Publications by authors named "Mohamad Bydon"

342 Publications

Impact of Opioid Prescribing Guidelines on Postoperative Opioid Prescriptions Following Elective Spine Surgery: Results From an Institutional Quality Improvement Initiative.

Neurosurgery 2021 Jun 10. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

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

Background: With a dramatic rise in prescription opioid use, it is imperative to review postsurgical prescribing patterns given their contributions to the opioid epidemic.

Objective: To evaluate the impact of departmental postoperative prescribing guidelines on opioid prescriptions following elective spine surgery.

Methods: Patients undergoing elective cervical or lumbar spine surgery between 2017 and 2018 were identified. Procedure-specific opioid prescribing guidelines to limit postoperative prescribing following neurosurgical procedures were developed in 2017 and implemented in January 2018. Preguideline data were available from July to December 2017, and postguideline data from July to December 2018. Discharge prescriptions in morphine milliequivalents (MMEs), the proportion of patients (i) discharged with an opioid prescription, (ii) needing refills within 30 d, (iii) with guideline compliant prescriptions were compared in the 2 groups. Multivariable (MV) analyses were performed to assess the impact of guideline implementation on refill prescriptions within 30 d.

Results: A total of 1193 patients were identified (cervical: 308; lumbar: 885) with 569 (47.7%) patients from the preguideline period. Following guideline implementation, fewer patients were discharged with a postoperative opioid prescription (92.5% vs 81.7%, P < .001) and median postoperative opioid prescription decreased significantly (300 MMEs vs 225 MMEs, P < .001). The 30-d refill prescription rate was not significantly different between preguideline and postguideline cohorts (pre: 24.4% vs post: 20.2%, P = .079). MV analyses did not demonstrate any impact of guideline implementation on need for 30-d refill prescriptions for both cervical (odds ratio [OR] = 0.68, confidence interval [CI] = 0.37-1.26, P = .22) and lumbar cohorts (OR = 0.95, CI = 0.66-1.36, P = .78).

Conclusion: Provider-aimed interventions such as implementation of procedure-specific prescribing guidelines can significantly reduce postoperative opioid prescriptions following spine surgery without increasing the need for refill prescriptions for pain control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyab196DOI Listing
June 2021

Intracranial Hypotensive Crisis From an Insidious Spinal Cerebrospinal Fluid-Venous Fistula: A Case Report.

Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown) 2021 Jun 7. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

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

Background And Importance: Progressive episodic spells of altered levels of consciousness, often advancing to include paroxysmal autonomic instability, may be indicative of a diencephalic dysfunction underlying spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH). A rare, and often indolent, etiology may be spinal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak-an elusive diagnosis, especially in cases of CSF-venous fistula (CVF) that are often missed on routine computed tomography (CT) myelography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Clinical Presentation: We report an unusual case of a 50-yr-old woman who presented with rapidly progressive cyclical, self-resolving episodes of altered mentation and decreased arousal later in the day. Scrutiny of serial brain MRIs led to a diagnosis of SIH, with severe downward diencephalic and brain stem displacement-resulting in cerebral aqueduct occlusion with obstructive hydrocephalus. Initial clinical improvement occurred with CSF diversion, but the patient quickly deteriorated-developing diencephalic spells, including extensor posturing and severely depressed levels of consciousness. Clinical improvement was seen with stopping CSF diversion and Trendelenburg-positioning. After intensive spinal imaging, dynamic CT myelography identified a left T10 nerve root diverticula and CSF-venous fistula. Surgical obliteration resulted in rapid, profound neurological improvement, and ultimately full neurological recovery by 1 yr.

Conclusion: In our patient, worsening episodes of confusion, postural headaches, and autonomic instability developed due to SIH, which induced profound downward displacement and compression of the diencephalon and brain stem, and accompanied by subsequent obstructive hydrocephalus. Diagnostic persistence identified the CVF, which had caused the complex multifold pathophysiology and clinical presentation. If suspicion remains high for CVF, persistent spinal imaging, particularly with dynamic myelography, may be crucial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ons/opab154DOI Listing
June 2021

Teriparatide Treatment Increases Hounsfield Units in the Thoracic Spine, Lumbar Spine, Sacrum, and Ilium Out of Proportion to the Cervical Spine.

Clin Spine Surg 2021 May 24. Epub 2021 May 24.

Department of Neurological Surgery, Mayo Clinic Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, Rochester, MN Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitative Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI Departments of Orthopedic Surgery Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Study Design: This was a retrospective chart review.

Objective: The objective of this study was to compare the effect of teriparatide on Hounsfield Units (HU) in the cervical spine, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, sacrum, and pelvis. Second, to correlate HU changes at each spinal level with bone mineral density (BMD) on dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA).

Summary Of Background Data: HU represent a method to estimate BMD and can be used either separately or in conjunction with BMD from DXA.

Materials And Methods: A retrospective chart review included patients who had been treated with at least 6 months of teriparatide. HU were measured in the vertebral bodies of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral spine and iliac crests. Lumbar and femoral neck BMD as measured on DXA was collected when available.

Results: One hundred twenty-five patients were identified for analysis with an average age of 67 years who underwent a mean (±SD) of 22±8 months of teriparatide therapy. HU improvement in the cervical spine was 11% (P=0.19), 25% in the thoracic spine (P=0.002), 23% in the lumbar spine (P=0.027), 17% in the sacrum (P=0.11), and 29% in the iliac crests (P=0.09). Lumbar HU correlated better than cervical HU with BMD as measured on DXA.

Conclusions: Teriparatide increased average HU in the thoracolumbar spine to a proportionally greater extent than the cervical spine. The cervical spine had a higher baseline starting HU than the thoracolumbar spine. Lumbar HU correlated better than cervical and thoracic HU with BMD as measured on DXA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BSD.0000000000001203DOI Listing
May 2021

The Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation (SANE) after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion: A pilot study.

J Clin Neurosci 2021 Jun 2;88:95-101. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States.

Study Design: Retrospective cohort.

Objectives: To evaluate the single assessment numerical evaluation (SANE) as a patient reported outcomes measure (PROM) after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF), by comparing to legacy measures.

Methods: We included all patients undergoing ACDF with at least one year of follow up with complete PROM data. Patients completed the Neck Disability Index (NDI), the RAND-36 and the EuroQual Five Dimension (EQ-5D) scale, as well as the one-question SANE, pre- and post-operatively. Validity of SANE compared with other PROMs was determined utilizing Pearson's correlation (ρ), proportional bias (B), responsiveness, minimal clinically important difference (MCID) and agreement.

Results: Sixty-nine patients were included. There were moderate-to-strong correlations at a minimum of one-year follow-up between the SANE and NDI (ρ = -0.73, P < 0.0001), RAND (ρ = 0.80, P < 0.0001), and EQ-5D (ρ = -0.66, P < 0.0001). No significant proportional bias was found for the SANE when compared to the RAND (B = 0.03, p = 0.99), NDI (B = -0.003, p = 0.99), or EQ-5D (B = -0.0007, p = 0.99). Responsiveness for SANE was statistically similar to all other PROMs. The MCID for SANE was determined to be 10.5, with 42% of patients achieving the MCID. Bland-Altman plots demonstrated high agreement between all PROMs.

Conclusion: We found the SANE score provides clinically important patient outcomes data after ACDF, despite only requiring answering one question. The SANE performs comparably to more burdensome health questionnaires. The SANE score may offer spine surgeons the option to easily and quickly collect clinically relevant data on their surgical patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2021.03.037DOI Listing
June 2021

Postoperative C5 Palsy: Apples, Oranges, and Rotten Tomatoes.

World Neurosurg 2021 May 12;151:145-146. Epub 2021 May 12.

Department of Neurological Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.05.016DOI Listing
May 2021

Clinical characteristics and management differences for grade II and III spinal meningiomas.

J Neurooncol 2021 May 10. Epub 2021 May 10.

Mayo Clinic Neuro-Informatics Laboratory, Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Purpose: The majority of spinal meningiomas are grade I tumors, as defined by World Health Organization (WHO) classification making atypical (grade II) or anaplastic (grade III) tumors extremely rare lesions to encounter in clinical practice. Here, we present our institutional experience of management of grade II and III spinal meningiomas.

Methods: Following IRB approval, we queried all available institutional electronic medical records for patients undergoing surgical resection of pathology-proven spinal meningiomas, with further review of patients with grade II and III. Variables of interest included age, sex, histological type, tumor size, symptoms at baseline, treatment characteristics, symptom resolution at the last follow-up, recurrence, NF-2 status, concurrent intracranial meningioma, and mortality. Kaplan Meier curves were constructed to study time to progression/recurrence.

Results: A total of 188 patients undergoing surgical resection of spinal meningioma between 1988 and 2018 were identified. Among those, 172 (91.5%) patients had grade I meningioma and 16 (8.5%) patients had high grade meningiomas [grade II (15) and III (1)]. Over a median (IQR) follow-up of 8.0 years (5.1-13.0), mortality and recurrence rates were 18.8% (n = 3) and 47.1% (n = 8), respectively. In univariate analysis, adjuvant radiotherapy and thoracic segment involvement were associated with lower rates of recurrence while male sex was associated with a higher rate of recurrence.

Conclusions: Results showed variations in clinical outcomes for patients with high grade spinal meningiomas, especially the recurrence. Adjuvant radiotherapy and thoracic segment involvement was associated with lower rates of recurrence while recurrence ocurred at a higher rate in males.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-021-03771-1DOI Listing
May 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

Diagnostic yield, accuracy, and complication rate of CT-guided biopsy for spinal lesions: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

J Neurointerv Surg 2021 Apr 21. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

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

Background: CT-guided biopsy is a commonly used diagnostic procedure for spinal lesions. This meta-analysis aims to investigate its diagnostic performance and complications, as well as factors influencing outcomes.

Methods: A systematic review of the literature was performed to identify studies reporting outcomes of CT-guided biopsies for spinal lesions. Diagnostic yield (ie, the rate of procedures resulting in a specific pathological diagnosis) and diagnostic accuracy (ie, the rate of procedures resulting in the correct diagnosis) were the primary outcomes of interest. Complications following biopsy procedures were also included.

Results: Thirty-nine studies with 3917 patients undergoing 4181 procedures were included. Diagnostic yield per procedure was 91% (95% CI 88% to 94%) among 3598 procedures. The most common reason for non-diagnostic biopsies was inadequacy of sample. No difference in diagnostic yield between different locations and between lytic, sclerotic, and mixed lesions was found. Diagnostic yield did not differ between procedures using ≤13G and ≥14G needles. Diagnostic accuracy per procedure was 86% (95% CI 82% to 89%) among 3054 procedures. Diagnostic accuracy among 2426 procedures that yielded a diagnosis was 94% (95% CI 92% to 96%). Complication rate was 1% (95% CI 0.4% to 1.9%) among 3357 procedures. Transient pain and minor hematoma were the most common complications encountered.

Conclusion: In our meta-analysis of 39 studies reporting diagnostic performance and complications of CT-guided biopsy, we found a diagnostic yield of 91% and diagnostic accuracy of 86% with a complication rate of 1%. Diagnostic yield did not differ between different locations, between lytic, sclerotic and mixed lesions, and between wide- and thin-bore needles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/neurintsurg-2021-017419DOI Listing
April 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

Cervical chordomas: multicenter case series and meta-analysis.

J Neurooncol 2021 May 3;153(1):65-77. Epub 2021 Apr 3.

Department of Neurosurgery, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, USA.

Background: En bloc spondylectomy is the gold standard for surgical resection of sacral chordomas (CHO), but the effect of extent of resection on recurrence and survival in patients with CHO of the cervical spine remains elusive.

Methods: MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus, and Cochrane were systematically reviewed. Patients with cervical CHO treated at three tertiary-care academic institutions were reviewed for inclusion. We performed an individual participant data meta-analysis to assess the overall survival (OS) and progression free survival (PFS) after en bloc-gross total resection (GTR) and intralesional-GTR compared to subtotal resection (STR). We then performed an intention-to-treat analysis including all patients with attempted en bloc resection in the en bloc group, regardless of the surgical margins.

Results: There was a total of 13 series including 161 patients with cervical CHO, including our current series of 22 patients. GTR (en bloc-GTR + intralesional-GTR) was associated with a significant decrease in the risk of local progression (pooled hazard ratio (PHR) = 0.22; 95% CI 0.08-0.59; p = 0.003) and risk of death (PHR 0.31; 95%; CI 0.12-0.83; p = 0.020). A meta-regression analyses determined that intralesional-GTR improved PFS (PHR 0.35; 95% CI 0.16-0.76; p = 0.009) as well as OS (PHR 0.25; 95% CI 0.08-0.79; p = 0.019) when compared to STR. En bloc-GTR was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of local progression (PHR 0.06; 95% CI 0.01-0.77; p = 0.030), but not a decreased OS (PHR 0.50; 95% CI 0.19-1.27; p = 0.145). Our intention-to-treat analyses revealed a near significant improvement in OS for the en bloc group (PHR: 0.15; 95% CI 0.02-1.22; p = 0.054), and nearly identical improvement in PFS. Radiation data was not available for the studies included in the meta-analysis.

Conclusion: This is the first and only meta-analysis of patients with cervical CHO. We found that both en bloc-GTR and intralesional-GTR resulted in improved local tumor control when compared to STR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-021-03742-6DOI Listing
May 2021

Harmonized outcome measures for use in degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis patient registries and clinical practice.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Mar 19:1-9. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

3OM1, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts.

Objective: The development of new treatment approaches for degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis (DLS) has introduced many questions about comparative effectiveness and long-term outcomes. Patient registries collect robust, longitudinal data that could be combined or aggregated to form a national and potentially international research data infrastructure to address these and other research questions. However, linking data across registries is challenging because registries typically define and capture different outcome measures. Variation in outcome measures occurs in clinical practice and other types of research studies as well, limiting the utility of existing data sources for addressing new research questions. The purpose of this project was to develop a minimum set of patient- and clinician-relevant standardized outcome measures that are feasible for collection in DLS registries and clinical practice.

Methods: Nineteen DLS registries, observational studies, and quality improvement efforts were invited to participate and submit outcome measures. A stakeholder panel was organized that included representatives from medical specialty societies, health systems, government agencies, payers, industries, health information technology organizations, and patient advocacy groups. The panel categorized the measures using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Outcome Measures Framework (OMF), identified a minimum set of outcome measures, and developed standardized definitions through a consensus-based process.

Results: The panel identified and harmonized 57 outcome measures into a minimum set of 10 core outcome measure areas and 6 supplemental outcome measure areas. The measures are organized into the OMF categories of survival, clinical response, events of interest, patient-reported outcomes, and resource utilization.

Conclusions: This effort identified a minimum set of standardized measures that are relevant to patients and clinicians and appropriate for use in DLS registries, other research efforts, and clinical practice. Collection of these measures across registries and clinical practice is an important step for building research data infrastructure, creating learning healthcare systems, and improving patient management and outcomes in DLS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.9.SPINE20437DOI Listing
March 2021

Choosing and Using Patient-Reported Outcome Measures in Clinical Practice.

Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2021 Mar 10. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

The increasing use of patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures is forcing clinicians and health care systems to decide which to select and how to incorporate them into their records and clinical workflows. This overview addresses 3 topics related to these concerns. First, a literature review summarizes key psychometric and practical factors (such as reliability, responsiveness, computer adaptive testing, and interpretability) in choosing PROs for clinical practice. Second, 3 clinical decision support issues are highlighted: gathering PROs, electronic health record effect on providers, and incorporating PROs into clinical decision support design and implementation. Lastly, the salience of crosscutting domains as well as 9 key pragmatic decisions are reviewed. Crosscutting domains are those that are relevant across most medical and mental health conditions, such as the SPADE symptom pentad (sleep problems, pain, anxiety, depression, low energy/fatigue) and physical functioning. The 9 pragmatic decisions include (1) generic vs disease-specific scales; (2) single- vs multidomain scales; (3) universal scales vs user-choice selection; (4) number of domains to measure; (5) prioritization of domains when multiple domains are assessed; (6) action thresholds; (7) clinical purpose (screening vs monitoring); as well as the (8) frequency and (9) logistical aspects of PRO administration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2020.12.033DOI Listing
March 2021

Letter to the Editor Regarding "Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Inpatient Management of Primary Spinal Cord Tumors".

World Neurosurg 2021 Mar;147:239

Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.11.067DOI Listing
March 2021

Trends in Utilization of Preoperative Embolization for Spinal Metastases: A Study of the National Inpatient Sample 2005-2017.

Neurointervention 2021 Mar 4;16(1):52-58. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Purpose: While previous studies have suggested that preoperative embolization of hypervascular spinal metastases may alleviate intraoperative blood loss and improve resectability, trends and driving factors for choosing this approach have not been extensively explored. Therefore, we evaluated the trends and assessed the factors associated with preoperative embolization utilization for spinal metastatic tumors using a national inpatient database.

Materials And Methods: The National Inpatient Sample database of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project was queried for patients undergoing surgical resection for spinal metastasis between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2017. Patients undergoing preoperative embolization were identified; trends in the utilization of preoperative embolization were analyzed using the Cochran-Armitage test. Multivariable regression was conducted to assess factors associated with higher preoperative embolization utilization.

Results: A total of 11,508 patients with spinal metastasis were identified; 105 (0.91%) underwent preoperative embolization. Of those 105 patients, 79 (75.24%) patients had a primary renal cancer, as compared to 1,732 (15.19%) of those who did not undergo preoperative embolization (P<0.001). The majority of patients in the non-preoperative embolization cohort had a primary lung tumor (n=3,562, 31.24%). Additionally, patient comorbidities were similar among the 2 groups (P>0.05). Trends in preoperative embolization indicated an increase of 0.16% (standard error: 0.024%, P<0.001) in utilization per year.

Conclusion: Utilization of preoperative embolization for spinal metastasis is increasing yearly, especially for patients with renal cancer, suggesting that surgeons may increasingly consider embolization before surgical resection for hypervascular tumors. Additionally, the literature has shown the intraoperative and postoperative benefits of this procedure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5469/neuroint.2020.00381DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7946559PMC
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

Determining the Difference in Clinical and Radiologic Outcomes Between Expandable and Nonexpandable Titanium Cages in Cervical Fusion Procedures: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

World Neurosurg 2021 May 28;149:249-264.e1. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Neuro-Informatics Laboratory, Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA; Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Expandable cages have been increasingly used in cervical and lumbar reconstructions; however, there is a paucity in the literature on how they compare with traditional nonexpandable cages in the cervical spine. We present a systematic review and meta-analysis, comparing the clinical and radiologic outcomes of expandable versus nonexpandable corpectomy cage use in the cervical spine.

Methods: A database search identified studies detailing the outcomes of expandable and nonexpandable titanium cage use in the cervical spine. These studies were screened using the PRISMA protocol. Fixed-effects and random-effects models were used with a 95% confidence interval. Two analyses were carried out for each outcome: one including all studies and the other including only studies reporting on exclusively 1-level and 2-level cases.

Results: Forty-one studies were included. The mean change in segmental lordosis was significantly greater in expandable cages (all, 6.72 vs. 3.69°, P < 0.001; 1-level and 2-level, 6.81° vs. 4.31°, P < 0.001). The mean change in cervical lordosis was also significantly greater in expandable cages (all, 5.71° vs. 3.11°, P = 0.027; 1-level and 2-level, 5.71° vs. 2.07°, P = 0.002). No significant difference was found between the complication rates (all, P = 0.43; 1-level and 2-level, P = 0.94); however, the proportion of revisions was significantly greater in expandable cages (all, 0.06 vs. 0.02, P = 0.03; 1-level and 2-level, 0.08 vs. 0.01, P = 0.017).

Conclusions: The use of expandable cages may carry a modest improvement in radiologic outcomes compared with nonexpandable cages in the cervical spine; however, they may also lead to a higher rate of revisions based on our analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.01.027DOI Listing
May 2021

Rate and Characteristics of Vertebral Artery Injury Following C1-C2 Posterior Cervical Fusion: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

World Neurosurg 2021 Apr 28;148:118-126. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Mayo Clinic Neuro-Informatics Laboratory, Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA; Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Intraoperative vascular injuries in the cervical spine are rare, but carry significant morbidity and mortality when they do occur. There is a need to better characterize the risk of vertebral artery injury (VAI) after posterior C1-C2 fusion. The aim of this study was to investigate the rate of VAI in patients undergoing posterior C1-C2 cervical fusion.

Methods: An electronic database search was performed to identify studies that reported rates of VAI following posterior cervical fusion at C1-C2 level. Patient-specific risk factors, surgical indication, surgical technique, and other data were collected for each study. Forest plots were created to outline the pooled ratios of VAI in the literature.

Results: Eleven studies with 773 patients were identified. Mean age of patients was 48.47 years (range, 6-78 years), and most patients were female (61.7%, n = 399). Trauma was the most frequent indication for surgery (18.8%, n = 146), followed by inflammatory processes affecting the vertebrae (13.2%, n = 102). The rate of VAI per patient was 2% (95% confidence interval = 1%-4%) among 773 patients, while injury rate per screw was 1% (95% confidence interval = 0%-2%) among 2238 screws placed.

Conclusions: The rate of VAI after C1-C2 posterior cervical fusion was found to be 2% for each operated patient and 1% for each screw placed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.12.165DOI Listing
April 2021

Local failure after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for intracranial metastasis: analysis from a cooperative, prospective national registry.

J Neurooncol 2021 Apr 22;152(2):299-311. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, 1300 Jefferson Park Ave, Charlottesville, VA, 22908, USA.

Introduction: Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has been increasingly employed to treat patients with intracranial metastasis, both as a salvage treatment after failed whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) and as an initial treatment. "Several studies have shown that SRS may be as effective as WBRT with the added benefit of preserving neuro-cognition". However, some patients may have local failure following SRS for intracranial metastasis, defined as increase in total lesion volume by 25% after at least 3 months of follow up.

Methods: The SRS registry, established by the Neuro point alliance (NPA) under the auspices of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), was queried for patients with intracranial metastasis receiving SRS at the participating sites. Demographic, clinical symptoms, tumor, and treatment characteristics as well as follow up status were summarized for the cohort. A multivariable explanatory cox- regression was performed to evaluate the impact of each of the factors on time to local failure.at last follow-up.

Results: A total of 441 patients with 1255 intracranial metastatic lesions undergoing SRS were identified. The most common primary cancer histology was non-small cell lung cancer (43.8%, n = 193). More than half of the cohort had more than 1 metastatic lesion (2-3 lesions: 29.5%, n = 130; more than 3 lesions: 25.2% (n = 111). The average duration of follow-up for the cohort was found to be 8.4 months (SD = 7.61). The mean clinical treatment volume (CTV), after adding together the volume of each lesion for each patient was 5.39 cc (SD = 7.6) at baseline. A total of 20.2% (n = 89) had local failure (increase in volume by  > 25%) with a mean time to progression of 7.719 months (SD = 6.09). The progression free survival (PFS) for the cohort at 3, 6 and 12 months were found to be 94.9%, 84.3%, and 69.4%, respectively. On multivariable cox regression analysis, factors associated with increased hazard of local failure included male gender (HR 1.65, 95% CI 1.03-2.66, p = 0.037), chemotherapy at or before SRS (HR = 2.39, 95% CI 1.41-4.05, p = 0.001), WBRT at or before SRS (HR = 2.21, 95% CI 1.16- 4.22, p = 0.017), while surgical resection (HR 0.45, 95% CI 0.21-0. 97, p = 0.04) and immunotherapy (0.34, 95% CI 0.16-0.50, p = 0.014) were associated with lower hazard of local failure.

Conclusion: Factors found to be predictive of local failure included higher RPA score and those receiving chemotherapy, while patients undergoing surgical resection and those with occipital lobe lesions were less likely to experience local failure. Our analyses not only corroborate those previously reported but also demonstrate the utility of a multi-institutional registry to advance real-world SRS research for patients with intracranial metastatic lesions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-021-03698-7DOI Listing
April 2021

Allograft Subsidence Decreases Postoperative Segmental Lordosis With Minimal Effect on Global Alignment Following ACDF.

Global Spine J 2021 Jan 21:2192568220988270. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Objective: Studies investigating the impact of interbody subsidence in ACDF suggest a correlation between subsidence and worse radiographic and patient-reported outcomes. The purpose of this study was to assess whether allograft subsidence assessed on CT is associated with worse cervical alignment.

Methods: We performed a retrospective review of a prospective cohort of patients undergoing 1 to 3 level ACDF. Cervical alignment was assessed on standing radiographs performed preoperatively, less than 2 months postoperatively, and greater than 6 months postoperatively. Allograft subsidence was assessed on CT scan performed at least 6 months postoperatively. Patients with at least 1 level demonstrating greater than 4mm of cage subsidence were classified as severe subsidence. Student's t-test was used to compare all means between groups.

Results: We identified 66 patients for inclusion, including 56 patients with non-severe subsidence and 10 patients with severe subsidence. For the entire cohort, there was a significant increase in C2-7 Lordosis (p = 0.005) and Segmental Lordosis (p < 0.00 001) from preoperative to early postoperative. On comparison of severely and non-severely subsided levels, severely subsided levels demonstrated a significantly greater loss of segmental lordosis from early to mid-term follow-up than non-severely subsided levels (-4.89 versus -2.59 degrees, p < 0.0001), manifesting as a significantly lower segmental lordosis at >6 months postoperative (0.54 versus 3.82 degrees, p < 0.00 001). There were no significant differences in global cervical alignment parameters between patients with severe and non-severe subsidence.

Conclusions: Severe subsidence is associated with a significant increase in loss of segmental lordosis, but has minimal effect on global cervical alignment parameters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2192568220988270DOI Listing
January 2021

Cervical Paraspinal Muscle Fatty Degeneration Is Not Associated with Muscle Cross-sectional Area: Qualitative Assessment Is Preferable for Cervical Sarcopenia.

Clin Orthop Relat Res 2021 04;479(4):726-732

Z. W. Pinter, A. Xiong, B. Currier, B. A. Freedman, A. Nassr, A. S. Sebastian, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Background: Sarcopenia, defined as decreased skeletal mass, is an independent marker of frailty that is not accounted for by other risk-stratification methods. Recent studies have demonstrated a clear association between paraspinal sarcopenia and worse patient-reported outcomes and complications after spine surgery. Currently, sarcopenia is characterized according to either a quantitative assessment of the paraspinal cross-sectional area or a qualitative analysis of paraspinal fatty infiltration on MRI. No studies have investigated whether the cervical paraspinal cross-sectional area correlates with fatty infiltration of the cervical paraspinal muscles on advanced imaging.

Question/purpose: Do patients undergoing anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) with increasing paraspinal fatty degeneration on advanced imaging also demonstrate decreased cervical paraspinal cross-sectional area?

Methods: Between 2011 and 2017, 98 patients were prospectively enrolled in a database of patients undergoing one- to three-level ACDF for degenerative conditions at a single institution. To be eligible for this prospective study, patients were required to undergo an MRI before surgery, be older than 18 years, and have no previous history of cervical spine surgery. Two independent reviewers, both surgeons not involved in the patients' care and who were blinded to the clinical outcomes, retrospectively assessed the paraspinal cross-sectional area and Goutallier classification of the right-sided paraspinal muscle complex. We then compared the patients' Goutallier grades with their paraspinal cross-sectional area measurements. We identified 98 patients for inclusion. Using the Fuchs modification of the Goutallier classification, we classified the fatty degeneration of 41 patients as normal (Goutallier Grades 0 to 1), that of 47 patients as moderate (Grade 2), and that of 10 patients as severe (Grades 3 to 4). We used ANOVA to compare all means between groups.

Results: There was no difference in the mean paraspinal cross-sectional area of the obliquus capitus inferior (normal 295 ± 81 mm2; moderate 317 ± 104 mm2; severe 300 ± 79 mm2; p = 0.51), multifidus (normal 146 ± 59 mm2; moderate 170 ± 70 mm2; severe 192 ± 107 mm2; p = 0.11), or sternocleidomastoid (normal 483 ± 150 mm2; moderate 468 ± 149 mm2; severe 458 ± 183 mm2; p = 0.85) among patients with mild, moderate, and severe fatty infiltration based on Goutallier grading. There was a slightly greater longus colli cross-sectional area in the moderate and severe fatty infiltration groups (74 ± 22 mm2 and 66 ± 18 mm2, respectively) than in the normal group (63 ± 15 mm2; p = 0.03).

Conclusion: Because our study demonstrates minimal association between paraspinal cross-sectional area and fatty infiltration of the cervical paraspinals, we recommend that physicians use the proven qualitative assessment of paraspinal fatty infiltration during preoperative evaluation of patients who are candidates for ACDF. Future studies investigating the relationship between cervical paraspinal cross-sectional area and patient-reported outcomes after ACDF are necessary to lend greater strength to this recommendation.

Level Of Evidence: Level III, diagnostic study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CORR.0000000000001621DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8083838PMC
April 2021

Utilization Trends of Recombinant Human Bone Morphogenetic Protein in the United States.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Jul;46(13):874-881

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

Study Design: Retrospective.

Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the utilization trends of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein (rh-BMP) in the United States using the largest inpatient administrative database.

Summary Of Background Data: Since 2002, the rh-BMP has been widely used by the surgical spine community in fusion surgery. In light of the rising evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of this novel and expensive bone biological technology, a comprehensive examination of its utilization in the American population is warranted.

Methods: We queried the 2002-Q3 2015 National Inpatient Sample for patients that underwent spinal fusion with rh-BMP. We calculated population-level estimates of rh-BMP utilization trends per 100,000 spinal fusions. Trends were estimated for the overall use as well as broken down by primary versus revision fusion, fusion type, number of levels, age category, US region, and hospital type.

Results: A total of 5,563,282 fusions were performed, of which 19.9% (n = 1,108,984) utilized rh-BMP. We detected an increase in rh-BMP use in spinal fusion surgery from 0.7% in 2002 to a peak of 29.5% in 2010, followed by a gradual decline till Q3 2015, where it represented 14.7% of all fusion surgeries. These trends paralleled all fusion types. It was most commonly used in fusions spanning two to three levels. The South remained the most common region, whereas West has recently surpassed the Midwest. Its use is becoming more pervasive among older patients, particularly in the 65- to 74 years' age group.

Conclusion: Further studies are needed to provide insights into the correlation of these trends with the technology's safety and efficacy profile in contemporary series.Level of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003919DOI Listing
July 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

The analgesic effect of intravenous lidocaine versus intrawound or epidural bupivacaine for postoperative opioid reduction in spine surgery: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2021 02 28;201:106438. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Mayo Clinic Neuro-Informatics Laboratory, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA; Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Pain management following spine surgery remains a challenge. The significant use of opioids may lead to opioid-related adverse events. These complications can increase perioperative morbidity and rapidly expend health care resources by developing chronic pain. Although intraoperative pain control for surgery has been studied in the literature, a thorough assessment of the effect in spine surgery is rarely reported. The objective of the present study was to examine the outcomes of intraoperative intravenous lidocaine and intrawound or epidural bupivacaine use in spine surgery.

Methods: An electronic literature search was conducted for studies on the use of lidocaine and bupivacaine in spine surgery for all years available. Only articles in English language were included. Postoperative opioid consumption, VAS score, nausea/vomiting, and length of hospital stay comprised the outcomes of interest. Pooled descriptive statistics with Risk Ratios (RR), Mean Differences (MD) and 95 % confidence interval were used to synthesize the outcomes for each medication.

Results: A total of 10 studies (n = 579) were included in the analysis. Comparison of the opioid consumption revealed a significant mean difference between lidocaine and bupivacaine (MD: -12.25, and MD: -0.4, respectively, p = 0.01), favoring lidocaine. With regard to postoperative VAS, the pooled effect of both groups decreased postoperative pain (MD: -0.61 (95 % CI: -1.14, -0.08)), with a more significant effect in the lidocaine group (MD: -0.84, (95 % CI: -1.21, -0.48)). There was no significant effect in length of stay, and postoperative nausea/vomiting.

Conclusions: The results of the present meta-analysis indicate that lidocaine and bupivacaine use may decrease postoperative pain and opioid consumption. Lidocaine had a stronger effect on the reduction of opioid consumption compared to bupivacaine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2020.106438DOI Listing
February 2021

Initiation of a Robotic Program in Spinal Surgery: Experience at a Three-Site Medical Center.

Mayo Clin Proc 2021 05 28;96(5):1193-1202. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

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

Objective: To highlight the early experience of implementing a robotic spine surgery program at a three-site medical center, evaluating the impact of increasing experience on the operative time and number of procedures performed.

Patients And Methods: A retrospective chart review of patients undergoing robotic screw placement between September 4, 2018, and October 16, 2019, was conducted. Baseline characteristics as well as intraoperative and post-operative outcomes were obtained.

Results: For a total of 77 patients, the mean age (SD) was 55.7 years (11.5) and 49.4% (n=38) were female. A total of 402 screws were placed (384 pedicle screws, 18 cortical screws) using robotic guidance with a median of two operative levels (interquartile range [IQR], 1 to 2). Median (IQR) estimated blood loss was 100 mL (50 to 200 mL) and the median (IQR) operative time was 224 minutes (193 to 307 minutes). With accrual of surgical experience, operative time declined significantly (R=-0.39; P<.001) whereas the number of procedures performed per week increased (R=0.30; P=.05) throughout the study period. Median (IQR) length of hospital stay following surgery was 2 days (IQR, 2 to 3 days). There were two screws requiring revision intraoperatively. No postoperative revisions were required, and no complications were encountered related to screw placement.

Conclusion: Early experience at our institution using a spinal robot has demonstrated no requirement for postoperative screw revisions and no complications related to screw malposition. The increased operative times were reduced as the frequency of procedures increased. Moreover, procedural times diminished over a short period with a weekly increasing number of procedures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocp.2020.07.034DOI Listing
May 2021

Is the current insurance structure leading to seasonality in demand for spinal surgery? A quarterly, yearly, and insurance based analysis.

Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2021 02 13;201:106429. Epub 2020 Dec 13.

Mayo Clinic Neuro-Informatics Laboratory, Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA; Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Elective lumbar fusion is a commonly employed procedure for degenerative lumbar spine disease. With healthcare costs rising reimbursement for procedures may be restricted by payers. Additionally, patients may undergo elective fusion once deductibles are covered, typically in the fourth quarter in a given year. The objective of this study was to analyze the trends in utilization for posterior lumbar fusion (PLF) earlier in the year (Q1-Q3) as compared to the end of the year(Q4). Variations in this proposed trend by insurance type were also studied as a primary outcome.

Methods: We queried the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project-National Inpatient Sample (HCUP-NIS) between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2014 for patients diagnosed with lumbar disc degenerative disease (DDD). Outcomes of interest included utilization and frequency of PLF.

Results: 221,466 patients hospitalized with Lumbar DDD between 2012 and 2014 were identified. Of these, 67,343(30.4 %) underwent a PLF procedure. The likelihood of lumbar fusion in patients hospitalized with DDD was significantly higher in the 4th quarter, compared to 1st quarter (OR1.13, p < 0.001). Marginal effect analysis indicated that Medicare patients were 1.0 % more likely to undergo PLF in quarter 4 compared to quarters 1-3 (p = 0.003), while privately insured patients were 2.5 % more likely to undergo PLF in quarter 4 compared to quarters 1-3(p < 0.001).

Conclusion: These results indicate that utilization of PLF is higher at the end of the year relative to the beginning, especially for patients with private insurance. This may be due to deductibles that have previously been paid off, lowering out-of-pocket expenses.
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February 2021

Trends in Utilization and Cost of Inpatient Spinal Cord Stimulation: Analysis of Data from 2008 to 2014.

World Neurosurg 2021 Mar 25;147:e171-e188. Epub 2020 Dec 25.

Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: In this study, we sought to characterize contemporary trends in cost and utilization of spinal cord stimulation (SCS).

Methods: The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project-National Inpatient Sample was queried for inpatient admissions from 2008 to 2014 where SCS was performed. We then determined the rates and costs of SCS performed in this time frame to treat diagnoses that we classified as device-related complications, degenerative spine disease, pain syndromes, and neuropathies/neuritis/nerve lesions. Least-squares regression was performed to determine the yearly trends for each indication adjusted by the total number of yearly hospitalizations for that diagnosis.

Results: We identified a total of 6876 admissions in whom an SCS was performed. The overall rate of inpatient SCS procedures performed has decreased by 45% from 2008 to 2014 (14.0 to 7.7 procedures per 100,000 admissions). Adjusted analysis for yearly trends also demonstrated a declining trend for all indications; however, this was not found to be statistically significant, except for device-related complications (P = 0.004). The median inflation-adjusted cost of an admission where SCS was performed increased slightly by 7.4% from $26,200 (IQR: $16,700-$33,800) in 2008 to $28,100 (IQR: $19,600-$36,900) in 2014. Billed hospital charges demonstrated a significant increase with median inflation-adjusted admission charge of $66,068 in 2008 to $110,672 in 2014.

Conclusions: Despite a declining contemporary trend in inpatient SCS, an increase was noted in admission costs and hospital charges. A significant declining trend was noted in revision SCS implantations due to device-related complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.12.012DOI Listing
March 2021

Clinically Meaningful Improvement Following Cervical Spine Surgery: 30% Reduction Versus Absolute Point-change MCID Values.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Jun;46(11):717-725

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Center for Musculoskeletal Research, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN.

Study Design: Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected registry data.

Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the performance of 30% reduction to established absolute point-change values for measures of disability and pain in patients undergoing elective cervical spine surgery.

Summary Of Background Data: Recent studies recommend using a proportional change from baseline instead of an absolute point-change value to define minimum clinically important difference (MCID).

Methods: Analyses included 13,179 patients who underwent cervical spine surgery for degenerative disease between April 2013 and February 2018. Participants completed a baseline and 12-month follow-up assessment that included questionnaires to assess disability (Neck Disability Index [NDI]), neck and arm pain (Numeric Rating Scale [NRS-NP/AP], and satisfaction [NASS scale]). Participants were classified as met or not met 30% reduction from baseline in each of the respective measures. The 30% reduction in scores at 12 months was compared to a wide range of established absolute point-change MCID values using receiver-operating characteristic curves, area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve (AUROC), and logistic regression analyses. These analyses were conducted for the entire patient cohort, as well as for subgroups based on baseline severity and surgical approach.

Results: Thirty percent reduction in NDI and NRS-NP/AP scores predicted satisfaction with more accuracy than absolute point-change values for the total population and ACDF and posterior fusion procedures (P < 0.05). The largest AUROC differences, in favor of 30% reduction, were found for the lowest disability (ODI 0-20%: 16.8%) and bed-bound disability (ODI 81%-100%: 16.6%) categories. For pain, there was a 1.9% to 11% and 1.6% to 9.6% AUROC difference for no/mild neck and arm pain (NRS 0-4), respectively, in favor of a 30% reduction threshold.

Conclusion: A 30% reduction from baseline is a valid method for determining MCID in disability and pain for patients undergoing cervical spine surgery.Level of Evidence: 3.
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June 2021

Telemedicine Utilization in Neurosurgery During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Glimpse Into the Future?

Mayo Clin Proc Innov Qual Outcomes 2020 Dec 10;4(6):736-744. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL.

Objective: To describe telemedicine utilization in neurosurgery at a single tertiary institution to provide outpatient care during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, with 315 telemedicine visits performed by the neurosurgery department.

Patients And Methods: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic national stay-at-home orders and postponed elective surgeries, we converted upcoming clinic visits into telemedicine visits and rescheduled other patients thought not to be markedly affected by surgical postponement. We reviewed the charts of all patients who had telehealth visits from April 1 through April 30, 2020, and collected demographic information, diagnosis, type of visit, and whether they received surgery; a satisfaction questionnaire was also administered.

Results: In March 2020, 94% (644 of 685) of the neurosurgery clinic visits were face-to-face, whereas in April 2020, 55% (315 of 573) of the visits were telemedicine (<.001). In April, of the 315 telemedicine visits, 172 (55%) were phone consults and 143 (45%) video consults; 101 (32%) were new consults, 195 (62%) return visits, and 18 (6%) postoperative follow-up. New consults were more likely to be video with audio than return visits and postoperative follow-up (<.001). Only 39 patients (12%) required surgery. Ninety-one percent of the questionnaire respondents were very likely to recommend telemedicine.

Conclusion: Rapid implementation of telemedicine to evaluate neurosurgery patients became an effective tool for preoperative consultation, postoperative and follow-up visits during the COVID-19 pandemic, and decreased risks of exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 to patients and health care staff. Future larger studies should investigate the cost-effectiveness of telemedicine used to triage surgical from nonsurgical patients, potential cost-savings from reducing travel burdens and lost work time, improved access, reduced wait times, and impact on patient satisfaction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocpiqo.2020.07.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7728424PMC
December 2020

Minimally Invasive Versus Open Surgery for Degenerative Spine Disorders for Elderly Patients: Experiences from a Single Institution.

World Neurosurg 2021 Feb 1;146:e1262-e1269. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA; Mayo Clinic Neuro-informatics Laboratory, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) of the spine has been associated with lower complication rates and improved patient-reported outcomes in recent studies. In this study, we aimed to investigate operative and postoperative outcomes associated with both surgical techniques in elderly patients.

Methods: Patients who are 65 years old or older underwent either minimally invasive or open surgery for lumbar degenerative conditions. Patients with a nondegenerative cause such as infection or trauma were excluded from the analysis. Patient characteristics such as demographics and associated comorbidities as well as perioperative and postoperative complications were collected. Outcomes of interest were operative time, estimated blood loss (EBL), length of stay (LOS), readmissions, reoperations, and any complications.

Results: A total of 107 elderly patients were identified for this study, with a median age of 73.0 years. Demographics and comorbidities in both groups were similar in both groups. Univariate analysis yielded an MIS group with significantly lower EBL (P < 0.001), operative time (P < 0.001), and LOS (P < 0.001). In multivariable analysis, EBL and LOS were found to be significantly lower in the MIS group (P = 0.02 and 0.001, respectively). Rates of complications, readmissions (no readmissions in MIS group), reoperations, and pain improvement also favored the MIS group and although they were not found to be significantly different between the 2 groups on univariate and multivariable analysis, the results trended toward significance.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that minimally invasive spine surgery in the elderly is safe and may pose a lower risk of associated perioperative and postoperative complications with faster recovery time.
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February 2021

Average Lumbar Hounsfield Units Predicts Osteoporosis-Related Complications Following Lumbar Spine Fusion.

Global Spine J 2020 Nov 23:2192568220975365. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective Study.

Objective: To compare methods of assessing pre-operative bone density to predict risk for osteoporosis related complications (ORC), defined as proximal junctional kyphosis, pseudarthrosis, accelerated adjacent segment disease, reoperation, compression fracture, and instrument failure following spine fusions.

Methods: Chart review of primary posterior thoracolumbar or lumbar fusion patients during a 7 year period. Inclusion criteria: preoperative dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) test within 1 year and lumbar CT scan within 6 months prior to surgery with minimum of 1 year follow-up. Exclusion criteria: <18 years at time of index procedure, infection, trauma, malignancy, skeletal dysplasia, neuromuscular disorders, or anterior-posterior procedures.

Results: 140 patients were included. The average age was 67.9 years, 83 (59.3%) were female, and 45 (32%) had an ORC. There were no significant differences in patient characteristics between those with and without an ORC. Multilevel fusions were associated with ORCs (46.7% vs 26.3%, p = 0.02). Patients with ORCs had lower DXA t-scores (-1.62 vs -1.10, p = 0.003) and average Hounsfield units (HU) (112.1 vs 148.1, p ≤ 0.001). Multivariable binary logistic regression analysis showed lower average HU (Adj. OR 0.00 595% CI 0.0001-0.1713, p = 0.001) was an independent predictor of an ORC. The odds of an ORC increased by 1.7-fold for every 25 point decrease in average HU.

Conclusions: The gold standard for assessing bone mineral density has been DXA t-scores, but the best predictor of ORC remains unclear. While both lower t-scores and average HU were associated with ORC, only HU was an independent predictor of ORC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2192568220975365DOI Listing
November 2020