Publications by authors named "Erica Bisson"

121 Publications

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

Congress of Neurological Surgeons Systematic Review and Evidence-Based Guidelines for Perioperative Spine: Preoperative Surgical Risk Assessment.

Neurosurgery 2021 Sep 7. Epub 2021 Sep 7.

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida, USA.

Background: Patient factors (increased body mass index [BMI], smoking, and diabetes) may impact outcomes after spine surgery. There is a lack of consensus regarding which factors should be screened for and potentially modified preoperatively to optimize outcome.

Objective: The purpose of this evidence-based clinical practice guideline is to determine if preoperative patient factors of diabetes, smoking, and increased BMI impact surgical outcomes.

Methods: A systematic review of the literature for studies relevant to spine surgery was performed using the National Library of Medicine PubMed database and the Cochrane Library. Clinical studies evaluating the impact of diabetes or increased BMI with reoperation and/or surgical site infection (SSI) were selected for review. In addition, the impact of preoperative smoking on patients undergoing spinal fusion was reviewed.

Results: A total of 699 articles met inclusion criteria and 64 were included in the systematic review. In patients with diabetes, a preoperative hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) >7.5 mg/dL is associated with an increased risk of reoperation or infection after spine surgery. The review noted conflicting studies regarding the relationship between increased BMI and SSI or reoperation. Preoperative smoking is associated with increased risk of reoperation (Grade B). There is insufficient evidence that cessation of smoking before spine surgery decreases the risk of reoperation.

Conclusion: This evidence-based guideline provides a Grade B recommendation that diabetic individuals undergoing spine surgery should have a preoperative HbA1c test before surgery and should be counseled regarding the increased risk of reoperation or infection if the level is >7.5 mg/dL. There is conflicting evidence that BMI correlates with greater SSI rate or reoperation rate (Grade I). Smoking is associated with increased risk of reoperation (Grade B) in patients undergoing spinal fusion.The full guidelines can be accessed at https://www.cns.org/guidelines/browse-guidelines-detail/2-preoperative-surgical-risk-assessement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyab316DOI Listing
September 2021

Congress of Neurological Surgeons Systematic Review and Evidence-Based Guidelines for Perioperative Spine: Preoperative Nutritional Assessment.

Neurosurgery 2021 Sep 7. Epub 2021 Sep 7.

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

Background: Preoperative malnutrition has been implicated in adverse events after elective surgery, potentially impacting patient outcomes.

Objective: As a potentially modifiable risk factor, we sought to determine which assessments of nutritional status were associated with specific adverse events after spine surgery. In addition, we explored if a preoperative nutritional improvement intervention may be beneficial in lowering the rates of these adverse events.

Methods: The literature search yielded 115 abstracts relevant to the PICO (patient/population, intervention, comparison, and outcomes) questions included in this chapter. The task force selected 105 articles for full text review, and 13 met criteria for inclusion in this systematic review.

Results: Malnutrition, assessed preoperatively by a serum albumin <3.5 g/dL or a serum prealbumin <20 mg/dL, is associated with a higher rate of surgical site infections (SSIs), other wound complications, nonunions, hospital readmissions, and other medical complications after spine surgery. A multimodal nutrition management protocol decreases albumin and electrolyte deficiencies in patients with normal preoperative nutritional status. It also improves overall complication rates but does not specifically impact SSIs.

Conclusion: It is recommended to assess nutritional status using either serum albumin or prealbumin preoperatively in patients undergoing spine surgery.The full guidelines can be accessed at https://www.cns.org/guidelines/browse-guidelines-detail/4-preoperative-nutritional-assessment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyab318DOI Listing
September 2021

Congress of Neurological Surgeons Systematic Review and Evidence-Based Guidelines for Perioperative Spine: Preoperative Osteoporosis Assessment.

Neurosurgery 2021 Sep 7. Epub 2021 Sep 7.

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

Background: Osteoporosis is a metabolic bone disease that commonly affects the elderly. Degenerative spinal disease that may require surgical intervention is also prevalent in this susceptible population. If undiagnosed or untreated before spine surgery, osteoporosis may result in an increased risk of postoperative adverse events. Nontreatment of osteoporosis preoperatively may be related to a poor understanding of bone physiology, a lack of standardized treatment algorithms, limited cost-effective interventions, and reluctance by spine surgeons to be the primary provider of osteoporosis management.

Objective: The objective of this evidence-based review is to develop guidelines for the preoperative assessment and treatment of osteoporosis in patients undergoing spine surgery.

Methods: A systematic review of the literature was performed using the National Library of Medicine/PubMed database and Embase for studies relevant to preoperative diagnostic studies that predict increased risk of osteoporosis-related postoperative adverse events and whether the preoperative treatment of low bone mineral density (BMD) in patients with osteoporosis improves outcome.

Results: Out of 281 studies, 17 met the inclusion criteria and were included for systematic review. The task force affirmed a Grade B recommendation that preoperative osteoporosis testing with a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan (T-score < -2.5), a computed tomography scan (Hounsfield units <97.9), and serum vitamin D3 level (<20 ng/mL) predict an increased risk of osteoporosis-related adverse events after spine surgery. The task force determined a Grade B recommendation that preoperative osteoporosis treatment with teriparatide increases BMD, induces earlier and more robust fusion, and may improve select patient outcomes. There is insufficient evidence regarding preoperative treatment with bisphosphonates alone and postoperative outcome.

Conclusion: This evidence-based clinical guideline provides a recommendation that patients with suspected osteoporosis undergo preoperative assessment and be appropriately counseled about the risk of postoperative adverse events if osteoporosis is confirmed. In addition, preoperative optimization of BMD with select treatments improves certain patient outcomes.The full guidelines can be accessed at https://www.cns.org/guidelines/browse-guidelines-detail/3-preoperative-osteoporosis-assessment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyab317DOI Listing
September 2021

Congress of Neurological Surgeons Systematic Review and Evidence-Based Guidelines for Perioperative Spine: Preoperative Opioid Evaluation.

Neurosurgery 2021 Sep 7. Epub 2021 Sep 7.

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida, USA.

Background: Opioid use disorders in the United States have rapidly increased, yet little is known about the relationship between preoperative opioid duration and dose and patient outcomes after spine surgery. Likewise, the utility of preoperative opioid weaning is poorly understood.

Objective: The purpose of this evidence-based clinical practice guideline is to determine if duration and dose of preoperative opioids or preoperative opioid weaning is associated with patient-reported outcomes or adverse events after elective spine surgery for degenerative conditions.

Methods: A systematic review of the literature was performed using the National Library of Medicine/PubMed database and Embase for studies relevant to opioid use among adult patients undergoing spine surgery. Clinical studies evaluating preoperative duration, dose, and opioid weaning and outcomes were selected for review.

Results: A total of 41 of 845 studies met the inclusion criteria and none were Level I evidence. The use of any opioids before surgery was associated with longer postoperative opioid use, and longer duration of opioid use was associated with worse outcomes, such as higher complications, longer length of stay, higher costs, and increased utilization of resources. There is insufficient evidence to support the efficacy of opioid weaning on postoperative opioid use, improving outcome, or reducing adverse events after spine surgery.

Conclusion: This evidence-based clinical guideline provides Grade B recommendations that preoperative opioid use and longer duration of preoperative opioid use are associated with chronic postoperative opioid use and worse outcome after spine surgery. Insufficient evidence supports the efficacy of an opioid wean before spine surgery (Grade I).The full guidelines can be accessed at https://www.cns.org/guidelines/browse-guidelines-detail/1-preoperative-opioid-evaluation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyab315DOI Listing
September 2021

Congress of Neurological Surgeons Systematic Review and Evidence-Based Guidelines for Perioperative Spine: Preoperative Pulmonary Evaluation and Optimization.

Neurosurgery 2021 Sep 7. Epub 2021 Sep 7.

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

Background: There are no current recommendations for preoperative pulmonary evaluation and management of patients undergoing elective spine surgery.

Objective: The aim of this guideline is to determine preoperative risk factors for perioperative and postoperative pulmonary adverse events and to determine the optimal preoperative evaluation and management of at-risk patients.

Methods: A systematic review of the literature was performed using the National Library of Medicine PubMed database and the Cochrane Library for studies relevant to postoperative pulmonary adverse events in patients undergoing spine surgery. Clinical studies evaluating preoperative patient risk factors and preoperative diagnostic and treatment interventions were selected for review.

Results: The literature search yielded 152 abstracts relevant to the PICO (patient/population, intervention, comparison, and outcomes) questions included in this chapter. The task force selected 65 articles for full-text review, and 24 were selected for inclusion in this systematic review. Twenty-three articles addressed preoperative patient risk factors. One article addressed preoperative diagnostic studies of pulmonary function. There were no studies meeting the inclusion criteria for preoperative pulmonary treatment.

Conclusion: There is substantial evidence for multiple preoperative patient factors that predict an increased risk of a postoperative pulmonary adverse event. Individuals with these risk factors (functional dependence, advanced age [≥65 yr], chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, weight loss, and obstructive sleep apnea) who are undergoing spine surgery should be counseled regarding the potential increased risk of a perioperative and postoperative pulmonary adverse events. There is insufficient evidence to support any specific preoperative diagnostic test for predicting the risk of postoperative pulmonary adverse events or any treatment intervention that reduces risk. It is suggested, however, to consider appropriate preoperative pulmonary diagnostic testing and treatment to address active pulmonary symptoms of existing or suspected disease.The full guidelines can be accessed at https://www.cns.org/guidelines/browse-guidelines-detail/5-preoperative-pulmonary-evaluation-optimization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyab319DOI Listing
September 2021

Return to work in patients with lumbar disc herniation undergoing fusion.

J Orthop Surg Res 2021 Aug 27;16(1):534. Epub 2021 Aug 27.

Norton Leatherman Spine Center, 210 East Gray Street, Suite #900, Louisville, KY, 40202, USA.

Background: Lumbar disc herniation (LDH) is a common problem. When surgical treatment is required, the intervention is typically decompression without fusion. Successful return-to-work (RTW) is a standard expectation with these limited procedures. Occasionally, the size or location of the disc herniation suggests the need for fusion, but the inability to RTW is a significant concern in these cases. The purpose of this study is to determine if the addition of lumbar fusion, as compared to decompression alone, will substantially diminish RTW in patients with lumbar disc herniation.

Methods: This is a longitudinal cohort study using prospectively collected data from the Quality and Outcomes Database (QOD). Patients with LDH, eligible to RTW (not retired, a student, or on disability) with complete 12-month follow-up data, were identified. Standard demographic and surgical variables, patient-reported outcomes (PROs), and RTW status at 3 and 12 months were collected.

Results: Of the 5062 patients identified, 4560 (90%) had decompression alone and 502 (10%) had a concurrent fusion. Age and gender were similar in the two groups. The fusion group had worse back pain (NRS 6.52 vs. 5.96) and less leg pain (6.31 vs. 7.01) at baseline compared to the no fusion group. Statistically significant improvement in all PROs was seen in both groups. RTW at 3 months post-op was seen in 85% of decompression cases and 66% of cases with supplemental fusion. At 12 months post-op, RTW increased to 93% and 82%, respectively.

Conclusion: The need for fusion in LDH cases is unusual, seen in only 10% of cases in this series. The addition of fusion decreased the RTW rate from 85 to 66% at 3 months and from 93 to 82% at 12 months post-op. While the difference is significant, the ultimate deterioration in RTW may be less than anticipated. A reasonable RTW rate can still be expected in the rare patient who requires fusion as part of their treatment for LDH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13018-021-02682-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8393463PMC
August 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

One-year results from a randomized comparative trial of targeted steroid injection via epidural catheter versus standard transforaminal epidural injection for the treatment of unilateral cervical radicular pain.

Reg Anesth Pain Med 2021 Sep 14;46(9):813-819. Epub 2021 May 14.

Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of catheter-directed cervical interlaminar epidural steroid injection with triamcinolone compared with cervical transforaminal steroid injection with dexamethasone for the treatment of refractory unilateral radicular pain.

Design: Prospective, randomized, comparative trial.

Methods: The primary outcome was the proportion of participants with ≥50% Numeric Rating Scale 'dominant pain' (the greater of arm vs neck) reduction from baseline. Secondary outcomes included ≥30% Neck Disability Index reduction and Patient Global Impression of Change response indicating 'much improved' or 'very much improved'.

Results: Data from 117 participants (55.6% women; 52.3±12.5 years of age; body mass index, 28.2±6.5 kg/m) were analyzed. The proportion of participants who experienced ≥50% pain reduction at 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months has been previously reported. At 1 year, 61.2% (95% CI, 46.9% to 73.9%) of the catheter group compared with 51.9% (95% CI, 38.4% to 65.2%) of the transforaminal group reported ≥50% 'dominant' pain reduction (p=0.35). The proportion of participants who experienced ≥30% improvement in Neck Disability Index score was 60.4% (95% CI, 45.9% to 73.3%) and 47.1% (95% CI, 33.7% to 60.8%) in the catheter and transforaminal groups (p=0.18). Patient Global Impression of Change improvement was similar in both groups: 60.5% (95% CI, 44.2% to 74.8%) and 57.5% (95% CI, 41.7% to 71.9%) of the catheter and transforaminal groups reported being 'much improved' or 'very much improved', respectively (p=0.79).

Conclusion: Both cervical catheter-directed interlaminar epidural injection and cervical transforaminal steroid injection were effective in reducing pain and disability in the majority of participants with refractory unilateral cervical radiculopathy for up to 1 year.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/rapm-2021-102514DOI Listing
September 2021

Identifying patients at risk for nonroutine discharge after surgery for cervical myelopathy: an analysis from the Quality Outcomes Database.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 May 7:1-9. Epub 2021 May 7.

15Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Objective: Optimizing patient discharge after surgery has been shown to impact patient recovery and hospital/physician workflow and to reduce healthcare costs. In the current study, the authors sought to identify risk factors for nonroutine discharge after surgery for cervical myelopathy by using a national spine registry.

Methods: The Quality Outcomes Database cervical module was queried for patients who had undergone surgery for cervical myelopathy between 2016 and 2018. Nonroutine discharge was defined as discharge to postacute care (rehabilitation), nonacute care, or another acute care hospital. A multivariable logistic regression predictive model was created using an array of demographic, clinical, operative, and patient-reported outcome characteristics.

Results: Of the 1114 patients identified, 11.2% (n = 125) had a nonroutine discharge. On univariate analysis, patients with a nonroutine discharge were more likely to be older (age ≥ 65 years, 70.4% vs 35.8%, p < 0.001), African American (24.8% vs 13.9%, p = 0.007), and on Medicare (75.2% vs 35.1%, p < 0.001). Among the patients younger than 65 years of age, those who had a nonroutine discharge were more likely to be unemployed (70.3% vs 36.9%, p < 0.001). Overall, patients with a nonroutine discharge were more likely to present with a motor deficit (73.6% vs 58.7%, p = 0.001) and more likely to have nonindependent ambulation (50.4% vs 14.0%, p < 0.001) at presentation. On multivariable logistic regression, factors associated with higher odds of a nonroutine discharge included African American race (vs White, OR 2.76, 95% CI 1.38-5.51, p = 0.004), Medicare coverage (vs private insurance, OR 2.14, 95% CI 1.00-4.65, p = 0.04), nonindependent ambulation at presentation (OR 2.17, 95% CI 1.17-4.02, p = 0.01), baseline modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association severe myelopathy score (0-11 vs moderate 12-14, OR 2, 95% CI 1.07-3.73, p = 0.01), and posterior surgical approach (OR 11.6, 95% CI 2.12-48, p = 0.004). Factors associated with lower odds of a nonroutine discharge included fewer operated levels (1 vs 2-3 levels, OR 0.3, 95% CI 0.1-0.96, p = 0.009) and a higher quality of life at baseline (EQ-5D score, OR 0.43, 95% CI 0.25-0.73, p = 0.001). On predictor importance analysis, baseline quality of life (EQ-5D score) was identified as the most important predictor (Wald χ2 = 9.8, p = 0.001) of a nonroutine discharge; however, after grouping variables into distinct categories, socioeconomic and demographic characteristics (age, race, gender, insurance status, employment status) were identified as the most significant drivers of nonroutine discharge (28.4% of total predictor importance).

Conclusions: The study results indicate that socioeconomic and demographic characteristics including age, race, gender, insurance, and employment may be the most significant drivers of a nonroutine discharge after surgery for cervical myelopathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.11.SPINE201442DOI Listing
May 2021

Patient-reported outcome improvements at 24-month follow-up after fusion added to decompression for grade I degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis: a multicenter study using the Quality Outcomes Database.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Apr 16:1-10. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

16Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, California.

Objective: The ideal surgical management of grade I lumbar spondylolisthesis has not been determined despite extensive prior investigations. In this cohort study, the authors used data from the large, multicenter, prospectively collected Quality Outcomes Database to bridge the gap between the findings in previous randomized trials and those in a more heterogeneous population treated in a typical practice. The objective was to assess the difference in patient-reported outcomes among patients undergoing decompression alone or decompression plus fusion.

Methods: The primary outcome measure was change in 24-month Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores. The minimal clinically important difference (MCID) in ODI score change and 30% change in ODI score at 24 months were also evaluated. After adjusting for patient-specific and clinical factors, multivariable linear and logistic regressions were employed to evaluate the impact of fusion on outcomes. To account for differences in age, sex, body mass index, and baseline listhesis, a sensitivity analysis was performed using propensity score analysis to match patients undergoing decompression only with those undergoing decompression and fusion.

Results: In total, 608 patients who had grade I lumbar spondylolisthesis were identified (85.5% with at least 24 months of follow-up); 140 (23.0%) underwent decompression alone and 468 (77.0%) underwent decompression and fusion. The 24-month change in ODI score was significantly greater in the fusion plus decompression group than in the decompression-only group (-25.8 ± 20.0 vs -15.2 ± 19.8, p < 0.001). Fusion remained independently associated with 24-month ODI score change (B = -7.05, 95% CI -10.70 to -3.39, p ≤ 0.001) in multivariable regression analysis, as well as with achieving the MCID for the ODI score (OR 1.767, 95% CI 1.058-2.944, p = 0.029) and 30% change in ODI score (OR 2.371, 95% CI 1.286-4.371, p = 0.005). Propensity score analysis resulted in 94 patients in the decompression-only group matched 1 to 1 with 94 patients in the fusion group. The addition of fusion to decompression remained a significant predictor of 24-month change in the ODI score (B = 2.796, 95% CI 2.228-13.275, p = 0.006) and of achieving the 24-month MCID ODI score (OR 2.898, 95% CI 1.214-6.914, p = 0.016) and 24-month 30% change in ODI score (OR 2.300, 95% CI 1.014-5.216, p = 0.046).

Conclusions: These results suggest that decompression plus fusion in patients with grade I lumbar spondylolisthesis may be associated with superior outcomes at 24 months compared with decompression alone, both in reduction of disability and in achieving clinically meaningful improvement. Longer-term follow-up is warranted to assess whether this effect is sustained.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.9.SPINE201082DOI Listing
April 2021

High-b diffusivity of MS lesions in cervical spinal cord using ultrahigh-b DWI (UHb-DWI).

Neuroimage Clin 2021 8;30:102610. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Neuroimmunology and Neurovirology Division, Department of Neurology, University of Utah, Utah, USA; Neurology Service, VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, Utah, USA. Electronic address:

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate UHb-rDWI signal in white matter tracts of the cervical spinal cord (CSC) and compare quantitative values between healthy control WM with both MS NAWM and MS WM lesions.

Methods: UHb-rDWI experiments were performed on (a) 7 MS patients with recently active or chronic lesions in CSC and on (b) 7 healthy control of similar age range and gender distribution to MS subjects. All MRI data were acquired using clinical 3T MRI system. Axial high-b diffusion images were acquired using 2D single-shot DW stimulated EPI with reduced FOV and a CSC-dedicated 8 channel array coil. High-b diffusion coefficient D was estimated by fitting the signal-b curve to a double or single-exponential function.

Results: The high-b diffusivity D values were measured as (0.767 ± 0.297) × 10 mm/s in the posterior column lesions, averaged over 6 MS patients, and 0.587 × 10 mm/s in the corticospinal tract for another patient. The averaged D values of the 7 healthy volunteers from the posterior and lateral column were (0.0312 ± 0.0306) × 10 and (0.0505 ± 0.0205) × 10 mm/s, respectively. UHb-rDWI signal-b curves of the MS patients revealed to noticeably behave differently to that of the healthy controls. The patient signal-b curves decayed with greater high-b decay constants to reach lower signal intensities relative to signal-b curves of the healthy controls.

Conclusion: UHb-DWI of the CSC reveals a marked difference in signal-b-curves and D values in MS lesions compared to NAWM and healthy control WM. Based on physical principles, we interpret these altered observations of quantitative diffusion values to be indicative of demyelination. Further studies in animal models will be required to fully interpret UHb-DWI quantitative diffusion values during demyelination and remyelination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2021.102610DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7985401PMC
July 2021

Effect of Ventral vs Dorsal Spinal Surgery on Patient-Reported Physical Functioning in Patients With Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA 2021 03;325(10):942-951

Neurosurgery, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio.

Importance: Cervical spondylotic myelopathy is the most common cause of spinal cord dysfunction worldwide. It remains unknown whether a ventral or dorsal surgical approach provides the best results.

Objective: To determine whether a ventral surgical approach compared with a dorsal surgical approach for treatment of cervical spondylotic myelopathy improves patient-reported physical functioning at 1 year.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Randomized clinical trial of patients aged 45 to 80 years with multilevel cervical spondylotic myelopathy enrolled at 15 large North American hospitals from April 1, 2014, to March 30, 2018; final follow-up was April 15, 2020.

Interventions: Patients were randomized to undergo ventral surgery (n = 63) or dorsal surgery (n = 100). Ventral surgery involved anterior cervical disk removal and instrumented fusion. Dorsal surgery involved laminectomy with instrumented fusion or open-door laminoplasty. Type of dorsal surgery (fusion or laminoplasty) was at surgeon's discretion.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary outcome was 1-year change in the Short Form 36 physical component summary (SF-36 PCS) score (range, 0 [worst] to 100 [best]; minimum clinically important difference = 5). Secondary outcomes included 1-year change in modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association scale score, complications, work status, sagittal vertical axis, health resource utilization, and 1- and 2-year changes in the Neck Disability Index and the EuroQol 5 Dimensions score.

Results: Among 163 patients who were randomized (mean age, 62 years; 80 [49%] women), 155 (95%) completed the trial at 1 year (80% at 2 years). All patients had surgery, but 5 patients did not receive their allocated surgery (ventral: n = 1; dorsal: n = 4). One-year SF-36 PCS mean improvement was not significantly different between ventral surgery (5.9 points) and dorsal surgery (6.2 points) (estimated mean difference, 0.3; 95% CI, -2.6 to 3.1; P = .86). Of 7 prespecified secondary outcomes, 6 showed no significant difference. Rates of complications in the ventral and dorsal surgery groups, respectively, were 48% vs 24% (difference, 24%; 95% CI, 8.7%-38.5%; P = .002) and included dysphagia (41% vs 0%), new neurological deficit (2% vs 9%), reoperations (6% vs 4%), and readmissions within 30 days (0% vs 7%).

Conclusions And Relevance: Among patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy undergoing cervical spinal surgery, a ventral surgical approach did not significantly improve patient-reported physical functioning at 1 year compared with outcomes after a dorsal surgical approach.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02076113.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2021.1233DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7944378PMC
March 2021

Impact of surgeon and hospital factors on surgical decision-making for grade 1 degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis: a Quality Outcomes Database analysis.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Feb 19:1-11. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

1Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Miami, Florida.

Objective: Surgical treatment for degenerative spondylolisthesis has been proven to be clinically challenging and cost-effective. However, there is a range of thresholds that surgeons utilize for incorporating fusion in addition to decompressive laminectomy in these cases. This study investigates these surgeon- and site-specific factors by using the Quality Outcomes Database (QOD).

Methods: The QOD was queried for all cases that had undergone surgery for grade 1 spondylolisthesis from database inception to February 2019. In addition to patient-specific covariates, surgeon-specific covariates included age, sex, race, years in practice (0-10, 11-20, 21-30, > 30 years), and fellowship training. Site-specific variables included hospital location (rural, suburban, urban), teaching versus nonteaching status, and hospital type (government, nonfederal; private, nonprofit; private, investor owned). Multivariable regression and predictor importance analyses were performed to identify predictors of the treatment performed (decompression alone vs decompression and fusion). The model was clustered by site to account for site-specific heterogeneity in treatment selection.

Results: A total of 12,322 cases were included with 1988 (16.1%) that had undergone decompression alone. On multivariable regression analysis clustered by site, adjusting for patient-level clinical covariates, no surgeon-specific factors were found to be significantly associated with the odds of selecting decompression alone as the surgery performed. However, sites located in suburban areas (OR 2.32, 95% CI 1.09-4.84, p = 0.03) were more likely to perform decompression alone (reference = urban). Sites located in rural areas had higher odds of performing decompression alone than hospitals located in urban areas, although the results were not statistically significant (OR 1.33, 95% CI 0.59-2.61, p = 0.49). Nonteaching status was independently associated with lower odds of performing decompression alone (OR 0.40, 95% CI 0.19-0.97, p = 0.04). Predictor importance analysis revealed that the most important determinants of treatment selection were dominant symptom (Wald χ2 = 34.7, accounting for 13.6% of total χ2) and concurrent diagnosis of disc herniation (Wald χ2 = 31.7, accounting for 12.4% of total χ2). Hospital teaching status was also found to be relatively important (Wald χ2 = 4.2, accounting for 1.6% of total χ2) but less important than other patient-level predictors.

Conclusions: Nonteaching centers were more likely to perform decompressive laminectomy with supplemental fusion for spondylolisthesis. Suburban hospitals were more likely to perform decompression only. Surgeon characteristics were not found to influence treatment selection after adjustment for clinical covariates. Further large database registry experience from surgeons at high-volume academic centers at which surgically and medically complex patients are treated may provide additional insight into factors associated with treatment preference for degenerative spondylolisthesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.8.SPINE201015DOI Listing
February 2021

"July Effect" Revisited: July Surgeries at Residency Training Programs are Associated with Equivalent Long-term Clinical Outcomes Following Lumbar Spondylolisthesis Surgery.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Jun;46(12):836-843

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

Study Design: Retrospective analysis of a prospective registry.

Objective: We utilized the Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) registry to investigate the "July Effect" at QOD spondylolisthesis module sites with residency trainees.

Summary Of Background Data: There is a paucity of investigation on the long-term outcomes following surgeries involving new trainees utilizing high-quality, prospectively collected data.

Methods: This was an analysis of 608 patients who underwent single-segment surgery for grade 1 degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis at 12 high-enrolling sites. Surgeries were classified as occurring in July or not in July (non-July). Outcomes collected included estimated blood loss, length of stay, operative time, discharge disposition, complications, reoperation and readmission rates, and patient-reported outcomes (Oswestry Disability Index [ODI], Numeric Rating Scale [NRS] Back Pain, NRS Leg Pain, EuroQol-5D [EQ-5D] and the North American Spine Society [NASS] Satisfaction Questionnaire). Propensity score-matched analyses were utilized to compare postoperative outcomes and complication rates between the July and non-July groups.

Results: Three hundred seventy-one surgeries occurred at centers with a residency training program with 21 (5.7%) taking place in July. In propensity score-matched analyses, July surgeries were associated with longer operative times ( average treatment effect = 22.4 minutes longer, 95% confidence interval 0.9-449.0, P = 0.041). Otherwise, July surgeries were not associated with significantly different outcomes for the remaining perioperative parameters (estimated blood loss, length of stay, discharge disposition, postoperative complications), overall reoperation rates, 3-month readmission rates, and 24-month ODI, NRS back pain, NRS leg pain, EQ-5D, and NASS satisfaction score (P > 0.05, all comparisons).

Conclusion: Although July surgeries were associated with longer operative times, there were no associations with other clinical outcomes compared to non-July surgeries following lumbar spondylolisthesis surgery. These findings may be due to the increased attending supervision and intraoperative education during the beginning of the academic year. There is no evidence that the influx of new trainees in July significantly affects long-term patient-centered outcomes.Level of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003903DOI Listing
June 2021

Is There Additional Value to Flexion-Extension Radiographs for Degenerative Spondylolisthesis?

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Apr;46(7):E458-E462

Norton Leatherman Spine Center, Louisville, KY.

Study Design: Multicenter retrospective study.

Objective: Flexion-extension radiographs are frequently used to assess motion in patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis. However, they expose patients to additional radiation and increase cost. The aim of this study is to determine if flexion-extension radiographs provide additional information not seen on upright neutral radiographs and supine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that may guide surgical decision making.

Summary Of Background Data: Supine MRI and upright neutral radiographs are routinely performed in patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis. It is unclear whether additional flexion-extension views play a significant role in surgical planning for this patient population.

Methods: From the Quality Outcomes Database, patients who had surgery for grade 1 degenerative spondylolisthesis were identified. Magnitude of slip on pre-op supine MRI, upright neutral, flexion, and extension radiographs were measured. Additional motion was defined as 3 mm or more slip difference between radiographs. For the purpose of this analysis, patients with a slip of 7 mm or more on upright neutral radiographs were assumed to require a fusion.

Results: A total of 191 patients were identified. Mean age was 61.6 years (114 females, 60%). Only 31 patients (16%) had additional motion on flexion-extension views not seen on upright neutral x-rays versus supine MRI. Of these 31 patients, 19 had slips less than 7 mm on upright x-ray, generating equipoise for fusion.

Conclusion: Flexion-extension radiographs may play a limited role in management of degenerative spondylolisthesis. The subset of patients for which flexion-extension views were most likely to provide value were patients with smaller slips (<7 mm) with no evidence of motion on standing radiographs versus MRI. In 90% of spondylolisthesis cases, information used for surgical planning may be ascertained by comparing motion between supine MRI and upright lateral radiographs.Level of Evidence: 3.
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April 2021

Does the Contrast Dispersion Pattern During Fluoroscopically Guided Cervical Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection Predict Short-Term Pain and Functional Outcomes? An Exploratory Analysis of Prospective Cohort Data.

Pain Med 2020 12;21(12):3350-3359

Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.

Summary Of Background Data: No study has evaluated the relationship between contrast dispersion patterns and outcomes after fluoroscopically guided cervical transforaminal epidural steroid injection (CTFESI).

Objectives: Determine whether contrast dispersion patterns predict pain and functional outcomes after CTFESI.

Methods: Secondary analysis of data collected during two prospective studies of CTFESI for the treatment of refractory radicular pain. Contrast dispersion patterns visualized by true anteroposterior (AP) projections during CTFESIs were categorized by flow: 1) completely external to the lateral border of the neuroforamen (zone 1); 2) within the neuroforamen but without entry into the lateral epidural space (zone 2); and 3) with extension into the lateral epidural space (zone 3). At baseline and at 1 month post-CTFESI, neck pain, arm pain, and "dominant index pain" (the greater of arm or neck pain) were evaluated using a numeric rating scale (NRS); physical function was assessed using the Five-Item Version of the Neck Disability Index (NDI-5).

Results: One-month post-CTFESI, neck pain, arm pain, and "dominant index pain" reductions of ≥50% were observed in 39.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 28.2-51.8), 55.6% (95% CI, 43.0-67.5), and 44.1% (95% CI, 32.7-56.2) of participants, respectively. Regarding "dominant index pain," 72.7% (95% CI, 40.8-91.2), 39.4% (95% CI, 24.2-57.0), and 37.5% (95% CI, 20.5-58.2) of participants reported ≥50% pain reduction when zone 1, zone 2, and zone 3 contrast flow patterns were observed. Contrast dispersion zone was not significantly associated with subgroup differences in neck pain, arm pain, or NDI-5 scores (P>0.05).

Conclusion: Improvements in pain and function 1 month after treatment with CTFESI did not differ significantly based on the contrast dispersion pattern. Future study is needed to confirm or refute these findings in other procedural settings, in broader patient populations, and with longer-term outcome assessment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pm/pnaa305DOI Listing
December 2020

Clinical Outcomes of Decompression Alone Versus and Decompression and Fusion for First Episode Recurrent Disc Herniation.

Global Spine J 2020 Oct 25;10(7):832-836. Epub 2019 Sep 25.

Norton Leatherman Spine Center, Louisville, KY, USA.

Study Design: Longitudinal cohort.

Objective: It is unclear if patients with a recurrent disc herniation benefit from a concurrent fusion compared with a repeat decompression alone. We compared outcomes of decompression alone (D0) versus decompression and fusion (DF) for recurrent disc herniation.

Methods: Patients enrolled in the Quality and Outcomes Database from 3 sites with a first episode of recurrent disc herniation were identified. Demographic, surgical, and radiographic data including the presence of listhesis and extent of facet resection on computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging prior to the index surgery were collected. Patient-reported outcomes were collected preoperatively and at 3 and 12 months postoperatively.

Results: Of 94 cases identified, 55 had D0 and 39 had DF. Patients were similar in age, sex distribution, smoking status, body mass index, American Society of Anesthesiologists grade and surgical levels. Presence of listhesis (D0 = 7, DF = 5, = .800) and extent of facet resection (D0 = 19%, DF = 16%, = .309) prior to index surgery were similar between the 2 groups. Estimated blood loss (D0 = 26 cm, DF = 329 cm, < .001), operating room time (D0 = 79 minutes, DF = 241 minutes, < .001) and length of stay (D0 <1 day, DF = 4 days, < .001) were significantly less in the D0 group. Preoperative and 1-year postoperative patient-reported outcomes were similar in both groups. Three patients in the D0 group and 2 patients in the DF group required revision. Regression analysis showed that presence of listhesis, extent of facet resection and fusion were not associated with the 12-month Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score.

Conclusion: For a first episode recurrent disc herniation, surgeons can expect similar outcomes whether patients are treated with decompression alone or decompression and fusion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2192568219878132DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7485072PMC
October 2020

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement-NeuroPoint Alliance collaboration to decrease length of stay and readmission after lumbar spine fusion: using national registries to design quality improvement protocols.

J Neurosurg Spine 2020 Aug 21:1-10. Epub 2020 Aug 21.

4Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, Neuroscience and Musculoskeletal Institutes, Atrium Health Charlotte, North Carolina.

Objective: National databases collect large amounts of clinical information, yet application of these data can be challenging. The authors present the NeuroPoint Alliance and Institute for Healthcare Improvement (NPA-IHI) program as a novel attempt to create a quality improvement (QI) tool informed through registry data to improve the quality of care delivered. Reducing the length of stay (LOS) and readmission after elective lumbar fusion was chosen as the pilot module.

Methods: The NPA-IHI program prospectively enrolled patients undergoing elective 1- to 3-level lumbar fusions across 8 institutions. A three-pronged approach was taken that included the following phases: 1) Research Phase, 2) Development Phase, and 3) Implementation Phase. Primary outcomes were LOS and readmission. From January to June 2017, a learning system was created utilizing monthly conference calls, weekly data submission, and continuous refinement of the proposed QI tool. Nonparametric tests were used to assess the impact of the QI intervention.

Results: The novel QI tool included the following three areas of intervention: 1) preoperative discharge assessment (location, date, and instructions), 2) inpatient changes (LOS rounding checklist, daily huddle, and pain assessments), and 3) postdischarge calls (pain, primary care follow-up, and satisfaction). A total of 209 patients were enrolled, and the most common procedure was a posterior laminectomy/fusion (60.2%). Seven patients (3.3%) were readmitted during the study period. Preoperative discharge planning was completed for 129 patients (61.7%). A shorter median LOS was seen in those with a known preoperative discharge date (67 vs 80 hours, p = 0.018) and clear discharge instructions (71 vs 81 hours, p = 0.030). Patients with a known preoperative discharge plan also reported significantly increased satisfaction (8.0 vs 7.0, p = 0.028), and patients with increased discharge readiness (scale 0-10) also reported higher satisfaction (r = 0.474, p < 0.001). Those receiving postdischarge calls (76%) had a significantly shorter LOS than those without postdischarge calls (75 vs 99 hours, p = 0.020), although no significant relationship was seen between postdischarge calls and readmission (p = 0.342).

Conclusions: The NPA-IHI program showed that preoperative discharge planning and postdischarge calls have the potential to reduce LOS and improve satisfaction after elective lumbar fusion. It is our hope that neurosurgical providers can recognize how registries can be used to both develop and implement a QI tool and appreciate the importance of QI implementation as a separate process from data collection/analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.5.SPINE20457DOI Listing
August 2020

A Randomized Comparative Trial of Targeted Steroid Injection via Epidural Catheter vs Standard Transforaminal Epidural Injection for the Treatment of Unilateral Cervical Radicular Pain: Six-Month Results.

Pain Med 2020 10;21(10):2077-2089

Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Objectives: Compare the effectiveness of catheter-directed cervical interlaminar epidural steroid injection (C-CIESI) with triamcinolone to cervical transforaminal steroid injection (CTFESI) with dexamethasone for the treatment of refractory unilateral radicular pain.

Design: Prospective, randomized, comparative trial.

Methods: Primary outcome: proportion of participants with ≥50% numeric rating scale pain score reduction from baseline "dominant pain" (the greater of arm vs neck) at one month postinjection. Secondary outcomes: ≥30% Neck Disability Index (NDI-5) reduction and Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC) response indicating "much improved" or "very much improved."

Results: One hundred twenty participants (55.6% females, 52.3 ± 12.5 years of age, BMI 28.2 ± 6.5 kg/m2), were enrolled. The proportions of participants who experienced ≥50% pain reduction at one, three, and six months were 68.5% (95% CI = 54.9-79.5%), 59.3% (95% CI = 45.7-71.6%), and 60.8% (95% CI = 46.7-73.2%), respectively, in the C-CIESI group compared with 49.1% (95% CI = 36.4-62.0%), 46.4% (95% CI = 33.8-59.6%), and 51.9% (95% CI = 38.4-65.2%), respectively, in the CTFESI group. The between-group difference at one month was significant (P = 0.038). The proportions of participants who experienced a ≥30% NDI-5 score improvement were 64.0% (95% CI = 49.8-76.1%) and 54.9% (95% CI = 41.1-68.0%) in the C-CIESI and CTFESI groups (P = 0.352). Participants reported similar PGIC improvement in both groups: At six months, 53.2% (95% CI 38.9-67.1%) and 54.5% (95% CI = 39.7-68.7%) of the C-CIESI and CTFESI groups reported being "much improved" or "very much improved," respectively (P = 0.897).

Conclusions: Both C-CIESI with triamcinolone and CTFESI with dexamethasone are effective in reducing pain and disability associated with refractory unilateral cervical radiculopathy in a substantial proportion of participants for at least six months.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pm/pnaa242DOI Listing
October 2020

Development and Validation of Cervical Prediction Models for Patient-Reported Outcomes at 1 Year After Cervical Spine Surgery for Radiculopathy and Myelopathy.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2020 Nov;45(22):1541-1552

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Center for Musculoskeletal Research, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee.

Study Design: Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected registry data.

Objective: To develop and validate prediction models for 12-month patient-reported outcomes of disability, pain, and myelopathy in patients undergoing elective cervical spine surgery.

Summary Of Background Data: Predictive models have the potential to be utilized preoperatively to set expectations, adjust modifiable characteristics, and provide a patient-centered model of care.

Methods: This study was conducted using data from the cervical module of the Quality Outcomes Database. The outcomes of interest were disability (Neck Disability Index:), pain (Numeric Rating Scale), and modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association score for myelopathy. Multivariable proportional odds ordinal regression models were developed for patients with cervical radiculopathy and myelopathy. Patient demographic, clinical, and surgical covariates as well as baseline patient-reported outcomes scores were included in all models. The models were internally validated using bootstrap resampling to estimate the likely performance on a new sample of patients.

Results: Four thousand nine hundred eighty-eight patients underwent surgery for radiculopathy and 2641 patients for myelopathy. The most important predictor of poor postoperative outcomes at 12-months was the baseline Neck Disability Index score for patients with radiculopathy and modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association score for patients with myelopathy. In addition, symptom duration, workers' compensation, age, employment, and ambulatory and smoking status had a statistically significant impact on all outcomes (P < 0.001). Clinical and surgical variables contributed very little to predictive models, with posterior approach being associated with higher odds of having worse 12-month outcome scores in both the radiculopathy and myelopathy cohorts (P < 0.001). The full models overall discriminative performance ranged from 0.654 to 0.725.

Conclusions: These predictive models provide individualized risk-adjusted estimates of 12-month disability, pain, and myelopathy outcomes for patients undergoing spine surgery for degenerative cervical disease. Predictive models have the potential to be used as a shared decision-making tool for evidence-based preoperative counselling.

Level Of Evidence: 2.
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November 2020

Patients with a depressive and/or anxiety disorder can achieve optimum Long term outcomes after surgery for grade 1 spondylolisthesis: Analysis from the quality outcomes database (QOD).

Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2020 10 17;197:106098. Epub 2020 Jul 17.

Department of Neurologic Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States.

Introduction: In the current study, we sought to compare baseline demographic, clinical, and operative characteristics, as well as baseline and follow-up patient reported outcomes (PROs) of patients with any depressive and/or anxiety disorder undergoing surgery for low-grade spondylolisthesis using a national spine registry.

Patients And Methods: The Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) was queried for patients undergoing surgery for Meyerding grade 1 lumbar spondylolisthesis undergoing 1-2 level decompression or 1 level fusion at 12 sites with the highest number of patients enrolled in QOD with 2-year follow-up data.

Results: Of the 608 patients identified, 25.6 % (n = 156) had any depressive and/or anxiety disorder. Patients with a depressive/anxiety disorder were less likely to be discharged home (p < 0.001). At 3=months, patients with a depressive/anxiety disorder had higher back pain (p < 0.001), lower quality of life (p < 0.001) and higher disability (p = 0.013); at 2 year patients with depression and/or anxiety had lower quality of life compared to those without (p < 0.001). On multivariable regression, depression was associated with significantly lower odds of achieving 20 % or less ODI (OR 0.44, 95 % CI 0.21-0.94,p = 0.03). Presence of an anxiety disorder was not associated with decreased odds of achieving that milestone at 3 months. The presence of depressive-disorder, anxiety-disorder or both did not have an impact on ODI at 2 years. Finally, patient satisfaction at 2-years did not differ between the two groups (79.8 % vs 82.7 %,p = 0.503).

Conclusion: We found that presence of a depressive-disorder may impact short-term outcomes among patients undergoing surgery for low grade spondylolisthesis but longer term outcomes are not affected by either a depressive or anxiety disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2020.106098DOI Listing
October 2020

Effects of preoperative obesity and psychiatric comorbidities on minimum clinically important differences for lumbar fusion in grade 1 degenerative spondylolisthesis: analysis from the prospective Quality Outcomes Database registry.

J Neurosurg Spine 2020 Jul 24:1-8. Epub 2020 Jul 24.

1Norton Leatherman Spine Center, Louisville, Kentucky.

Objective: Medical comorbidities, particularly preoperatively diagnosed anxiety, depression, and obesity, may influence how patients perceive and measure clinical benefit after a surgical intervention. The current study was performed to define and compare the minimum clinically important difference (MCID) thresholds in patients with and without preoperative diagnoses of anxiety or depression and obesity who underwent spinal fusion for grade 1 degenerative spondylolisthesis.

Methods: The Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) was queried for patients who underwent lumbar fusion for grade 1 degenerative spondylolisthesis during the period from January 2014 to August 2017. Collected patient-reported outcomes (PROs) included the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), health status (EQ-5D), and numeric rating scale (NRS) scores for back pain (NRS-BP) and leg pain (NRS-LP). Both anchor-based and distribution-based methods for MCID calculation were employed.

Results: Of 462 patients included in the prospective registry who underwent a decompression and fusion procedure, 356 patients (77.1%) had complete baseline and 12-month PRO data and were included in the study. The MCID values for ODI scores did not significantly differ in patients with and those without a preoperative diagnosis of obesity (20.58 and 20.69, respectively). In addition, the MCID values for ODI scores did not differ in patients with and without a preoperative diagnosis of anxiety or depression (24.72 and 22.56, respectively). Similarly, the threshold MCID values for NRS-BP, NRS-LP, and EQ-5D scores were not statistically different between all groups. Based on both anchor-based and distribution-based methods for determination of MCID thresholds, there were no statistically significant differences between all cohorts.

Conclusions: MCID thresholds were similar for ODI, EQ-5D, NRS-BP, and NRS-LP in patients with and without preoperative diagnoses of anxiety or depression and obesity undergoing spinal fusion for grade 1 degenerative spondylolisthesis. Preoperative clinical and shared decision-making may be improved by understanding that preoperative medical comorbidities may not affect the way patients experience and assess important clinical changes postoperatively.
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July 2020

Impact of Dominant Symptom on 12-Month Patient-Reported Outcomes for Patients Undergoing Lumbar Spine Surgery.

Neurosurgery 2020 10;87(5):1037-1045

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

Background: The impact of symptom characteristics on outcomes of spine surgery remains elusive.

Objective: To determine the impact of symptom location, severity, and duration on outcomes following lumbar spine surgery.

Methods: We queried the Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) for patients undergoing elective lumbar spine surgery for lumbar degenerative spine disease. Multivariable regression was utilized to determine the impact of preoperative symptom characteristics (location, severity, and duration) on improvement in disability, quality of life, return to work, and patient satisfaction at 1 yr. Relative predictor importance was determined using an importance metric defined as Wald χ2 penalized by degrees of freedom.

Results: A total of 22 022 subjects were analyzed. On adjusted analysis, we found patients with predominant leg pain were more likely to be satisfied (P < .0001), achieve minimum clinically important difference (MCID) in Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) (P = .002), and return to work (P = .03) at 1 yr following surgery without significant difference in Euro-QoL-5D (EQ-5D) (P = .09) [ref = predominant back pain]. Patients with equal leg and back pain were more likely to be satisfied (P < .0001), but showed no significant difference in achieving MCID (P = .22) or return to work (P = .07). Baseline numeric rating scale-leg pain and symptom duration were most important predictors of achieving MCID and change in EQ-5D. Predominant symptom was not found to be an important determinant of return to work. Worker's compensation was found to be most important determinant of satisfaction and return to work.

Conclusion: Predominant symptom location is a significant determinant of functional outcomes following spine surgery. However, pain severity and duration have higher predictive importance. Return to work is more dependent on sociodemographic features as compared to symptom characteristics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyaa240DOI Listing
October 2020

Predictors of the Best Outcomes Following Minimally Invasive Surgery for Grade 1 Degenerative Lumbar Spondylolisthesis.

Neurosurgery 2020 Jun 4. Epub 2020 Jun 4.

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

Background: The factors driving the best outcomes following minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for grade 1 degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis are not clearly elucidated.

Objective: To investigate the factors that drive the best 24-mo patient-reported outcomes (PRO) following MIS surgery for grade 1 degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis.

Methods: A total of 259 patients from the Quality Outcomes Database lumbar spondylolisthesis module underwent single-level surgery for degenerative grade 1 lumbar spondylolisthesis with MIS techniques (188 fusions, 72.6%). Twenty-four-month follow-up PROs were collected and included the Oswestry disability index (ODI) change (ie, 24-mo minus baseline value), numeric rating scale (NRS) back pain change, NRS leg pain change, EuroQoL-5D (EQ-5D) questionnaire change, and North American Spine Society (NASS) satisfaction questionnaire. Multivariable models were constructed to identify predictors of PRO change.

Results: The mean age was 64.2 ± 11.5 yr and consisted of 148 (57.1%) women and 111 (42.9%) men. In multivariable analyses, employment was associated with superior postoperative ODI change (β-7.8; 95% CI [-12.9 to -2.6]; P = .003), NRS back pain change (β -1.2; 95% CI [-2.1 to -0.4]; P = .004), EQ-5D change (β 0.1; 95% CI [0.01-0.1]; P = .03), and NASS satisfaction (OR = 3.7; 95% CI [1.7-8.3]; P < .001). Increasing age was associated with superior NRS leg pain change (β -0.1; 95% CI [-0.1 to -0.01]; P = .03) and NASS satisfaction (OR = 1.05; 95% CI [1.01-1.09]; P = .02). Fusion surgeries were associated with superior ODI change (β -6.7; 95% CI [-12.7 to -0.7]; P = .03), NRS back pain change (β -1.1; 95% CI [-2.1 to -0.2]; P = .02), and NASS satisfaction (OR = 3.6; 95% CI [1.6-8.3]; P = .002).

Conclusion: Preoperative employment and surgeries, including a fusion, were predictors of superior outcomes across the domains of disease-specific disability, back pain, leg pain, quality of life, and patient satisfaction. Increasing age was predictive of superior outcomes for leg pain improvement and satisfaction.
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June 2020

A Comparison of Minimally Invasive and Open Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion for Grade 1 Degenerative Lumbar Spondylolisthesis: An Analysis of the Prospective Quality Outcomes Database.

Neurosurgery 2020 09;87(3):555-562

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

Background: It remains unclear if minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MI-TLIF) is comparable to traditional, open TLIF because of the limitations of the prior small-sample-size, single-center studies reporting comparative effectiveness.

Objective: To compare MI-TLIF to traditional, open TLIF for grade 1 degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis in the largest study to date by sample size.

Methods: We utilized the prospective Quality Outcomes Database registry and queried patients with grade 1 degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis who underwent single-segment surgery with MI- or open TLIF methods. Outcomes were compared 24 mo postoperatively.

Results: A total of 297 patients were included: 72 (24.2%) MI-TLIF and 225 (75.8%) open TLIF. MI-TLIF surgeries had lower mean body mass indexes (29.5 ± 5.1 vs 31.3 ± 7.0, P = .0497) and more worker's compensation cases (11.1% vs 1.3%, P < .001) but were otherwise similar. MI-TLIF had less blood loss (108.8 ± 85.6 vs 299.6 ± 242.2 mL, P < .001), longer operations (228.2 ± 111.5 vs 189.6 ± 66.5 min, P < .001), and a higher return-to-work (RTW) rate (100% vs 80%, P = .02). Both cohorts improved significantly from baseline for 24-mo Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Numeric Rating Scale back pain (NRS-BP), NRS leg pain (NRS-LP), and Euro-Qol-5 dimension (EQ-5D) (P > .001). In multivariable adjusted analyses, MI-TLIF was associated with lower ODI (β = -4.7; 95% CI = -9.3 to -0.04; P = .048), higher EQ-5D (β = 0.06; 95% CI = 0.01-0.11; P = .02), and higher satisfaction (odds ratio for North American Spine Society [NASS] 1/2 = 3.9; 95% CI = 1.4-14.3; P = .02). Though trends favoring MI-TLIF were evident for NRS-BP (P = .06), NRS-LP (P = .07), and reoperation rate (P = .13), these results did not reach statistical significance.

Conclusion: For single-level grade 1 degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis, MI-TLIF was associated with less disability, higher quality of life, and higher patient satisfaction compared with traditional, open TLIF. MI-TLIF was associated with higher rates of RTW, less blood loss, but longer operative times. Though we utilized multivariable adjusted analyses, these findings may be susceptible to selection bias.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyaa097DOI Listing
September 2020

Open versus minimally invasive decompression for low-grade spondylolisthesis: analysis from the Quality Outcomes Database.

J Neurosurg Spine 2020 May 8:1-11. Epub 2020 May 8.

5Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Objective: Lumbar decompression without arthrodesis remains a potential treatment option for cases of low-grade spondylolisthesis (i.e., Meyerding grade I). Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) techniques have recently been increasingly used because of their touted benefits including lower operating time, blood loss, and length of stay. Herein, the authors analyzed patients enrolled in a national surgical registry and compared the baseline characteristics and postoperative clinical and patient-reported outcomes (PROs) between patients undergoing open versus MIS lumbar decompression.

Methods: The authors queried the Quality Outcomes Database for patients with grade I lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis undergoing a surgical intervention between July 2014 and June 2016. Among more than 200 participating sites, the 12 with the highest enrollment of patients into the lumbar spine module came together to initiate a focused project to assess the impact of fusion on PROs in patients undergoing surgery for grade I lumbar spondylolisthesis. For the current study, only patients in this cohort from the 12 highest-enrolling sites who underwent a decompression alone were evaluated and classified as open or MIS (tubular decompression). Outcomes of interest included PROs at 2 years; perioperative outcomes such as blood loss and complications; and postoperative outcomes such as length of stay, discharge disposition, and reoperations.

Results: A total of 140 patients undergoing decompression were selected, of whom 71 (50.7%) underwent MIS and 69 (49.3%) underwent an open decompression. On univariate analysis, the authors observed no significant differences between the 2 groups in terms of PROs at 2-year follow-up, including back pain, leg pain, Oswestry Disability Index score, EQ-5D score, and patient satisfaction. On multivariable analysis, compared to MIS, open decompression was associated with higher satisfaction (OR 7.5, 95% CI 2.41-23.2, p = 0.0005). Patients undergoing MIS decompression had a significantly shorter length of stay compared to the open group (0.68 days [SD 1.18] vs 1.83 days [SD 1.618], p < 0.001).

Conclusions: In this multiinstitutional prospective study, the authors found comparable PROs as well as clinical outcomes at 2 years between groups of patients undergoing open or MIS decompression for low-grade spondylolisthesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.3.SPINE191239DOI Listing
May 2020

Correlation of return to work with patient satisfaction after surgery for lumbar spondylolisthesis: an analysis of the Quality Outcomes Database.

Neurosurg Focus 2020 05;48(5):E5

17Geisinger Health, Danville, Pennsylvania.

Objective: Return to work (RTW) and satisfaction are important outcome measures after surgery for degenerative spine disease. The authors queried the prospective Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) to determine if RTW correlated with patient satisfaction.

Methods: The QOD was queried for patients undergoing surgery for degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis. The primary outcome of interest was correlation between RTW and patient satisfaction, as measured by the North American Spine Society patient satisfaction index (NASS). Secondarily, data on satisfied patients were analyzed to see what patient factors correlated with RTW.

Results: Of 608 total patients in the QOD spondylolisthesis data set, there were 292 patients for whom data were available on both satisfaction and RTW status. Of these, 249 (85.3%) were satisfied with surgery (NASS score 1-2), and 224 (76.7%) did RTW after surgery. Of the 68 patients who did not RTW after surgery, 49 (72.1%) were still satisfied with surgery. Of the 224 patients who did RTW, 24 (10.7%) were unsatisfied with surgery (NASS score 3-4). There were significantly more people who had an NASS score of 1 in the RTW group than in the non-RTW group (71.4% vs 42.6%, p < 0.05). Failure to RTW was associated with lower level of education, worse baseline back pain (measured with a numeric rating scale), and worse baseline disability (measured with the Oswestry Disability Index [ODI]).

Conclusions: There are a substantial number of patients who are satisfied with surgery even though they did not RTW. Patients who were satisfied with surgery and did not RTW typically had worse preoperative back pain and ODI and typically did not have a college education. While RTW remains an important measure after surgery, physicians should be mindful that patients who do not RTW may still be satisfied with their outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.2.FOCUS191022DOI Listing
May 2020

Quality Outcomes Database Spine Care Project 2012-2020: milestones achieved in a collaborative North American outcomes registry to advance value-based spine care and evolution to the American Spine Registry.

Neurosurg Focus 2020 05;48(5):E2

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

The Quality Outcomes Database (QOD), formerly known as the National Neurosurgery Quality Outcomes Database (N2QOD), was established by the NeuroPoint Alliance (NPA) in collaboration with relevant national stakeholders and experts. The overarching goal of this project was to develop a centralized, nationally coordinated effort to allow individual surgeons and practice groups to collect, measure, and analyze practice patterns and neurosurgical outcomes. Specific objectives of this registry program were as follows: "1) to establish risk-adjusted national benchmarks for both the safety and effectiveness of neurosurgical procedures, 2) to allow practice groups and hospitals to analyze their individual morbidity and clinical outcomes in real time, 3) to generate both quality and efficiency data to support claims made to public and private payers and objectively demonstrate the value of care to other stakeholders, 4) to demonstrate the comparative effectiveness of neurosurgical and spine procedures, 5) to develop sophisticated 'risk models' to determine which subpopulations of patients are most likely to benefit from specific surgical interventions, and 6) to facilitate essential multicenter trials and other cooperative clinical studies." The NPA has launched several neurosurgical specialty modules in the QOD program in the 7 years since its inception including lumbar spine, cervical spine, and spinal deformity and cerebrovascular and intracranial tumor. The QOD Spine modules, which are the primary subject of this paper, have evolved into the largest North American spine registries yet created and have resulted in unprecedented cooperative activities within our specialty and among affiliated spine care practitioners. Herein, the authors discuss the experience of QOD Spine programs to date, with a brief description of their inception, some of the key achievements and milestones, as well as the recent transition of the spine modules to the American Spine Registry (ASR), a collaboration between the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.2.FOCUS207DOI Listing
May 2020
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