by unemployed, and then employed. Clinically meaningful differences for all outcomes were present at 12 and 24 months (p<0.01). In post hoc analyses, differences between each group at nearly all periods were found.

Conclusions: The findings support that the health-related characteristics are markedly different among employment status groups. Group designation strongly differentiated outcomes. These findings suggest that disability and unemployment should be considered when determining prognosis of the individual.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.22603/ssrr.2020-0156DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8208951PMC
November 2020

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

The Impact of Instrumentation and Implant Surface Technology on Cervical and Thoracolumbar Fusion.

Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown) 2021 06;21(Suppl 1):S12-S22

Duke University Medical Center Department of Neurological Surgery, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

Spinal fusion has undergone significant evolution and improvement over the past 50 yr. Historically, spine fusion was noninstrumented and arthrodesis was based entirely on autograft. Improved understanding of spinal anatomy and materials science ushered in a new era of spinal fusion equipped with screw-based technologies and various interbody devices. Osteobiologics is another important realm of spine fusion, and the evolution of various osteobiologics has perhaps undergone the most change within the past 20 yr. A new element to spinal instrumentation has recently gained traction-namely, surface technology. New data suggest that surface treatments play an increasingly well-recognized role in inducing osteogenesis and successful fusion. Until now, however, there has yet to be a unified resource summarizing the existing data and a lack of consensus exists on superior technology. Here, authors provide an in-depth review on surface technology and its impact on spinal arthrodesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ons/opaa321DOI Listing
June 2021

Improvement in some Ames-ISSG cervical deformity classification modifier grades may correlate with clinical improvement.

J Clin Neurosci 2021 Jul 21;89:297-304. Epub 2021 May 21.

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

This retrospective cohort study describes adult cervical deformity(ACD) patients with Ames-ACD classification at baseline(BL) and 1-year post-operatively and assesses the relationship of improvement in Ames modifiers with clinical outcomes. Patients ≥ 18yrs with BL and post-op(1-year) radiographs were included. Patients were categorized with Ames classification by primary deformity descriptors (C = cervical; CT = cervicothoracic junction; T = thoracic; S = coronal) and alignment/myelopathy modifiers(C2-C7 Sagittal Vertical Axis[cSVA], T1 Slope-Cervical Lordosis[TS-CL], Horizontal Gaze[Horiz], mJOA). Univariate analysis evaluated demographics, clinical intervention, and Ames deformity descriptor. Patients were evaluated for radiographic improvement by Ames classification and reaching Minimal Clinically Important Differences(MCID) for mJOA, Neck Disability Index(NDI), and EuroQuol-5D(EQ5D). A total of 73 patients were categorized: C = 41(56.2%), CT = 18(24.7%), T = 9(12.3%), S = 5(6.8%). By Ames modifier 1-year improvement, 13(17.8%) improved in mJOA, 26(35.6%) in cSVA grade, 19(26.0%) in Horiz, and 15(20.5%) in TS-CL. The overall proportion of patients without severe Ames modifier grades at 1-year was as follows: 100% cSVA, 27.4% TS-CL, 67.1% Horiz, 69.9% mJOA. 1-year post-operatively, severe myelopathy(mJOA = 3) prevalence differed between Ames-ACD descriptors (C = 26.3%, CT = 15.4%, T = 0.0%, S = 0.0%, p = 0.033). Improvement in mJOA modifier correlated with reaching 1-year NDI MCID in the overall cohort (r = 0.354,p = 0.002). For C descriptors, cSVA improvement correlated with reaching 1-year NDI MCID (r = 0.387,p = 0.016). Improvement in more than one radiographic Ames modifier correlated with reaching 1-year mJOA MCID (r = 0.344,p = 0.003) and with reaching more than one MCID for mJOA, NDI, and EQ-5D (r = 0.272,p = 0.020). In conclusion, improvements in radiographic Ames modifier grades correlated with improvement in 1-year postoperative clinical outcomes. Although limited in scope, this analysis suggests the Ames-ACD classification may describe cervical deformity patients' alignment and outcomes at 1-year.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2021.05.007DOI Listing
July 2021

Front-Back Cervical Deformity Correction by Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion With Posterior Instrumentation: 2-Dimensional Operative Video.

Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown) 2021 Aug;21(3):E235

Department of Neurosurgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

Front-back procedures for cervical deformity permit the correction of cervical kyphosis in the setting of unfused facets. Here, we highlight the operative treatment of a 65-yr-old female entailing a 4-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) at C3-C4, C4-C5, C5-C6, and C6-C7 with hyperlordotic interbody implants, supplemented by a posterior C2-T2 instrumented fusion. The patient initially presented with symptoms of treatment-refractory neck pain while neurologically intact on examination. Her imaging demonstrated significant cervical kyphosis measuring 46° as the Cobb angle between C2 and C7 without neural compression. The patient consented to the procedure and publication of their image. After 2 d of traction, the operation proceeded with the patient initially in a supine position with dissection medial to the sternocleidomastoid muscle down to the vertebral bodies. Discectomies were performed at each level followed by installation of the interbody implants. After closure of this access wound, the patient was turned to a prone position for the posterior element of the operation. The posterior bony elements were exposed and a C2-T2 instrumented fusion performed. Postoperative imaging demonstrated improvement of her sagittal cervical curvature and the patient described improvement in her neck pain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ons/opab191DOI Listing
August 2021

Outcomes of Surgical Treatment for 138 Patients With Severe Sagittal Deformity at a Minimum 2-Year Follow-up: A Case Series.

Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown) 2021 Aug;21(3):94-103

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

Background: Operative treatment of adult spinal deformity (ASD) can be very challenging with high complication rates. It is well established that patients benefit from such treatment; however, the surgical outcomes for patients with severe sagittal deformity have not been reported.

Objective: To report the outcomes of patients undergoing surgical correction for severe sagittal deformity.

Methods: Retrospective review of a prospective, multicenter ASD database. Inclusion criteria: operative patients age ≥18, sagittal vertical axis (SVA) ≥15 cm, mismatch between pelvic incidence and lumbar lordosis (PI-LL) ≥30°, and/or lumbar kyphosis ≥5° with minimum 2 yr follow-up. Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) scores including minimal clinically important difference (MCID)/substantial clinical benefit (SCB), sagittal and coronal radiographic values, demographic, frailty, surgical, and complication data were collected. Comparisons between 2 yr postoperative and baseline HRQOL/radiographic data were made. P < .05 was significant.

Results: A total of 138 patients were included from 502 operative patients (54.3% Female, Average (Avg) age 63.3 ± 11.5 yr). Avg operating room (OR) time 386.2 ± 136.5 min, estimated blood loss (EBL) 1829.8 ± 1474.6 cc. A total of 71(51.4%) had prior fusion. A total of 89.9% were posterior fusion only. Mean posterior levels fused 11.5 ± 4.1. A total of 44.9% had a 3-column osteotomy. All 2 yr postoperative radiographic parameters were significantly improved compared to baseline (P < .001 for all). All 2yr HRQOL measures were significantly improved compared to baseline (P < .004 for all). A total of 46.6% to 73.8% of patients met either MCID/SCB for all HRQOL. A total of 74.6% of patients had at least 1 complication, 11.6% had 4 or more complications, 33.3% had minimum 1 major complication, and 42(30.4%) had a postop revision.

Conclusion: Patients with severe sagittal malalignment benefit from surgical correction at 2 yr postoperative both radiographically and clinically despite having a high complication rate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ons/opab153DOI Listing
August 2021

Introduction. Biologics in spine surgery.

Neurosurg Focus 2021 06;50(6):E1

6Department of Neurosurgery, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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June 2021

Use of rhBMP-2 for adult spinal deformity surgery: patterns of usage and changes over the past decade.

Neurosurg Focus 2021 06;50(6):E4

7Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York.

Objective: Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2) has been shown to increase fusion rates; however, cost, limited FDA approval, and possible complications impact its use. Decisions regarding rhBMP-2 use and changes over time have not been well defined. In this study, the authors aimed to assess changes in rhBMP-2 use for adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery over the past decade.

Methods: A retrospective review of the International Spine Study Group prospective multicenter database was performed to identify ASD patients treated surgically from 2008 to 2018. For assessment of rhBMP-2 use over time, 3 periods were created: 2008-2011, 2012-2015, and 2016-2018.

Results: Of the patients identified, 1180 met inclusion criteria, with a mean age 60 years and 30% of patients requiring revision surgery; rhBMP-2 was used in 73.9% of patients overall. The mean rhBMP-2 dose per patient was 23.6 mg. Patients receiving rhBMP-2 were older (61 vs 58 years, p < 0.001) and had more comorbidities (Charlson Comorbidity Index 1.9 vs 1.4, p < 0.001), a higher rate of the Scoliosis Research Society-Schwab pelvic tilt modifier (> 0; 68% vs 62%, p = 0.026), a greater deformity correction (change in pelvic incidence minus lumbar lordosis 15° vs 12°, p = 0.01), and more levels fused (8.9 vs 7.9, p = 0.003). Over the 3 time periods, the overall rate of rhBMP-2 use increased and then stabilized (62.5% vs 79% vs 77%). Stratified analysis showed that after an overall increase in rhBMP-2 use, only patients who were younger than 50 years, those who were smokers, those who received a three-column osteotomy (3CO), and patients who underwent revision sustained an increased rate of rhBMP-2 use between the later two periods. No similar increases were noted for older patients, nonsmokers, primary surgery patients, and patients without a 3CO. The total rhBMP-2 dose decreased over time (26.6 mg vs 24.8 mg vs 20.7 mg, p < 0.001). After matching patients by preoperative alignment, 215 patients were included, and a significantly lower rate of complications leading to revision surgery was observed within the 2012-2015 period compared with the 2008-2011 (21.4% vs 13.0%, p = 0.029) period, while rhBMP-2 was increasingly used (80.5% vs 66.0%, p = 0.001). There was a trend toward a lower rate of pseudarthrosis for patients in the 2012-2015 period, but this difference did not reach statistical significance (7% vs 4.2%, p = 0.283).

Conclusions: The authors found that rhBMP-2 was used in the majority of ASD patients and was more commonly used in those with greater deformity correction. Additionally, over the last 10 years, rhBMP-2 was increasingly used for ASD patients, but the dose has decreased.
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June 2021

Pseudarthrosis rate following anterior cervical discectomy with fusion using an allograft cellular bone matrix: a multi-institutional analysis.

Neurosurg Focus 2021 06;50(6):E6

Objective: The use of osteobiologics, engineered materials designed to promote bone healing by enhancing bone growth, is becoming increasingly common for spinal fusion procedures, but the efficacy of some of these products is unclear. The authors performed a retrospective, multi-institutional study to investigate the clinical and radiographic characteristics of patients undergoing single-level anterior cervical discectomy with fusion performed using the osteobiologic agent Osteocel, an allograft mesenchymal stem cell matrix.

Methods: The medical records across 3 medical centers and 12 spine surgeons were retrospectively queried for patients undergoing single-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) with the use of Osteocel. Pseudarthrosis was determined based on CT or radiographic imaging of the cervical spine. Patients were determined to have radiographic pseudarthrosis if they met any of the following criteria: 1) lack of bridging bone on CT obtained > 300 days postoperatively, 2) evidence of instrumentation failure, or 3) motion across the index level as seen on flexion-extension cervical spine radiographs. Univariate and multivariate analyses were then performed to identify independent preoperative or perioperative predictors of pseudarthrosis in this population.

Results: A total of 326 patients met the inclusion criteria; 43 (13.2%) patients met criteria for pseudarthrosis, of whom 15 (34.9%) underwent revision surgery. There were no significant differences between patients with and those without pseudarthrosis, respectively, for patient age (54.1 vs 53.8 years), sex (34.9% vs 47.4% male), race, prior cervical spine surgery (37.2% vs 33.6%), tobacco abuse (16.3% vs 14.5%), chronic kidney disease (2.3% vs 2.8%), and diabetes (18.6% vs 14.5%) (p > 0.05). Presence of osteopenia or osteoporosis (16.3% vs 3.5%) was associated with pseudarthrosis (p < 0.001). Implant type was also significantly associated with pseudarthrosis, with a 16.4% rate of pseudarthrosis for patients with polyetherethereketone (PEEK) implants versus 8.4% for patients with allograft implants (p = 0.04). Average lengths of follow-up were 27.6 and 23.8 months for patients with and those without pseudarthrosis, respectively. Multivariate analysis demonstrated osteopenia or osteoporosis (OR 4.97, 95% CI 1.51-16.4, p < 0.01) and usage of PEEK implant (OR 2.24, 95% CI 1.04-4.83, p = 0.04) as independent predictors of pseudarthrosis.

Conclusions: In patients who underwent single-level ACDF, rates of pseudarthrosis associated with the use of the osteobiologic agent Osteocel are higher than the literature-reported rates associated with the use of alternative osteobiologics. This is especially true when Osteocel is combined with a PEEK implant.
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June 2021

Impact of US hospital center and interhospital transfer on spinal cord injury management: An analysis of the National Trauma Data Bank.

J Trauma Acute Care Surg 2021 06;90(6):1067-1076

From the Department of Neurosurgery (T.W., S.H., M.G., C.I.S., C.R.G., I.O.K., S.L., M.A.-.E.-B.), Duke University School of Medicine; Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics (L.Z.Y., H.-.J.L.), Duke University; and Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, Department of Neurosurgery (B.U., M.B.), School of Medicine, University of Louisville, Durham, North Carolina.

Background: Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) is a serious public health problem. Outcomes are determined by severity of immediate injury, mitigation of secondary downstream effects, and rehabilitation. This study aimed to understand how the center type a patient presents to and whether they are transferred influence management and outcome.

Methods: The National Trauma Data Bank was used to identify patients with SCI. The primary objective was to determine association between center type, transfer, and surgical intervention. A secondary objective was to determine association between center type, transfer, and surgical timing. Multivariable logistic regression models were fit on surgical intervention and timing of the surgery as binary variables, adjusting for relevant clinical and demographic variables.

Results: There were 11,744 incidents of SCI identified. A total of 2,883 patients were transferred to a Level I center and 4,766 presented directly to a level I center. Level I center refers to level I trauma center. Those who were admitted directly to level I centers had a higher odd of receiving a surgery (odds ratio, 1.703; 95% confidence interval, 1.47-1.97; p < 0.001), but there was no significant difference in terms of timing of surgery. Patients transferred into a level I center were also more likely to undergo surgery than those at a level II/III/IV center, although this was not significant (odds ratio, 1.213; 95% confidence interval, 0.099-1.48; p = 0.059).

Conclusion: Patients with traumatic SCI admitted to level I trauma centers were more likely to have surgery, particularly if they were directly admitted to a level I center. This study provides insights into a large US sample and sheds light on opportunities for improving pre hospital care pathways for patients with traumatic SCI, to provide the timely and appropriate care and achieve the best possible outcomes.

Level Of Evidence: Care management, Level IV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TA.0000000000003165DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8243877PMC
June 2021
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