Publications by authors named "Hsuan-Kan Chang"

52 Publications

Simple parameters of synthetic MRI for assessment of bone density in patients with spinal degenerative disease.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Oct 15:1-8. Epub 2021 Oct 15.

1Department of Biomedical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taipei, Taiwan.

Objective: Good bone quality is the key to avoiding osteoporotic fragility fractures and poor outcomes after lumbar instrumentation and fusion surgery. Although dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) screening is the current standard for evaluating osteoporosis, many patients lack DEXA measurements before undergoing lumbar spine surgery. The present study aimed to investigate the utility of using simple quantitative parameters generated with novel synthetic MRI to evaluate bone quality, as well as the correlations of these parameters with DEXA measurements.

Methods: This prospective study enrolled patients with symptomatic lumbar degenerative disease who underwent DEXA and conventional and synthetic MRI. The quantitative parameters generated with synthetic MRI were T1 map, T2 map, T1 intensity, proton density (PD), and vertebral bone quality (VBQ) score, and these parameters were correlated with T-score of the lumbar spine.

Results: There were 62 patients and 238 lumbar segments eligible for analysis. PD and VBQ score moderately correlated with T-score of the lumbar spine (r = -0.565 and -0.651, respectively; both p < 0.001). T1 intensity correlated fairly well with T-score (r = -0.411, p < 0.001). T1 and T2 correlated poorly with T-score. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis demonstrated area under the curve values of 0.808 and 0.794 for detecting osteopenia/osteoporosis (T-score ≤ -1.0) and osteoporosis (T-score ≤ -2.5) with PD (both p < 0.001).

Conclusions: PD and T1 intensity values generated with synthetic MRI demonstrated significant correlation with T-score. PD has excellent ability for predicting osteoporosis and osteopenia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.6.SPINE21666DOI Listing
October 2021

Cervical disc arthroplasty for Klippel-Feil syndrome.

Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2021 10 3;209:106934. Epub 2021 Sep 3.

Department of Neurosurgery, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan; School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming Chiao-Tung University, Taipei, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Objective: Klippel-Feil syndrome (KFS) is a congenital musculoskeletal condition characterized by improper segmentation of the cervical spine. This study aimed to evaluate outcomes of KFS patients who underwent cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA).

Methods: Consecutive patients who underwent anterior cervical surgery were retrospectively reviewed. Those patients with KFS who received discectomy adjacent to the congenitally fused vertebral segments were extracted and grouped into either the fusion or the CDA group. Clinical and radiological evaluations included visual analog scales, Neck Disability Index (NDI), Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) scores, C2-7 range of motion (ROM), C2-7 Cobb angle, C2-7 sagittal vertical axis (SVA), and T1-slope.

Results: Among 2320 patients, there were 41 with KFS (prevalence = 1.77%), who were younger than the entire cohort (53.3 vs 56.4 years). Thirty KFS patients had adjacent discs and were grouped into the CDA and fusion groups (14 vs 16). Type-I KFS with C3-4 involvement was the most common for both groups (92.8% vs 81.2% with 57% vs 50%, respectively). Post-operation, both groups demonstrated improvement of all the patient reported outcomes. The C2-7 ROM significantly decreased in the fusion group than that of pre-operation (12.8 ± 6° vs 28.1 ± 11.5°). In contrast, the CDA group successfully preserved C2-7 and segmental ROM without additional complications.

Conclusions: KFS is rare (prevalence = 1.77%) among cervical spine surgery patients, and it rarely affects the overall cervical spinal alignment, except that it decreases segmental mobility. CDA is a feasible option for KFS because it not only avoids long-segment fusion but also preserves segmental and global mobility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2021.106934DOI Listing
October 2021

Correlation of bone density to screw loosening in dynamic stabilization: an analysis of 176 patients.

Sci Rep 2021 09 1;11(1):17519. Epub 2021 Sep 1.

Department of Biomedical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, No. 155, Sec. 2, Li-Nong St., Beitou District, Taipei, 112, Taiwan, ROC.

Although osteoporosis has negative impacts on lumbar fusion, its effects on screw loosening in dynamic stabilization remain elusive. We aimed to correlate bone mineral density (BMD) with screw loosening in Dynesys dynamic stabilization (DDS). Consecutive patients who underwent 2- or 3-level DDS for spondylosis, recurrent disc herniations, or low-grade spondylolisthesis at L3-5 were retrospectively reviewed. BMD was assessed by the Hounsfield Unit (HU) in vertebral bodies (VB) and pedicles with and without cortical bone (CB) on pre-operative computed tomography (CT). Screw loosening was assessed by radiographs and confirmed by CT. HU values were compared between the loosened and intact screws. 176 patients and 918 screws were analyzed with 78 loosened screws found in 36 patients (mean follow-up: 43.4 months). The HU values of VB were similar in loosened and intact screws (p = 0.14). The HU values of pedicles were insignificantly less in loosened than intact screws (including CB: 286.70 ± 118.97 vs. 297.31 ± 110.99, p = 0.45; excluding CB: 238.48 ± 114.90 vs. 240.51 ± 108.91, p = 0.88). All patients had clinical improvements. In conclusion, the HU values, as a surrogate for BMD, were unrelated to screw loosening in DDS. Therefore, patients with compromised BMD might be potential candidates for dynamic stabilization rather than fusion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-95232-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8410763PMC
September 2021

Cranio-Vertebral Junction Triangular Area: Quantification of Brain Stem Compression by Magnetic Resonance Images.

Brain Sci 2021 Jan 6;11(1). Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Department of Neurosurgery, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei 11217, Taiwan.

(1) Background: Most of the currently used radiological criteria for craniovertebral junction (CVJ) were developed prior to the popularity of magnetic resonance images (MRIs). This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a novel triangular area (TA) calculated on MRIs for pathologies at the CVJ. (2) Methods: A total of 702 consecutive patients were enrolled, grouped into three: (a) Those with pathologies at the CVJ ( = 129); (b) those with underlying rheumatoid arthritis (RA) but no CVJ abnormalities ( = 279); and (3) normal (control; = 294). TA was defined on T2-weighted MRIs by three points: The lowest point of the clivus, the posterior-inferior point of C2, and the most dorsal indentation point at the ventral brain stem. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to correlate the prognostic value of the TA with myelopathy. Pre- and post-operative TA values were compared for validation. (c) Results: The CVJ-pathology group had the largest mean TA (1.58 ± 0.47 cm), compared to the RA and control groups (0.96 ± 0.31 and 1.05 ± 0.26, respectively). The ROC analysis calculated the cutoff-point for myelopathy as 1.36 cm with the area under the curve at 0.93. Of the 81 surgical patients, the TA was reduced (1.21 ± 0.37 cm) at two-years post-operation compared to that at pre-operation (1.67 ± 0.51 cm). Moreover, intra-operative complete reduction of the abnormalities could further decrease the TA to 1.03 ± 0.39 cm. (4) Conclusions: The TA, a valid measurement to quantify compression at the CVJ and evaluate the efficacy of surgery, averaged 1.05 cm in normal patients, and 1.36 cm could be a cutoff-point for myelopathy and of clinical significance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11010064DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7825444PMC
January 2021

Minimally invasive dynamic screw stabilization using cortical bone trajectory.

BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2020 Sep 10;21(1):605. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

Department of Neurosurgery, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Room 525, 17F, No. 201, Shih-Pai Road, Sec. 2, Beitou, Taipei, 11217, Taiwan.

Background: The conventional pedicle-screw-based dynamic stabilization process involves dissection of the Wiltse plane to cannulate the pedicles, which cannot be undertaken with minimal surgical invasion. Despite some reports having demonstrated satisfactory outcomes of dynamic stabilization in the management of low-grade spondylolisthesis, the extensive soft tissue dissection involved during pedicle screw insertion substantially compromises the designed rationale of motion (muscular) preservation. The authors report on a novel method for minimally invasive insertion of dynamic screws and a mini case series.

Methods: The authors describe innovations for inserting dynamic screws via the cortical bone trajectory (CBT) under spinal navigation. All the detailed surgical procedures and clinical data are demonstrated.

Results: A total of four (2 females) patients (mean age 64.75 years) with spinal stenosis at L4-5 were included. By a combination of microscopic decompression and image-guided CBT screw insertion, laminectomy and dynamic screw stabilization were achieved via one small skin incision (less than 3 cm). These patients' back and leg pain improved significantly after the surgery.

Conclusion: This innovative dynamic screw stabilization via the CBT involved no discectomy (or removal of sequestrated fragment only), no interbody fusion, and little muscle dissection (not even of the Wiltse plane). As a minimally invasive surgery, CBT appeared to be a viable alternative to the conventional pedicle-screw-based dynamic stabilization approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12891-020-03629-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7488542PMC
September 2020

The Effect of T1-Slope in Spinal Parameters After Cervical Disc Arthroplasty.

Neurosurgery 2020 Nov;87(6):1231-1239

Department of Neurosurgery, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.

Background: Although patients with cervical kyphosis are not ideal candidates for cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA), there is a paucity of data on patients with a straight or slightly lordotic neck.

Objective: To correlate cervical lordosis, T1-slope, and clinical outcomes of CDA.

Methods: The study retrospectively analyzed 95 patients who underwent 1-level CDA and had 2-yr follow-up. They were divided into a high T1-slope (≥28°) group (HTSG, n = 45) and a low T1-slope (<28°) group (LTSG, n = 50). Cervical spinal alignment parameters, including T1-slope, cervical lordosis (C2-7 Cobb angle), and segmental mobility (range of motion [ROM]) at the indexed level, were compared. The clinical outcomes were also assessed.

Results: The mean T1-slope was 28.1 ± 7.0°. After CDA, the pre- and postoperative segmental motility remained similar and cervical lordosis was preserved. All the clinical outcomes improved after CDA. The HTSG were similar to the LTSG in age, sex, segmental mobility, and clinical outcomes. However, the HTSG had higher cervical lordosis than the LTSG. Furthermore, the LTSG had increased cervical lordosis (ΔC2-7 Cobb angle), whereas the HTSG had decreased lordosis after CDA. Patients of the LTSG, who had more improvement in cervical lordosis, had a trend toward increasing segmental mobility at the index level (ΔROM) than the HTSG.

Conclusion: In this series, T1-slope correlated well with global cervical lordosis but did not affect the segmental mobility. After CDA, the changes in cervical lordosis correlated with changes in segmental mobility. Therefore, segmental lordosis should be cautiously preserved during CDA as it could determine the mobility of the disc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyaa271DOI Listing
November 2020

Commentary: Low-Grade Infection and Implant Failure Following Spinal Instrumentation: A Prospective Comparative Study.

Neurosurgery 2020 10;87(5):E541-E542

Department of Neurosurgery, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyaa160DOI Listing
October 2020

Effects of smoking on pedicle screw-based dynamic stabilization: radiological and clinical evaluations of screw loosening in 306 patients.

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

1Department of Neurosurgery, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital.

Objective: Cigarette smoking has been known to increase the risk of pseudarthrosis in spinal fusion. However, there is a paucity of data on the effects of smoking in dynamic stabilization following lumbar spine surgery. This study aimed to investigate the clinical outcomes and the incidence of screw loosening among patients who smoked.

Methods: Consecutive patients who had lumbar spondylosis, recurrent disc herniations, or low-grade spondylolisthesis that was treated with 1- or 2-level surgical decompression and pedicle screw-based Dynesys dynamic stabilization (DDS) were retrospectively reviewed. Patients who did not complete the minimum 2 years of radiological and clinical evaluations were excluded. All screw loosening was determined by both radiographs and CT scans. Patient-reported outcomes, including visual analog scale (VAS) scores of back and leg pain, Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scores, and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), were analyzed. Patients were grouped by smoking versus nonsmoking, and loosening versus intact screws, respectively. All radiological and clinical outcomes were compared between the groups.

Results: A total of 306 patients (140 women), with a mean age of 60.2 ± 12.5 years, were analyzed during an average follow-up of 44 months. There were 34 smokers (9 women) and 272 nonsmokers (131 women, 48.2% more than the 26.5% of smokers, p = 0.017). Postoperatively, all the clinical outcomes improved (e.g., VAS back and leg pain, JOA scores, and ODI, all p < 0.001). The overall rate of screw loosening was 23.2% (71 patients), and patients who had loosened screws were older (61.7 ± 9.6 years vs 59.8 ± 13.2 years, p = 0.003) and had higher rates of diabetes mellitus (33.8% vs 21.7%, p = 0.038) than those who had intact DDS screws. Although the patients who smoked had similar clinical improvement (even better VAS scores in their legs, p = 0.038) and a nonsignificantly lower rate of screw loosening (17.7% and 23.9%, p = 0.416), the chances of secondary surgery for adjacent segment disease (ASD) were higher than for the nonsmokers (11.8% vs 1.5%, p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Smoking had no adverse effects on the improvements of clinical outcomes in the pedicle screw-based DDS surgery. For smokers, the rate of screw loosening trended lower (without significance), but the chances of secondary surgery for ASD were higher than for the nonsmoking patients. However, the optimal surgical strategy to stabilize the lumbar spine of smoking patients requires future investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.2.SPINE191380DOI Listing
May 2020

Comparison of Radiation Exposure Between O-Arm Navigated and C-Arm Guided Screw Placement in Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion.

World Neurosurg 2020 07 18;139:e489-e495. Epub 2020 Apr 18.

Department of Neurosurgery, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan; School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Background: Instrumentation in minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MIS-TLIF) is highly dependent on image guidance. Guidance with fluoroscopy (C-arm) and cone-beam computed tomography (O-arm) with navigation are common options. The intraoperative radiation exposure to patients with the different image modalities has not been compared, however. The present study aimed to compare the radiation exposure of the C-arm guidance and O-arm navigation techniques during MIS-TLIF surgery.

Methods: Ninety consecutive patients who underwent MIS-TLIF for degenerative lumbar pathologies were retrospectively reviewed. The patients were divided into the C-arm guided (CG) and the O-arm navigated (ON) groups (45 patients in each group), and the radiation dosage reports were analyzed for comparison of radiation exposure.

Results: The ON group had a higher average effective radiation dose (1.99 ± 0.4 mSv vs. 0.91 ± 0.3 mSv). For patients with more than 2 interbody fusion levels (≥6 pedicle screws), the effective dose per screw was similar in the CG and ON groups (0.22 ± 0.08 mSv vs. 0.23 ± 0.05 mSv). As the body mass index increased, the per-screw effective dose of the CG group showed a significant positive trend, compared with a nonsignificant negative trend in the ON group.

Conclusions: For level 1 MIS-TLIF (4 percutaneous screws), patients in the ON group had almost double the radiation exposure as those in the CG group. For level ≥2 (≥6 screws) or obese patients, the O-arm with navigation has the advantage of similar radiation exposure to the patient and less (almost no) radiation to the operating room staff.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.04.052DOI Listing
July 2020

Less Opioid Consumption With Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF): A Comparison to Standard Minimally-Invasive TLIF.

Neurospine 2020 Mar 31;17(1):228-236. Epub 2020 Mar 31.

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA.

Objective: The concept of enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) is relatively new to the neurosurgical field. The introduction of an ERAS protocol in lumbar fusion surgery has aimed to accelerate patient recovery from surgery by reducing in-hospital opioid consumption.

Methods: Patients with 1- or 2-level degenerative lumbar spine disease and who underwent ERAS transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) were retrospectively reviewed. Patients' general demographic data, in-hospital opioid dosage (converted to morphine equivalents), and hospital stay were compared to those who underwent standard minimally-invasive (MIS)-TLIF.

Results: Twenty-four patients who received ERAS TLIF (the ERAS group) were compared to a series of 24 patients who received standard MIS-TLIF (the MIS group). The demographic data were similar. The operation time and blood loss significantly favored ERAS TLIF. The average daily opioid consumption was remarkably lower in the ERAS group than the MIS group. Average opioid dosage throughout the entire in-hospital period was also significantly reduced in the ERAS group compared to the MIS group. The average length of hospital stay was substantially shorter in the ERAS group (1.4 ± 1.13 days vs. 4.0±1.98 days, p<0.001).

Conclusion: The present study demonstrated a significant decline in the consumption of opioids and in the hospital length of stay for patients undergoing ERAS TLIF for 1- or 2-level degenerative lumbar spine disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14245/ns.1938422.211DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7136122PMC
March 2020

Early Discharged Lumbar Spine Fusion Reduced Postoperative Readmissions: A Retrospective Cohort Study.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 02 19;17(4). Epub 2020 Feb 19.

Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 11221, Taiwan.

Early discharge (ED) has emerged and gained popularity in spine surgery. However, the benefits of ED in lumbar fusion have not yet been validated by large cohort studies. To evaluate the effects of ED on readmissions and reoperations in lumbar fusion, this study utilized a national database to enroll patients who had undergone lumbar fusion surgery at age 50-70 years, and grouped them into an ED group or a comparison group. In the comprehensive follow-up of 180 days post-operation, the two groups were compared. There were 18,008 patients in the cohort, including 2172 in the ED group and 15,836 in the comparison group. The ED group was slightly younger (59.9 vs. 60.7 years, < 0.001), more male predominant (44.9% vs. 36.9%, < 0.001), and had fewer medical comorbidities. The ED group had less incidences of readmission than the comparison group. (Crude hazard ratio = 0.73, and adjusted HR = 0.75, both < 0.001). Overall, the cumulative incidences of readmission in the ED group (9.5%) were lower than those in the comparison group (12.8%, < 0.001), whereas reoperations were insignificantly different (1.5% vs. 1.2%, = 0.189). For patients aged 50-70 years and who require lumbar fusion surgery, ED could yield a 25% reduced risk of readmission for any cause within 180 days post-operation. Since the reoperation rates remained similar, our results suggest that ED may be a promising option for elderly patients undergoing lumbar spinal fusion surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041335DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7068397PMC
February 2020

Letter to the Editor. Indolent clinical and radiological effects of cervical disc arthroplasty.

J Neurosurg Spine 2020 Jan 31:1-2. Epub 2020 Jan 31.

1Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2019.11.SPINE191369DOI Listing
January 2020

Natural History of Acromegaly: Incidences, Re-operations, Cancers, and Mortality Rates in a National Cohort.

Neuroendocrinology 2020 11;110(11-12):977-987. Epub 2019 Dec 11.

School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan,

Background: Acromegaly is so rare that its natural history, including incidence, risk of cancers, and mortality rates, remains elusive. This natural study utilized a nationwide database to provide a better understanding of acromegaly's disease course.

Methods: A cohort of 1,195 acromegaly patients were identified and followed-up from 1997 to 2013. Incidence, operation, and re-operation rates were calculated. Excessive mortality and cancer risk related to acromegaly were estimated by standardized mortality ratio (SMR) and standardized incidence ratio (SIR).

Results: The incidence was 2.78 per million-person-years, with little gender predominance (female vs. male, 49.5 vs. 50.5%, respectively). There was female predominance only among 50 and 60 year-olds (incidence rate ratio: 1.37 and 1.43, p < 0.001 and p = 0.002). Among them, 673 (56.3%) had hypophysectomy surgery, and the young-onset (<40 years) patients had more re-operations (15.5%, p = 0.01). The overall mortality rate was 22.3 per 1,000 person-years, with a median survival of 4.67 years (with no gender differences, p = 0.38). The overall SMR of acromegaly patients was 1.41, and the onset-age-specific SMRs of the early- and middle-onset patients were higher than for those with late-onset. There were 87 newly diagnosed cancers in the cohort, with an incidence rate of 10.6 per 1,000 person-years (median 5.4 years). The overall SIR of cancers was 1.91, and there were no differences among gender, onset-age, and disease duration (all SIR >1, approximately 2).

Conclusion: Acromegaly is associated with an excessive risk of mortality and two-fold higher risk of cancers. Patients with acromegaly should be managed appropriately after the diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000505332DOI Listing
August 2021

Radiological and clinical outcomes of 3-level cervical disc arthroplasty.

J Neurosurg Spine 2019 Nov;32(2):174-181

3Department of Biomedical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, and.

Objective: One- and two-level cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) has been compared to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) in several large-scale, prospective, randomized trials that have demonstrated similar clinical outcomes. However, whether these results would be similar when treating 3-level disc herniation and/or spondylosis has remained unanswered. This study aimed to investigate the differences between 3-level CDA and ACDF.

Methods: A series of 50 patients who underwent 3-level CDA at C3-7 was retrospectively reviewed and compared with another series of 50 patients (age- and sex-matched controls) who underwent ACDF at C3-7. Clinical outcomes were measured using the visual analog scale (VAS) for neck and arm pain, the modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association (mJOA) scale, and the Neck Disability Index (NDI). Radiological outcomes included range of motion (ROM) at the index levels. Every patient was evaluated by CT for the presence of fusion in the ACDF group. Also, complication profiles were investigated.

Results: The demographics and levels of distribution in both groups were very similar. During the follow-up period of 24 months, clinical outcomes improved (overall and respectively in each group) for both the CDA and ACDF patients when compared with the patients' preoperative condition. There were essentially few differences between the two groups in terms of neck and arm pain VAS scores, mJOA scores, and NDI scores preoperatively and at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months postoperatively. After the 3-level surgery, the CDA group had an increased mean ROM of approximately 3.4°, at 25.2° ± 8.84°, compared to their preoperative ROM (21.8° ± 7.20°) (p = 0.001), whereas the ACDF group had little mobility (22.8° ± 5.90° before and 1.0° ± 1.28° after surgery; p < 0.001). The mean operative time, estimated blood loss, and complication profiles were similar for both groups.

Conclusions: In this selectively matched retrospective study, clinical outcomes after 3-level CDA and ACDF were similar during the 2-year follow-up period. CDA not only successfully preserved but slightly increased the mobility at the 3 index levels. However, the safety and efficacy of 3-level CDA requires more long-term data for validatation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2019.8.SPINE19545DOI Listing
November 2019

Suture Repair in Endoscopic Surgery for Craniovertebral Junction.

Neurospine 2019 Jun 30;16(2):257-266. Epub 2019 Jun 30.

Department of Neurosurgery, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.

Objective: Endoscopic approaches to the craniovertebral junction (CVJ) have been established as viable and effective surgical treatments in the past decade. One of the major complications is leakage of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This study aimed to investigate the efficacy and feasibility of suture closure at the nasopharyngeal mucosa upon durotomy.

Methods: A series of consecutive patients who underwent different endoscopic approaches to the CVJ were retrospectively reviewed. The pathologies, surgical corridors, neurological and functional outcomes, radiological evaluations, and complications were analyzed. Different strategies of repair for the intraoperative CSF leakage were described and compared.

Results: A total of 22 patients covering 13 years were analyzed. There were 12, 2, and 8 patients who underwent transnasal, transoral, and combined approaches, respectively. There were 8 patients (36.4%) who experienced intraoperative CSF leakage, and were grouped into 2: 4 in the nonsuture (NS) group and 4 in the suture-repaired (SR) group. The NS group had 3 (75%) persistent CSF leakages postoperation that caused 1 mortality, whereas patients of the SR group had only 1 minor CSF rhinorrhea that healed spontaneously within days.

Conclusion: In this series of 22 patients who required anterior endoscopic resection of pathologies at the CVJ, there was 1 (4.5%) serious complication related to CSF leakage. For patients who had no durotomy, the mucosal incision at the nasopharynx usually healed rapidly and there were few procedure-related complications. For patients with intraoperative CSF leakage, suture closure was technically challenging but could significantly lower the risks of postoperative complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14245/ns.1938174.087DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6603818PMC
June 2019

Risk factors of second surgery for adjacent segment disease following anterior cervical discectomy and fusion: A 16-year cohort study.

Int J Surg 2019 Aug 15;68:48-55. Epub 2019 Jun 15.

Department of Family Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan; School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan; Institute of Hospital and Health Care Administration, National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Background: Although the incidence of second surgery for adjacent segment disease (ASD) after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) has been reported, its risk factors remain elusive. Few studies have had a sufficiently large number of patients, long follow-up time, and high follow-up rate for investigation. To identify non-surgical risk factors of second surgery for ASD following ACDF, the study used a national cohort with comprehensive follow-up.

Materials And Methods: All second ACDF surgery after one year from the first ACDF were identified as a consequence of ASD that required another surgery. A multivariate competing risk survival model, Kaplan-Meier survivorship, and average time to events were calculated.

Results: Among 38,149 patients who had the first ACDF, 1,092 (2.9%) later (mean 4.66 years) received a second ACDF surgery, during the nearly-perfect follow-up of 16 years. Young age and psychiatric disorders were independent risk factors. Patients who were aged under 40, 50, 60 and 70 years were, respectively, 4.56, 4.09, 3.09 and 2.17 times more likely than those older than 70 years. Also, patients with depression or psychoses were, respectively, 1.42 and 1.45 times more likely to have second surgery for ASD. (all p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Young age and psychiatric disorders are independent risk factors of second ACDF surgery for ASD. Personalized strategies to ameliorate or postpone the development of ASD are therefore warranted for patients who need ACDF surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsu.2019.06.002DOI Listing
August 2019

Cervical disc arthroplasty for less-mobile discs.

J Neurosurg Spine 2019 May;31(3):310-316

1Department of Neurosurgery, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital.

Objective: The published clinical trials of cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) have unanimously demonstrated the success of preservation of motion (average 7°-9°) at the index level for up to 10 years postoperatively. The inclusion criteria in these trials usually required patients to have evident mobility at the level to be treated (≥ 2° on lateral flexion-extension radiographs) prior to the surgery. Although the mean range of motion (ROM) remained similar after CDA, it was unclear in these trials if patients with less preoperative ROM would have different outcomes than patients with more ROM.

Methods: A series of consecutive patients who underwent CDA at the level of C5-6 were followed up and retrospectively reviewed. The indications for surgery were medically refractory cervical radiculopathy, myelopathy, or both, caused by cervical disc herniation or spondylosis. All patients were assigned to 1 of 2 groups: a less-mobile group, which consisted of those patients who had an ROM of ≤ 5° at C5-6 preoperatively, or a more-mobile group, which consisted of patients whose ROM at C5-6 was > 5° preoperatively. Clinical outcomes, including visual analog scale, Neck Disability Index, and Japanese Orthopaedic Association Scale scores, were evaluated at each time point. Radiological outcomes were also assessed.

Results: A total of 60 patients who had follow-up for more than 2 years were analyzed. There were 27 patients in the less-mobile group (mean preoperative ROM 3.0°) and 33 in the more-mobile group (mean ROM 11.7°). The 2 groups were similar in demographics, including age, sex, diabetes, and cigarette smoking. Both groups had significant improvements in clinical outcomes, with no significant differences between the 2 groups. However, the radiological evaluations demonstrated remarkable differences. The less-mobile group had a greater increase in ΔROM than the more-mobile group (ΔROM 5.5° vs 0.1°, p = 0.001), though the less-mobile group still had less segmental mobility (ROM 8.5° vs 11.7°, p = 0.04). The rates of complications were similar in both groups.

Conclusions: Preoperative segmental mobility did not alter the clinical outcomes of CDA. The preoperatively less-mobile (ROM ≤ 5°) discs had similar clinical improvements and greater increase of segmental mobility (ΔROM), but remained less mobile, than the preoperatively more-mobile (ROM > 5°) discs at 2 years postoperatively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2019.2.SPINE181472DOI Listing
May 2019

Long Term Outcomes and Effects of Surgery on Degenerative Spinal Deformity: A 14-Year National Cohort Study.

J Clin Med 2019 Apr 10;8(4). Epub 2019 Apr 10.

School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 11221, Taiwan.

Degenerative spinal deformity (DSD) has become a prevalent cause of disability and pain among the aging population worldwide. Though surgery has emerged as a promising option for DSD, the natural course, outcomes, and effects of surgery on DSD have remained elusive. This cohort study used a national database to comprehensively follow up patients of DSD for all-cause mortality, respiratory problems, and hip fracture-related hospitalizations. All patients were grouped into an operation or a non-operation group for comparison. An adjustment of demographics, comorbidities, and propensity-score matching was conducted to ameliorate confounders. A Cox regression hazard ratio (HR) model and Kaplan-Meier analysis were also applied. The study comprised 21,810 DSD patients, including 12,544 of the operation group and 9266 of the non-operation group. During the 14 years (total 109,591.2 person-years) of follow-up, the operation group had lower mortality (crude hazard ratio = 0.40), lower respiratory problems (cHR = 0.45), and lower hip fractures (cHR = 0.63) than the non-operation group (all < 0.001). After adjustment, the risks for mortality and respiratory problems remained lower (adjusted HR = 0.60 and 0.65, both < 0.001) in the operation than the non-operation group, while hip fractures were indifferent (aHR = 1.08, > 0.05). Therefore, surgery for DSD is invaluable since it could reduce the risks of mortality and of hospitalization for respiratory problems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm8040483DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6518357PMC
April 2019

Radiological and clinical outcomes of cervical disc arthroplasty for the elderly: a comparison with young patients.

BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2019 Mar 18;20(1):115. Epub 2019 Mar 18.

Department of Neurosurgery, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Room 525, 17F, #201, Shih-Pai Road, Sec. 2, Beitou District, Taipei, 11217, Taiwan.

Background: This study aimed to investigate whether cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) would be equally effective in elderly patients as in the young. The inclusion criteria of published clinical trials for CDA-enrolled patients covered the ages from 18 to 78 years. However, there was a paucity of data addressing the differences of outcomes between older and the younger patients.

Methods: A series of consecutive patients who underwent one- or two-level CDA were retrospectively reviewed. Patients at the two extreme ends of the age distribution (≥65 and ≤ 40 years) were selected for comparison. Clinical outcome parameters included visual analog scale (VAS) of neck and arm pain, neck disability index (NDI), and Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scores. Radiographic outcomes included range of motion (ROM) at the indexed level and evaluation of heterotopic ossification (HO) by computed tomography (CT). Complication profiles were also investigated.

Results: There were 24 patients in the elderly group (≥65 years old) and 47 patients in the young group (≤40 years old) with an overall mean follow-up of 28.0 ± 21.97 months. The elderly group had more two-level CDA, and thus the mean operative time was longer (239 vs. 179 min, p < 0.05) than the young group. Both groups had similarly significant improvement in clinical outcomes at the final follow-up. All the replaced disc segments remained mobile on post-operative lateral flexion and extension radiographs. However, the elderly group had a slight decrease in mean ROM (- 0.32° ± 3.93°) at the index level after CDA when compared to that of pre-operation. In contrast, the young group had an increase in mean ROM (+ 0.68° ± 3.60°). The complication profiles were not different, though a trend toward dysphagia was noted in the elderly group (p = 0.073). The incidence or severity (grading) of HO was similar between the two groups.

Conclusions: During the follow-up of two years, CDA was equally effective for patients over 65 years old and those under 40 years in clinical improvement. Although the elderly group demonstrated a small reduction of mean ROM after CDA, in contrast to the young group which had a small increase, the segmental mobility was well preserved at every indexed level for each group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12891-019-2509-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6421705PMC
March 2019

Radiological and clinical outcomes of cervical disc arthroplasty for the elderly: a comparison with young patients.

BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2019 Mar 18;20(1):115. Epub 2019 Mar 18.

Department of Neurosurgery, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Room 525, 17F, #201, Shih-Pai Road, Sec. 2, Beitou District, Taipei, 11217, Taiwan.

Background: This study aimed to investigate whether cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) would be equally effective in elderly patients as in the young. The inclusion criteria of published clinical trials for CDA-enrolled patients covered the ages from 18 to 78 years. However, there was a paucity of data addressing the differences of outcomes between older and the younger patients.

Methods: A series of consecutive patients who underwent one- or two-level CDA were retrospectively reviewed. Patients at the two extreme ends of the age distribution (≥65 and ≤ 40 years) were selected for comparison. Clinical outcome parameters included visual analog scale (VAS) of neck and arm pain, neck disability index (NDI), and Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scores. Radiographic outcomes included range of motion (ROM) at the indexed level and evaluation of heterotopic ossification (HO) by computed tomography (CT). Complication profiles were also investigated.

Results: There were 24 patients in the elderly group (≥65 years old) and 47 patients in the young group (≤40 years old) with an overall mean follow-up of 28.0 ± 21.97 months. The elderly group had more two-level CDA, and thus the mean operative time was longer (239 vs. 179 min, p < 0.05) than the young group. Both groups had similarly significant improvement in clinical outcomes at the final follow-up. All the replaced disc segments remained mobile on post-operative lateral flexion and extension radiographs. However, the elderly group had a slight decrease in mean ROM (- 0.32° ± 3.93°) at the index level after CDA when compared to that of pre-operation. In contrast, the young group had an increase in mean ROM (+ 0.68° ± 3.60°). The complication profiles were not different, though a trend toward dysphagia was noted in the elderly group (p = 0.073). The incidence or severity (grading) of HO was similar between the two groups.

Conclusions: During the follow-up of two years, CDA was equally effective for patients over 65 years old and those under 40 years in clinical improvement. Although the elderly group demonstrated a small reduction of mean ROM after CDA, in contrast to the young group which had a small increase, the segmental mobility was well preserved at every indexed level for each group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12891-019-2509-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6421705PMC
March 2019

Early Discharge for Anterior Cervical Fusion Surgery: Prediction of Readmission and Special Considerations for Older Adults.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2019 02 21;16(4). Epub 2019 Feb 21.

Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 11221, Taiwan.

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is the standard surgical management for disc herniation and spondylosis worldwide and reportedly performed with short hospitalization and early discharge (ED). However, it is unknown if ED improves the outcomes of ACDF including among older adults. This cohort study included patients who underwent ACDF surgery in Taiwan over two years analyzed in two groups: the ED group (discharged within 48 hours), and the comparison group (hospitalized for more than 48 h). Both groups were followed-up for at least 180 days. Pre- and post-operative comorbidities, re-admissions and re-operations were analyzed using a multivariate cox-regression model, with bootstrapping, and Kaplan⁻Meier analysis. Among 5565 ACDF patients, the ED group ( = 405) had a higher chance (crude and adjusted hazard ratio = 2.33 and 2.39, both < 0.001) of re-admission than the comparison group ( = 5160). The ED group had an insignificant trend toward more re-admissions for spinal problems and re-operations within 180 days. In the ED group, older age (≥60) and hypertension were predictive of re-admission. For ACDF surgery, the ED group had higher rates of re-admission within 180 days of post-op, suggesting that the current approach to ED requires modification or more cautious selection criteria be adopted, particularly for older adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040641DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6406524PMC
February 2019

Unintended facet fusions after Dynesys dynamic stabilization in patients with spondylolisthesis.

J Neurosurg Spine 2018 12;30(3):353-361

1Department of Neurosurgery, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital.

OBJECTIVEThe pedicle screw-based Dynesys dynamic stabilization (DDS) has reportedly become a surgical option for lumbar spondylosis and spondylolisthesis. However, it is still unclear whether the dynamic construct remains mobile or eventually fuses. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence of unintended facet arthrodesis after DDS and its association with spondylolisthesis.METHODSThis retrospective study was designed to review 105 consecutive patients with 1- or 2-level lumbar spondylosis who were treated with DDS surgery. The patients were then divided into 2 groups according to preexisting spondylolisthesis or not. All patients underwent laminectomies, foraminotomies, and DDS. The clinical outcomes were measured using visual analog scale (VAS) scores for back and leg pain, Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scores, and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores. All medical records, including pre- and postoperative radiographs, CT scans, and MR images, were also reviewed and compared.RESULTSA total of 96 patients who completed the postoperative follow-up for more than 30 months were analyzed. The mean age was 64.1 ± 12.9 years, and the mean follow-up duration was 46.3 ± 12.0 months. There were 45 patients in the spondylolisthesis group and 51 patients in the nonspondylolisthesis group. The overall prevalence rate of unintended facet fusion was 52.1% in the series of DDS. Patients with spondylolisthesis were older (67.8 vs 60.8 years, p = 0.007) and had a higher incidence rate of facet arthrodesis (75.6% vs 31.4%, p < 0.001) than patients without spondylolisthesis. Patients who had spondylolisthesis or were older than 65 years were more likely to have facet arthrodesis (OR 6.76 and 4.82, respectively). There were no significant differences in clinical outcomes, including VAS back and leg pain, ODI, and JOA scores between the 2 groups. Furthermore, regardless of whether or not unintended facet arthrodesis occurred, all patients experienced significant improvement (all p < 0.05) in the clinical evaluations.CONCLUSIONSDuring the mean follow-up of almost 4 years, the prevalence of unintended facet arthrodesis was 52.1% in patients who underwent DDS. Although the clinical outcomes were not affected, elderly patients with spondylolisthesis might have a greater chance of facet fusion. This could be a cause of the limited range of motion at the index levels long after DDS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2018.8.SPINE171328DOI Listing
December 2018

Traumatic Brain Injury in Early Childhood and Risk of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Nationwide Longitudinal Study.

J Clin Psychiatry 2018 10 16;79(6). Epub 2018 Oct 16.

Department of Psychiatry, No. 201, Shih-Pai Rd, Sec. 2, 11217, Taipei, Taiwan.

Objective: Early childhood (< 3 years of age) is a critical period for neurodevelopment. This study investigated the correlation between early childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI) and subsequent risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and developmental delay (DD) by analyzing a national-scale cohort.

Methods: Data from the National Health Insurance Research Database, which comprises health care information from > 99% of the Taiwanese population, were analyzed. Children with TBI in their early childhood were enrolled from 1998-2008, and the incidence of subsequent ADHD, ASD, or DD (according to ICD-9 criteria) was assessed and compared with controls without TBI. Patients' age, number of TBI events, and TBI severity were investigated for the risk of ADHD, ASD, or DD.

Results: A total of 7,801 and 31,204 children were enrolled in the TBI and control cohorts, respectively. The TBI cohort exhibited a higher incidence of subsequent ADHD, ASD, or DD than the controls (all P < .001). Diagnoses of ADHD, ASD, or DD in the TBI cohort were made at a younger age compared with the controls. Cox regression demonstrated the highest hazard ratios (HRs) of ADHD, ASD, or DD with repeated TBI events, severe TBI, and TBI events before 1 year of age, with the exception that the HR of ASD did not significantly increase after repeated TBI (P = .335). In addition, cumulative HRs (> 10 years) of ADHD, ASD, or DD were increased after TBI (all P < .001).

Conclusions: Data from this study suggest that the incidence of ADHD, ASD, and DD significantly increased after TBI events in early childhood (< 3 years of age). The risk factors include severe TBI, repeated TBI events, and TBI at a younger age. The long-term follow-up demonstrated an increased cumulative risk of ADHD, ASD, and DD after TBI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4088/JCP.17m11857DOI Listing
October 2018

Measuring Optic Nerve Sheath Diameter as a Proxy for Intracranial Pressure.

JAMA Ophthalmol 2018 11;136(11):1310-1311

Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2018.3435DOI Listing
November 2018

A Hybrid Dynamic Stabilization and Fusion System in Multilevel Lumbar Spondylosis.

Neurospine 2018 Sep 22;15(3):231-241. Epub 2018 Aug 22.

Department of Neurosurgery, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.

Objective: The Dynesys-Transition-Optima (DTO) hybrid system was designed to achieve arthrodesis and stabilization in patients with lumbar degeneration. Satisfactory outcomes were demonstrated previously. However, no study has evaluated the effects of using the DTO system in patients with lumbar spondylolisthesis or stenosis.

Methods: This retrospective study included 35 consecutive patients with multilevel lumbar degeneration with or without spondylolisthesis who underwent surgery using the DTO system. Imaging studies included pre- and postoperative radiography, magnetic resonance imaging, and computed tomography. The clinical outcomes were measured by Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) scores, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores, and a visual analogue scale (VAS) for back and leg pain.

Results: Thirty patients (85.7%) with a mean age of 61.9 years completed the follow-up, with a mean duration of 35.1 months. There were 21 patients in the spondylolisthesis group and 9 in the stenosis group. The spondylolisthesis group had worse functional scores than the stenosis group preoperatively. After DTO surgery, all patients showed significant improvements in clinical outcomes, including VAS for back and leg pain, ODI, and JOA scores (p < 0.05). There were no significant differences in clinical outcomes between the 2 groups. At a 2-year follow-up, lumbar alignment was well maintained in both groups (p = 0.116). There were no significant differences in lumbar alignment between the 2 groups.

Conclusion: During a follow-up period of over 2 years, both patients with spondylolisthesis and those with stenosis showed improvements and similar disability and pain scores after surgery using the DTO system. Lumbar alignment was also well maintained.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14245/ns.1836108.054DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6226129PMC
September 2018

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery™ Awake Minimally-Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion: 2-Dimensional Operative Video.

Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown) 2019 Apr;16(4):519

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida.

This video demonstrates the awake endoscopic minimally-invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MIS-TLIF) used in our institution's developing Enhanced Recovery After Surgery program. This technique relies on 6 key components, including (1) conscious sedation, (2) endoscopic visualization, (3) long-acting local anesthesia, (4) an expandable interbody device, (5) osteobiologics, and (6) percutaneous instrumentation. In joining these technologies, this procedure embodies the principles of minimally invasive surgery while achieving excellent clinical outcomes. We have previously described this procedure in detail, as well as its impact at our institution, including significant reductions in operative time, blood loss, postoperative length of stay, and hospital costs. The procedure depicted in this video involves the off-label use of bone morphogenetic protein-2 and the Spineology Optimesh allograft containment device. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The patient gave direct consent for the use of the video footage and associated information from this surgery for the making and publication of this surgical video.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ons/opy187DOI Listing
April 2019

Reduced Acute Care Costs With the ERAS® Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion Compared With Conventional Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion.

Neurosurgery 2018 10;83(4):827-834

Department of Anesthesiology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida.

Background: Enhancing Recovery After Surgery (ERAS®) programs have been widely adopted throughout the world, but not in spinal surgery. In this report, we review the implementation of a "fast track" surgery for lumbar fusion and its effect on acute care hospitalization costs.

Objective: To determine if a "fast track" surgery methodology results in acute care cost savings.

Methods: Thirty-eight consecutive ERAS patients were compared with patients undergoing conventional minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion. Differences between these groups included the use of endoscopic decompression, injections of liposomal bupivacaine, and performing the surgery under sedation in the ERAS® group.

Results: Patients had similar medical comorbidities (2.02 vs 2 for ERAS® and comparator groups, respectively; P = .458). Body mass index was similar (26.5 vs 27.0; P = .329). ERAS® patients were older (65 vs 59 yr, P = .031). Both groups had excellent clinical results with an improvement of 23% and 24%, respectively. Intraoperative blood loss was less (68 ± 31 cc vs 231 ± 73, P < 0.001). Length of stay was also less with ERAS® surgery, at a mean of 1.23 ± 0.8 d vs 3.9 ± 1.1 d (P = 0.009). When comparing ERAS® surgery to standard minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion, the total cost for the acute care hospitalization was $19 212 vs $22 656, respectively (P < 0.001). This reflected an average of $3444 in savings, which was a 15.2% reduction.

Conclusion: ERAS® programs for spinal fusion surgery have the potential to reduce the costs of acute care. This is made possible by leveraging less invasive interventions to minimize soft tissue damage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyx400DOI Listing
October 2018

Serious dysphagia following anterior cervical discectomy and fusion: long-term incidence in a national cohort.

J Neurosurg Sci 2020 Jun 11;64(3):231-237. Epub 2017 May 11.

Department of Emergency Medicine, National Yang-Ming University Hospital, I-Lan, Taiwan.

Background: Although dysphagia is often self-limiting after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF), its incidence, risks, and long-term outcomes remain unclear. The present study aimed to analyze dysphagia up to 5 years post-ACDF using a nation-scaled cohort.

Methods: Incidences of permanent dysphagia requiring nasogastric-tube feeding after ACDF were analyzed using three million-sample cohorts derived from the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan. All identified subjects were stratified into four groups (40's, 50's, 60's, and >70) according to their age at operation, and were subsequently followed up for 5 years. The risks of dysphagia were compared between the groups using Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox regression hazard ratio model.

Results: A total of 2723 patients (>40 years old) who received first-time ACDF surgery were identified from a cohort of three million and followed up for a maximum of 5 years post-operation. The 5-year incidence rates of persistent dysphagia (requiring use of a nasogastric tube) were 6.1, 4.0, 12.0, and 22.8 per 1000 person-years for each age group (40's, 50's, 60's, and 70+ years old, respectively). The overall incidence rate of dysphagia after ACDF was 18.4, 10.9, and 8.9 per 1000 person-years at 3 months, 1 year, and 5 years follow-up, respectively. The incidence rates of dysphagia and use of home care services were highest at 3 months postoperatively in all age groups, but dropped to a stable level after one year post-operation. The risks of dysphagia and the necessity of using home care services were higher (hazard ratio= 2.69 and 4.96) in the elderly group (aged 70 years and over) at all follow-up time points.

Conclusions: The elderly patients had higher risks of short- and long-term severe dysphagia after ACDF. Therefore, although the incidence rates were still low (approximately 2.3%), older patients (aged 70 years and over) should be cautioned for dysphagia requiring a nasogastric tube and home care services if they undergo ACDF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0390-5616.17.03970-4DOI Listing
June 2020

Stem Cell Transplantation Helps Alleviate Spinal Cord Injury Sequelae in Mice.

Neurosurgery 2017 03;80(3):N12-N14

University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyx236DOI Listing
March 2017

Is cervical disc arthroplasty good for congenital cervical stenosis?

J Neurosurg Spine 2017 May 10;26(5):577-585. Epub 2017 Mar 10.

Department of Neurosurgery, Neurological Institute, and.

OBJECTIVE Cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) has been demonstrated to be as safe and effective as anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) in the management of 1- and 2-level degenerative disc disease (DDD). However, there has been a lack of data to address the fundamental discrepancy between the two surgeries (CDA vs ACDF), and preservation versus elimination of motion, in the management of cervical myelopathy associated with congenital cervical stenosis (CCS). Although younger patients tend to benefit more from motion preservation, it is uncertain if CCS caused by multilevel DDD can be treated safely with CDA. METHODS Consecutive patients who underwent 3-level anterior cervical discectomy were retrospectively reviewed. Inclusion criteria were age less than 50 years, CCS (Pavlov ratio ≤ 0.82), symptomatic myelopathy correlated with DDD, and stenosis limited to 3 levels of the subaxial cervical (C3-7) spine. Exclusion criteria were ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament, previous posterior decompression surgery (e.g., laminoplasty or laminectomy), osteoporosis, previous trauma, or other rheumatic diseases that might have caused the cervical myelopathy. All these patients who underwent 3-level discectomy were divided into 2 groups according to the strategies of management: preservation or elimination of motion (the hybrid-CDA group and the ACDF group). The hybrid-CDA group underwent 2-level CDA plus 1-level ACDF, whereas the ACDF group underwent 3-level ACDF. Clinical assessment was measured by the visual analog scales (VAS) for neck and arm pain, Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scores, and Nurick grades. Radiographic outcomes were measured using dynamic radiographs for evaluation of range of motion (ROM). RESULTS Thirty-seven patients, with a mean (± SD) age of 44.57 ± 5.10 years, were included in the final analysis. There was a male predominance in this series (78.4%, 29 male patients), and the mean follow-up duration was 2.37 ± 1.60 years. There were 20 patients in the hybrid-CDA group, and 17 in the ACDF group. Both groups demonstrated similar clinical improvement at 2 years' follow-up. These patients with 3-level stenosis experienced significant improvement after either type of surgery (hybrid-CDA and ACDF). There were no significant differences between the 2 groups at each of the follow-up visits postoperatively. The preoperative ROM over the operated subaxial levels was similar between both groups (21.9° vs 21.67°; p = 0.94). Postoperatively, the hybrid-CDA group had significantly greater ROM (10.65° vs 2.19°; p < 0.001) than the ACDF group. Complications, adverse events, and reoperations in both groups were similarly low. CONCLUSIONS Hybrid-CDA yielded similar clinical improvement to 3-level ACDF in patients with myelopathy caused by CCS. In this relatively young group of patients, hybrid-CDA demonstrated significantly more ROM than 3-level ACDF without adjacent-segment disease (ASD) at 2 years' follow-up. Therefore, hybrid-CDA appears to be an acceptable option in the management of CCS. The strategy of motion preservation yielded similar improvements of cervical myelopathy to motion elimination (i.e., ACDF) in patients with CCS, while the theoretical benefit of reducing ASD required further validation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2016.10.SPINE16317DOI Listing
May 2017
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