Publications by authors named "Praveen V Mummaneni"

354 Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusions: Analysis from a national spine registry showed significantly lower odds of patient satisfaction and worse NDI score at 1 year after surgery for patients with predominant neck pain when compared with patients with predominant arm pain and those with equal neck and arm pain after 1- or 2-level ACDF. With regard to return to work, all three groups (arm pain, neck pain, and equal arm and neck pain) were found to be similar after multivariable analysis. The authors' results suggest that predominant pain location, especially predominant neck pain, might be a significant determinant of improvement in functional outcomes and patient satisfaction after ACDF for degenerative spine disease. In addition to confirmation of the common experience that patients with predominant neck pain have worse outcomes, the authors' findings provide potential targets for improvement in patient management for these specific populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.12.SPINE202002DOI Listing
July 2021

Does transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion induce lordosis or kyphosis? Radiographic evaluation with a minimum 2-year follow-up.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Jul 9:1-8. Epub 2021 Jul 9.

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

Objective: Conflicting reports exist about whether transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) induces lordosis or kyphosis, ranging from decreasing lordosis by 3.71° to increasing it by 18.8°. In this study, the authors' aim was to identify factors that result in kyphosis or lordosis after TLIF.

Methods: A single-center, retrospective study of open TLIF without osteotomy for spondylolisthesis with a minimum 2-year follow-up was undertaken. Preoperative and postoperative clinical and radiographic parameters and cage specifics were collected. TLIFs were considered to be "lordosing" if postoperative induction of lordosis was > 0° and "kyphosing" if postoperative induction of lordosis was ≤ 0°.

Results: A total of 137 patients with an average follow-up of 52.5 months (range 24-130 months) were included. The overall postoperative disc angle (DA) and segmental lordosis (SL) increased by 1.96° and 1.88° (p = 0.003 and p = 0.038), respectively, whereas overall lumbar lordosis remained unchanged (p = 0.133). Seventy-nine patients had lordosing TLIFs with a mean SL increase of 5.72° ± 3.97°, and 58 patients had kyphosing TLIFs with a mean decrease of 3.02° ± 2.98°. Multivariate analysis showed that a lower preoperative DA, lower preoperative SL, and anterior cage placement were correlated with the greatest increase in postoperative SL (p = 0.040, p < 0.001, and p = 0.035, respectively). There was no difference in demographics, cage type or height, or spinopelvic parameters between the groups (p > 0.05). Linear regression showed that the preoperative DA and SL correlated with SL after TLIF (R2 = 0.198, p < 0.001; and R2 = 0.2931, p < 0.001, respectively).

Conclusions: Whether a TLIF induces kyphosis or lordosis depends on the preoperative DA, preoperative SL, and cage position. Less-lordotic segments became more lordotic postoperatively, and highly lordotic segments may lose lordosis after TLIF. Cages placed more anteriorly were associated with more lordosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.12.SPINE201665DOI Listing
July 2021

Telemedicine in Neurosurgery: Standardizing the Spinal Physical Examination Using A Modified Delphi Method.

Neurospine 2021 Jun 30;18(2):292-302. Epub 2021 Jun 30.

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

Objective: The use of telemedicine has dramatically increased due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Many neurosurgeons are now using telemedicine technologies for preoperative evaluations and routine outpatient visits. Our goal was to standardize the telemedicine motor neurologic examination, summarize the evidence surrounding clinical use of telehealth technologies, and discuss financial and legal considerations.

Methods: We identified a 12-member panel composed of spine surgeons, fellows, and senior residents at a single institution. We created an initial telehealth strength examination protocol based on published data and developed 10 agree/disagree statements summarizing the protocol. A blinded Delphi method was utilized to build consensus for each statement, defined as > 80% agreement and no significant disagreement using a 2-way binomial test (significance threshold of p < 0.05). Any statement that did not meet consensus was edited and iteratively resubmitted to the panel until consensus was achieved. In the final round, the panel was unblinded and the protocol was finalized.

Results: After the first round, 4/10 statements failed to meet consensus ( < 80% agreement, and p = 0.031, p = 0.031, p = 0.003, and p = 0.031 statistical disagreement, respectively). The disagreement pertained to grading of strength of the upper (3/10 statements) and lower extremities (1/10 statement). The amended statements clarified strength grading, achieved consensus ( > 80% agreement, p > 0.05 disagreement), and were used to create the final telehealth strength examination protocol.

Conclusion: The resulting protocol was used in our clinic to standardize the telehealth strength examination. This protocol, as well as our summary of telehealth clinical practice, should aid neurosurgical clinics in integrating telemedicine modalities into their practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14245/ns.2040684.342DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8255762PMC
June 2021

Brief History of Neurosurgical Spine Societies in the United States: Part 2.

Neurospine 2021 Jun 30;18(2):257-260. Epub 2021 Jun 30.

Lillian S. Wells Department of Neurosurgery, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.14245/ns.2142018.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8255776PMC
June 2021

Present and Future Spinal Robotic and Enabling Technologies.

Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown) 2021 06;21(Suppl 1):S48-S56

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

Enabling technologies include surgical planning software, computer-assisted navigation, intraoperative three-dimensional (3D) imaging, and robotic systems. Presently, these technologies are in various stages of refinement. Spinal robots in particular are currently limited to the positioning of an alignment guide for pedicle screw placement. Current generation spinal robots, therefore, play a more limited role in spinal surgery. In contrast to spinal robots, intraoperative imaging technology has been developed further, to a stage that allows accurate 3D spinal image acquisition that can be readily utilized for spinal navigation. The integration of these various technologies has the potential to maximize the safety, consistency, reliability, and efficacy of surgical procedures. To that end, the trend for manufacturers is to incorporate various enabling technologies into the spinal robotic systems. In the near-term, it is expected that integration of more advanced planning software and navigation will result in wider applicability and value. In the long-term, there are a variety of enabling technologies such as augmented reality that may be a component of spinal robots. This article reviews the features of currently available spinal robots and discusses the likely future advancements of robotic platforms in the near- and long-term.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ons/opaa338DOI Listing
June 2021

Oncology and Spinal Neurosurgeons Performing Resections of Intramedullary Ependymomas Compared with Single Neurosurgeons: A 13-Year Experience at a Single Institution.

World Neurosurg 2021 May 28. Epub 2021 May 28.

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

Objective: Resection of intramedullary spinal ependymomas carries great risk of postoperative neurological deficits. The objective of this study was to describe our experience using co-neurosurgeon teams to address intramedullary ependymomas to determine if the use of 2 experienced attending neurosurgeons with expertise in both neurosurgical oncology and spine pathology can improve outcomes for intramedullary ependymoma resections.

Methods: We retrospectively compared surgical and disease control outcomes in intramedullary ependymoma cases performed by co-neurosurgeon (one neurosurgical oncologist and one neurosurgeon trained in spinal surgery) and single-neurosurgeon teams over a 13-year period at a single institution.

Results: Co-neurosurgeons performed resections in 34 (47.9%) patients, and a single neurosurgeon performed resections in 37 (52.1%) patients. There were no significant differences in the frequency of gross total resection in the co-neurosurgeon versus single-neurosurgeon group (85.7% vs. 78.4%, P = 0.45). Posterior spinal fusion was more common in the co-neurosurgeon group (35.3%) compared with the single-neurosurgeon group (8.1%) (P = 0.01). Two (5.9%) patients in the co-neurosurgeon group and 5 (13.5%) patients in the single-neurosurgeon group had complications requiring surgical revision (P = 0.28). Recurrence rates were similar in both groups (5.9% vs. 10.8%, P = 0.50). At last follow-up, 76% of patients who presented with mild or no deficits remained functionally independent.

Conclusions: Resection of intramedullary ependymomas by co-neurosurgeon teams resulted in similar rates of gross total resection, postoperative complications, and recurrence compared with surgeries performed by a single neurosurgeon. Functional neurological outcomes were not impacted by co-neurosurgeons performing ependymoma resections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.05.082DOI Listing
May 2021

The Preoperative Cross-sectional Area of the Deep Cervical Extensor Muscles Does Not Predict Loss of Lordosis After Cervical Laminoplasty.

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

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA Department of Neurosurgery, Sichuan Academy of Medical Sciences and Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital, School of Medicine, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, Sichuan, China.

Study Design: This was a retrospective, single center.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate the association between the cross-sectional area (CSA) of the deep extensor muscles (DEM) and postlaminoplasty alignment.

Summary Of Background Data: The preoperative CSA of the semispinalis cervicis (SC) has been reported to correlate with loss of lordosis (LL) after laminoplasty, with a CSA <154.5 mm2 associated with a 10 degrees LL.

Methods: Laminoplasty patients at the University of California San Francisco between 2009 and 2018 by 2 spine surgeons were retrospectively studied. Patients with previous cervical surgery or nondegenerative diagnoses were excluded. Measurements included the C2-C7 Cobb, T1 slope, and cervical sagittal vertical axis. Preoperative DEM CSA was measured on magnetic resonance imaging. Variables associated with lordosis were analyzed with univariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression, and association between postoperative cervical alignment and the musculature was evaluated.

Results: Seventy-six patients with a mean age of 64 years were included. The average follow-up was 22.53 months. The overall average CSA of the DEM was 2274.55 mm2 and that of the SC was 275.64 mm2. Means of both CSAs were higher in men (P<0.001). Linear regression showed no correlation between LL with CSA of the DEM or the SC (r=0.005, P=0.119; r=0.001, P=0.095). Univariate and multivariate regression showed no differences in the CSA of the DEM and SC between groups with and without LL (P=0.092, 0.117 and 0.163, 0.292). There was no correlation in LL with sex or body mass index (P>0.05).

Conclusions: Preoperative CSA of the deep cervical extensor muscles may not predict LL after cervical laminoplasty. The correlation between the preoperative SC CSA and postoperative cervical alignment may not be as strong as previously reported.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BSD.0000000000001199DOI Listing
May 2021

Posterior Displacement of L1 May be a Risk Factor for Proximal Junctional Kyphosis After Adult Spinal Deformity Correction.

Global Spine J 2021 May 17:21925682211015651. Epub 2021 May 17.

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

Study Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Objective: Overcorrection in adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery may lead to proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) because of posterior spinal displacement. The aim of this paper is to determine if the L1 position relative to the gravity line (GL) is associated with PJK.

Methods: ASD patients fused from the lower thoracic spine to sacrum by 4 spine surgeons at our hospital were retrospectively studied. Lumbar-only and upper thoracic spine fusions were excluded. Spinopelvic parameters, the L1 plumb line (L1PL), L1 distance to the GL (L1-GL), and Roussouly type were measured.

Results: One hundred fourteen patients met inclusion criteria (63 patients with PJK, 51 without). Mean age and follow up was 65.51 and 3.39 years, respectively. There was no difference between the PJK and the non-PJK groups in baseline demographics, pre-operative and immediate post-operative pelvic incidence-lumbar lordosis mismatch, sagittal vertical axis, or coronal Cobb. The immediate postoperative L1-GL was -7.24 cm in PJK and -3.45 cm in non-PJK ( < 0.001), L1PL was 1.71 cm in PJK and 3.07 cm in non-PJK ( = 0.004), and PT (23.76° vs 18.90°, = 0.026) and TK (40.56° vs 31.39°, < 0.001) were larger in PJK than in non-PJK. After univariate and multivariate analyses, immediate postoperative TK and immediate postoperative L1-GL were independent risk factors for PJK without collinearity.

Conclusions: A dorsally displaced L1 relative to the GL was associated with an increased risk of PJK after ASD surgery. The postoperative L1-GL distance may be a factor to consider during ASD surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/21925682211015651DOI 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

An analysis of tumor-related potential spinal column instability (Spine Instability Neoplastic Scores 7-12) eventually requiring surgery with a 1-year follow-up.

Neurosurg Focus 2021 05;50(5):E6

Departments of1Neurosurgery.

Objective: Within the Spine Instability Neoplastic Score (SINS) classification, tumor-related potential spinal instability (SINS 7-12) may not have a clear treatment approach. The authors aimed to examine the proportion of patients in this indeterminate zone who later required surgical stabilization after initial nonoperative management. By studying this patient population, they sought to determine if a clear SINS cutoff existed whereby the spine is potentially unstable due to a lesion and would be more likely to require stabilization.

Methods: Records from patients treated at the University of California, San Francisco, for metastatic spine disease from 2005 to 2019 were retrospectively reviewed. Seventy-five patients with tumor-related potential spinal instability (SINS 7-12) who were initially treated nonoperatively were included. All patients had at least a 1-year follow-up with complete medical records. A univariate chi-square test and Student t-test were used to compare categorical and continuous outcomes, respectively, between patients who ultimately underwent surgery and those who did not. A backward likelihood multivariate binary logistic regression model was used to investigate the relationship between clinical characteristics and surgical intervention. Recursive partitioning analysis (RPA) and single-variable logistic regression were performed as a function of SINS.

Results: Seventy-five patients with a total of 292 spinal metastatic sites were included in this study; 26 (34.7%) patients underwent surgical intervention, and 49 (65.3%) did not. There was no difference in age, sex, comorbidities, or lesion location between the groups. However, there were more patients with a SINS of 12 in the surgery group (55.2%) than in the no surgery group (44.8%) (p = 0.003). On multivariate analysis, SINS > 11 (OR 8.09, CI 1.96-33.4, p = 0.004) and Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score < 60 (OR 0.94, CI 0.89-0.98, p = 0.008) were associated with an increased risk of surgery. KPS score was not correlated with SINS (p = 0.4). RPA by each spinal lesion identified an optimal cutoff value of SINS > 10, which were associated with an increased risk of surgical intervention. Patients with a surgical intervention had a higher incidence of complications on multivariable analysis (OR 2.96, CI 1.01-8.71, p = 0.048).

Conclusions: Patients with a mean SINS of 11 or greater may be at increased risk of mechanical instability requiring surgery after initial nonoperative management. RPA showed that patients with a KPS score of 60 or lower and a SINS of greater than 10 had increased surgery rates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.2.FOCUS201098DOI Listing
May 2021

Are preoperative chlorhexidine gluconate showers associated with a reduction in surgical site infection following craniotomy? A retrospective cohort analysis of 3126 surgical procedures.

J Neurosurg 2021 Apr 30:1-9. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Departments of1Neurological Surgery.

Objective: Surgical site infection (SSI) is a complication linked to increased costs and length of hospital stay. Prevention of SSI is important to reduce its burden on individual patients and the healthcare system. The authors aimed to assess the efficacy of preoperative chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) showers on SSI rates following cranial surgery.

Methods: In November 2013, a preoperative CHG shower protocol was implemented at the authors' institution. A total of 3126 surgical procedures were analyzed, encompassing a time frame from April 2012 to April 2016. Cohorts before and after implementation of the CHG shower protocol were evaluated for differences in SSI rates.

Results: The overall SSI rate was 0.6%. No significant differences (p = 0.11) were observed between the rate of SSI of the 892 patients in the preimplementation cohort (0.2%) and that of the 2234 patients in the postimplementation cohort (0.8%). Following multivariable analysis, implementation of preoperative CHG showers was not associated with decreased SSI (adjusted OR 2.96, 95% CI 0.67-13.1; p = 0.15).

Conclusions: This is the largest study, according to sample size, to examine the association between CHG showers and SSI following craniotomy. CHG showers did not significantly alter the risk of SSI after a cranial procedure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.10.JNS201255DOI Listing
April 2021

Commentary: Nonunion Rates After Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion: Comparison of Polyetheretherketone vs Structural Allograft Implants.

Neurosurgery 2021 Jun;89(1):E15

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyab135DOI Listing
June 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

The Effect of Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion on Cervical Sagittal Vertical Axis and Lordosis with Minimum 2-Year Follow-Up.

World Neurosurg 2021 Jun 30;150:e727-e734. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

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

Background: Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) can induce lordosis and improve cervical sagittal vertical axis (SVA), but multilevel ACDF may inadvertently increase cervical SVA because of insufficient lordosis induction.

Methods: Patients who underwent 1-, 2-, or ≥3-level ACDF in the subaxial spine with minimum 2-year follow up were retrospectively studied. C2-C7 Cobb angle (lordosis), cervical SVA, and T1 slope were measured preoperatively, immediately postoperatively, and at last follow-up.

Results: Inclusion criteria were met by 127 patients. There were no differences in baseline demographics among 1-, 2-, and ≥3-level ACDF groups. Mean follow-up was 43.7 months (range, 24-142 months). Increase of cervical SVA immediately postoperatively was 1.94 mm, -1.44 mm, and 7.25 mm for 1-, 2-, and ≥3-level ACDF (P = 0.041) and at last follow-up was 2.97 mm, 0.70 mm, and 9.32 mm for 1-, 2-, and ≥3-level ACDF (P = 0.026). At last follow-up, 2-level ACDF patients had the greatest decrease in T1 slope (-0.43°) compared with increase of 2.71° for 1-level and 2.84° for ≥3-level patients (P = 0.028). In all 3 groups, segmental (ACDF levels) lordosis, cervical SVA, and T1 slope did not decrease from immediate postoperative to last follow-up. Only 2-level ACDF maintained C2-7 lordosis (2.16°) compared with loss of lordosis in 1-level (-0.84°) and ≥3-level (-2.00°) ACDF (P = 0.008) at last follow-up. Linear regression analysis showed that T1 slope had no relationship with correction of cervical SVA (P = 0.5310) but had a significant correlation with Cobb angle loss of C2-C7 lordosis (P = 0.0016).

Conclusions: Compared with 1- and 2-level ACDF, ≥3-level ACDF resulted in significant increase of cervical SVA and loss of overall lordosis. Compared with 1- and ≥3-level ACDF, 2-level ACDF had the greatest ability to maintain lordosis. T1 slope had a significant correlation with loss of C2-C7 lordosis after ACDF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.03.117DOI Listing
June 2021

The minimally invasive interbody selection algorithm for spinal deformity.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Mar 12:1-8. Epub 2021 Mar 12.

13Department of Neurological Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York.

Objective: Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for spinal deformity uses interbody techniques for correction, indirect decompression, and arthrodesis. Selection criteria for choosing a particular interbody approach are lacking. The authors created the minimally invasive interbody selection algorithm (MIISA) to provide a framework for rational decision-making in MIS for deformity.

Methods: A retrospective data set of circumferential MIS (cMIS) for adult spinal deformity (ASD) collected over a 5-year period was analyzed by level in the lumbar spine to identify surgeon preferences and evaluate segmental lordosis outcomes. These data were used to inform a Delphi session of minimally invasive deformity surgeons from which the algorithm was created. The algorithm leads to 1 of 4 interbody approaches: anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF), anterior column release (ACR), lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF), and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). Preoperative and 2-year postoperative radiographic parameters and clinical outcomes were compared.

Results: Eleven surgeons completed 100 cMISs for ASD with 338 interbody devices, with a minimum 2-year follow-up. The type of interbody approach used at each level from L1 to S1 was recorded. The MIISA was then created with substantial agreement. The surgeons generally preferred LLIF for L1-2 (91.7%), L2-3 (85.2%), and L3-4 (80.7%). ACR was most commonly performed at L3-4 (8.4%) and L2-3 (6.2%). At L4-5, LLIF (69.5%), TLIF (15.9%), and ALIF (9.8%) were most commonly utilized. TLIF and ALIF were the most selected approaches at L5-S1 (61.4% and 38.6%, respectively). Segmental lordosis at each level varied based on the approach, with greater increases reported using ALIF, especially at L4-5 (9.2°) and L5-S1 (5.3°). A substantial increase in lordosis was achieved with ACR at L2-3 (10.9°) and L3-4 (10.4°). Lateral interbody arthrodesis without the use of an ACR did not generally result in significant lordosis restoration. There were statistically significant improvements in lumbar lordosis (LL), pelvic incidence-LL mismatch, coronal Cobb angle, and Oswestry Disability Index at the 2-year follow-up.

Conclusions: The use of the MIISA provides consistent guidance for surgeons who plan to perform MIS for deformity. For L1-4, the surgeons preferred lateral approaches to TLIF and reserved ACR for patients who needed the greatest increase in segmental lordosis. For L4-5, the surgeons' order of preference was LLIF, TLIF, and ALIF, but TLIF failed to demonstrate any significant lordosis restoration. At L5-S1, the surgical team typically preferred an ALIF when segmental lordosis was desired and preferred a TLIF if preoperative segmental lordosis was adequate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.9.SPINE20230DOI Listing
March 2021

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

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

Neurosurgery, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smoking Is an Independent Risk Factor for 90-Day Readmission and Reoperation Following Posterior Cervical Decompression and Fusion.

Neurosurgery 2021 05;88(6):1088-1094

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

Background: Posterior cervical decompression and fusion (PCF) is a common procedure used to treat various cervical spine pathologies, but the 90-d outcomes following PCF surgery continue to be incompletely defined.

Objective: To identify risk factors associated with 90-d readmission and reoperation following PCF surgery.

Methods: Adults undergoing PCF from 2012 to 2020 were identified. Demographic and radiographic data, surgical characteristics, and 90-d outcomes were collected. Univariate analysis was performed using Student's t-test, chi square, and Fisher exact tests as appropriate. Multivariable logistic regression models with lasso penalty were used to analyze various risk factors.

Results: A total of 259 patients were included. The 90-d readmission and reoperation rates were 9.3% and 4.6%, respectively. The most common reason for readmission was surgical site infection (SSI) (33.3%) followed by new neurological deficits (16.7%). Patients who smoked tobacco had 3-fold greater odds of readmission compared to nonsmokers (odds ratio [OR]: 3.48; 95% CI 1.87-6.67; P = .0001). Likewise, the most common reason for reoperation was SSI (33.3%) followed by seroma and implant failure (25.0% each). Smoking was also an independent risk factor for reoperation, associated with nearly 4-fold greater odds of return to the operating room (OR: 3.53; 95% CI 1.53-8.57; P = .003).

Conclusion: Smoking is a significant predictor of 90-d readmission and reoperation in patients undergoing PCF surgery. Smoking cessation should be strongly considered preoperatively in elective PCF cases to minimize the risk of 90-d readmission and reoperation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyaa593DOI Listing
May 2021

Revision Surgery Rates After Minimally Invasive Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery: Correlation with Roussouly Spine Type at 2-Year Follow-Up?

World Neurosurg 2021 04 11;148:e482-e487. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

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

Background: Spinopelvic parameters have hitherto dictated much of adult spinal deformity (ASD) correction. The Roussouly classification is used for the normal adult spine. We evaluated whether a correlation would be found between the Roussouly type and the rate of revision surgery in patients with ASD undergoing circumferential minimally invasive spinal (cMIS) correction.

Methods: A multicenter retrospective review of patients who had undergone cMIS surgery for ASD was performed. The inclusion criteria were age ≥18 years and 1 of the following: coronal Cobb angle >20°, sagittal vertical axis >5 cm, pelvic tilt >20°, pelvic incidence (PI) to lumbar lordosis (LL) mismatch >10°, cMIS surgery, and a minimum of 2 years of follow-up data available. The patients were classified by Roussouly type, and the clinical and radiographic outcomes were evaluated.

Results: A total of 104 patients were included in the present analysis. Of the 104 patients, 41 had Roussouly type 1, 32 had type 2, 23 had type 3, and 8 had type 4. Preoperatively, the patients with type 4 had the highest PI (P = 0.002) and LL (P < 0.001). Postoperatively, the PI-LL mismatch, Cobb angle, and sagittal vertical axis were not different among the 4 groups. However, the patients with type 2 had had the highest rate of complications (type 1, 29.3%; type 2, 61.3%; type 3, 34.8%; type 4, 25.0%; P = 0.031). The reoperation rates were comparable (type 1, 19.5%; type 2, 38.7%; type 3, 13.0%; type 4, 12.5%; P = 0.097). The reoperation rates for adjacent segment degeneration or proximal junctional kyphosis were also comparable (P = 0.204 and P = 0.060, respectively).

Conclusions: We did not find a clear correlation between Roussouly type and the rate of revision surgery for adjacent segment disease or proximal junctional kyphosis in patients who had undergone cMIS surgery for ASD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.01.011DOI Listing
April 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

Anterior Cervical Discectomy With Fusion and Plating for Correction of Degenerative Cervical Kyphosis: 2-Dimensional Operative Video.

Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown) 2021 02;20(3):E214

This surgical video demonstrates the technique for correcting degenerative cervical kyphosis using an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). Degenerative cervical kyphosis can cause radiculopathy, myelopathy, and difficulty holding up one's head. The goal of surgical intervention is to alleviate pain, improve the ability for upright gaze, and decompress the spinal cord or nerve roots. Posterior-only approaches and anterior corpectomies are alternative treatments to address cervical kyphosis. However, an ACDF allows for sequential induction of lordosis via distraction over multiple segments and for further lordosis induction by sequential screw tightening, pulling the spine towards a lordotic cervical plate.1 This video shows 2 cases demonstrating a technique of correcting severe cervical degenerative kyphosis. The video illustrates our initial kyphotic Caspar pin placement coupled with sequential anterior distraction to correct kyphosis. The technique is most useful in patients who have good bone density, nonankylosed facets, and degenerative cervical kyphosis. We have received informed consent of this patient to submit this video.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ons/opaa339DOI Listing
February 2021

Supine anterior lumbar interbody fusion versus lateral position oblique lumbar interbody fusion at L5-S1: A comparison of two approaches to the lumbosacral junction.

J Clin Neurosci 2020 Dec 7;82(Pt A):134-140. Epub 2020 Nov 7.

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

Introduction: At L5-S1, anterior access can be performed with a supine anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) or lateral position oblique lumbar interbody fusion (LOLIF). We compared clinical and radiographic features of both approaches.

Methods: A retrospective study of L5-S1 ALIF and LOLIF patients (2013-2018) by 3 spine surgeons and a vascular surgeon at our hospital was performed. Inclusion criteria were patients undergoing L5-S1 anterior surgery only without other anterior or lateral fusion levels, and data collected were patient demographics, cage parameters, perioperative variables, and radiographic parameters. 58 patients were included (33 ALIF and 25 LOLIF).

Results: The average surgical time was 211.94 min for ALIF and 154.86 min for LOLIF (p < 0.001). The average blood loss was 214 ml for ALIF and 74 ml for LOLIF (p < 0.001). The average number of days to solid food was 2.55 for ALIF and 0.8 for LOLIF (p < 0.001). The average anterior L5-S1 disc height increase was 8.52 mm for ALIF and 5.02 mm LOLIF (p = 0.018), and the average posterior L5-S1 disc height increase was 3.34 mm for ALIF and 1.30 mm for LOLIF (p = 0.034). The average L5-S1 segmental lordosis increase was 6.82 degrees for ALIF and 7.63 degrees for LOLIF (p = 0.638).

Conclusion: The LOLIF is a feasible option for L5-S1 anterior access compared to ALIF. However, supine ALIF afforded larger cages to be placed, resulting in greater postoperative disc height. There did not appear to be a significant difference in postoperative L5-S1 segmental lordosis between the two approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2020.10.043DOI Listing
December 2020

Decompression of a Dorsal Arachnoid Web of the Spine: 2-Dimensional Operative Video.

Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown) 2021 01;20(2):E143

Arachnoid webs of the spine are a relatively rare entity with unique radiological findings, most notably the scalpel-sign on sagittal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).1-4 To date there have been no videographic descriptions of the surgical treatment for this clinical entity. We present the case of a patient with progressive myelopathy and MRI showing a cervical and thoracic syrinx with a sharp transition point at the level of the T5 vertebral body. On computed tomography myelogram, there was preserved cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the ventral subarachnoid space-this space is often interrupted in ventral cord herniation, and preserved in dorsal arachnoid webs.5 A laminectomy with intradural excision of arachnoid web was offered and the patient consented for the procedure. Preoperatively, a fiducial screw was placed at T5. A T4-6 laminectomy was performed. A clearly compressive arachnoid web was encountered on exposure. Bands were dissected under an operating microscope, restoring normal CSF flow. Ventral dural defect was ruled out by passing a delicot beneath the cord and withdrawing it on the contralateral side. The patient did well and has shown improvement in myelopathic symptoms at 1- and 3-mo follow-up. Arachnoid webs of the spine can be treated effectively with a prudent, stepwise approach, and careful microsurgical technique. The neurosurgeon should consult closely with their neuroradiology colleagues to rule out other entities prior to the operation, such as ventral cord herniations, which can mimic dorsal arachnoid webs radiologically and clinically. We have received informed consent of the patient to submit this video.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ons/opaa327DOI Listing
January 2021

Characterizing the fusion order and level-specific rates of arthrodesis in 3-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion: A radiographic study.

J Clin Neurosci 2020 Nov 22;81:328-333. Epub 2020 Oct 22.

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, 505 Parnassus Ave., Room 779 M, San Francisco, CA 94143-0112, USA. Electronic address:

Pseudarthrosis is a well-recognized complication following multi-level ACDF. We aim to characterize the fusion order and level-specific rates of arthrodesis across four time points following 3-level ACDF. Patients who underwent 3-level ACDF by three UCSF spine surgeons from August 2012 to December 2019 were identified. Fusion status at each level was determined by measuring the interspinous motion on flexion and extension radiographs and assessing for evidence of bridging bone. Measurements were performed post-operatively at 6 weeks, 6 months, 12 months, and 18-24 months. A total of 77 patients with 3-level ACDF were identified and included in this study. Specific ACDF levels include C3-C6 (17 patients), C4-C7 (57 patients), and C5-T1 (3 patients). At 6 months, the cranial, middle, and caudal level fusion rates were 17.0%, 34.0%, and 3.8%, respectively. By 24 months, fusion rates were 61.1%, 88.9%, and 27.8% at the cranial, middle, and caudal level, respectively. PEEK cages were associated with lower odds of multi-level arthrodesis. Arthrodesis occurred the quickest at the middle level with an 88.9% fusion rate by 24 months after surgery. The caudal level had the slowest rate of arthrodesis with only a 27.8% fusion rate at 24 months, likely due to increased biomechanical stress at the most caudal level. Allograft was associated with higher odds of multi-level arthrodesis compared to PEEK cages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2020.10.024DOI Listing
November 2020

Long-term radiographic outcomes of expandable versus static cages in transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion.

J Neurosurg Spine 2020 Nov 13:1-10. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

Departments of1Neurosurgery and.

Objective: Potential advantages of using expandable versus static cages during transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) are not fully established. The authors aimed to compare the long-term radiographic outcomes of expandable versus static TLIF cages.

Methods: A retrospective review of 1- and 2-level TLIFs over a 10-year period with expandable and static cages was performed at the University of California, San Francisco. Patients with posterior column osteotomy (PCO) were subdivided. Fusion assessment, cage subsidence, anterior and posterior disc height, foraminal dimensions, pelvic incidence (PI), segmental lordosis (SL), lumbar lordosis (LL), pelvic incidence-lumbar lordosis mismatch (PI-LL), pelvic tilt (PT), sacral slope (SS), and sagittal vertical axis (SVA) were assessed.

Results: A consecutive series of 178 patients (with a total of 210 levels) who underwent TLIF using either static (148 levels) or expandable cages (62 levels) was reviewed. The mean patient age was 60.3 ± 11.5 years and 62.8 ± 14.1 years for the static and expandable cage groups, respectively. The mean follow-up was 42.9 ± 29.4 months for the static cage group and 27.6 ± 14.1 months for the expandable cage group. Within the 1-level TLIF group, the SL and PI-LL improved with statistical significance regardless of whether PCO was performed; however, the static group with PCOs also had statistically significant improvement in LL and SVA. The expandable cage with PCO subgroup had significant improvement in SL only. All of the foraminal parameters improved with statistical significance, regardless of the type of cages used; however, the expandable cage group had greater improvement in disc height restoration. The incidence of cage subsidence was higher in the expandable group (19.7% vs 5.4%, p = 0.0017). Within the expandable group, the unilateral facetectomy-only subgroup had a 5.6 times higher subsidence rate than the PCO subgroup (26.8% vs 4.8%, p = 0.04). Four expandable cages collapsed over time.

Conclusions: Expandable TLIF cages may initially restore disc height better than static cages, but they also have higher rates of subsidence. Unilateral facetectomy alone may result in more subsidence with expandable cages than using bilateral PCO, potentially because of insufficient facet release. Although expandable cages may have more power to induce lordosis and restore disc height than static cages, subsidence and endplate violation may negate any significant gains compared to static cages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.6.SPINE191378DOI Listing
November 2020

The impact of increasing interbody fusion levels at the fractional curve on lordosis, curve correction, and complications in adult patients with scoliosis.

J Neurosurg Spine 2020 Nov 13:1-10. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

Departments of1Neurosurgery and.

Objective: Radiculopathy from the fractional curve, usually from L3 to S1, can create severe disability. However, treatment methods of the curve vary. The authors evaluated the effect of adding more levels of interbody fusion during treatment of the fractional curve.

Methods: A single-institution retrospective review of adult patients treated for scoliosis between 2006 and 2016 was performed. Inclusion criteria were as follows: fractional curves from L3 to S1 > 10°, ipsilateral radicular symptoms concordant on the fractional curve concavity side, patients who underwent at least 1 interbody fusion at the level of the fractional curve, and a minimum 1-year follow-up. Primary outcomes included changes in fractional curve correction, lumbar lordosis change, pelvic incidence - lumbar lordosis mismatch change, scoliosis major curve correction, and rates of revision surgery and postoperative complications. Secondary analysis compared the same outcomes among patients undergoing posterior, anterior, and lateral approaches for their interbody fusion.

Results: A total of 78 patients were included. There were no significant differences in age, sex, BMI, prior surgery, fractional curve degree, pelvic tilt, pelvic incidence, pelvic incidence - lumbar lordosis mismatch, sagittal vertical axis, coronal balance, scoliotic curve magnitude, proportion of patients undergoing an osteotomy, or average number of levels fused among the groups. The mean follow-up was 35.8 months (range 12-150 months). Patients undergoing more levels of interbody fusion had more fractional curve correction (7.4° vs 12.3° vs 12.1° for 1, 2, and 3 levels; p = 0.009); greater increase in lumbar lordosis (-1.8° vs 6.2° vs 13.7°, p = 0.003); and more scoliosis major curve correction (13.0° vs 13.7° vs 24.4°, p = 0.01). There were no statistically significant differences among the groups with regard to postoperative complications (overall rate 47.4%, p = 0.85) or need for revision surgery (overall rate 30.7%, p = 0.25). In the secondary analysis, patients undergoing anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) had a greater increase in lumbar lordosis (9.1° vs -0.87° for ALIF vs transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion [TLIF], p = 0.028), but also higher revision surgery rates unrelated to adjacent-segment pathology (25% vs 4.3%, p = 0.046). Higher ALIF revision surgery rates were driven by rod fracture in the majority (55%) of cases.

Conclusions: More levels of interbody fusion resulted in increased lordosis, scoliosis curve correction, and fractional curve correction. However, additional levels of interbody fusion up to 3 levels did not result in more postoperative complications or morbidity. ALIF resulted in a greater lumbar lordosis increase than TLIF, but ALIF had higher revision surgery rates.
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November 2020

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

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

Norton Leatherman Spine Center, Louisville, KY.

Study Design: Multicenter retrospective study.

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

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

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

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

Conclusion: Flexion-extension radiographs may play a limited role in management of degenerative spondylolisthesis. The subset of patients for which flexion-extension views were most likely to provide value were patients with smaller slips (<7 mm) with no evidence of motion on standing radiographs versus MRI. In 90% of spondylolisthesis cases, information used for surgical planning may be ascertained by comparing motion between supine MRI and upright lateral radiographs.Level of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003809DOI Listing
April 2021

Does state malpractice environment affect outcomes following spinal fusions? A robust statistical and machine learning analysis of 549,775 discharges following spinal fusion surgery in the United States.

Neurosurg Focus 2020 11;49(5):E18

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

Objective: Spine surgery is especially susceptible to malpractice claims. Critics of the US medical liability system argue that it drives up costs, whereas proponents argue it deters negligence. Here, the authors study the relationship between malpractice claim density and outcomes.

Methods: The following methods were used: 1) the National Practitioner Data Bank was used to determine the number of malpractice claims per 100 physicians, by state, between 2005 and 2010; 2) the Nationwide Inpatient Sample was queried for spinal fusion patients; and 3) the Area Resource File was queried to determine the density of physicians, by state. States were categorized into 4 quartiles regarding the frequency of malpractice claims per 100 physicians. To evaluate the association between malpractice claims and death, discharge disposition, length of stay (LOS), and total costs, an inverse-probability-weighted regression-adjustment estimator was used. The authors controlled for patient and hospital characteristics. Covariates were used to train machine learning models to predict death, discharge disposition not to home, LOS, and total costs.

Results: Overall, 549,775 discharges following spinal fusions were identified, with 495,640 yielding state-level information about medical malpractice claim frequency per 100 physicians. Of these, 124,425 (25.1%), 132,613 (26.8%), 130,929 (26.4%), and 107,673 (21.7%) were from the lowest, second-lowest, second-highest, and highest quartile states, respectively, for malpractice claims per 100 physicians. Compared to the states with the fewest claims (lowest quartile), surgeries in states with the most claims (highest quartile) showed a statistically significantly higher odds of a nonhome discharge (OR 1.169, 95% CI 1.139-1.200), longer LOS (mean difference 0.304, 95% CI 0.256-0.352), and higher total charges (mean difference [log scale] 0.288, 95% CI 0.281-0.295) with no significant associations for mortality. For the machine learning models-which included medical malpractice claim density as a covariate-the areas under the curve for death and discharge disposition were 0.94 and 0.87, and the R2 values for LOS and total charge were 0.55 and 0.60, respectively.

Conclusions: Spinal fusion procedures from states with a higher frequency of malpractice claims were associated with an increased odds of nonhome discharge, longer LOS, and higher total charges. This suggests that medicolegal climate may potentially alter practice patterns for a given spine surgeon and may have important implications for medical liability reform. Machine learning models that included medical malpractice claim density as a feature were satisfactory in prediction and may be helpful for patients, surgeons, hospitals, and payers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.8.FOCUS20610DOI Listing
November 2020

Is the Goutallier grade of multifidus fat infiltration associated with adjacent-segment degeneration after lumbar spinal fusion?

J Neurosurg Spine 2020 Oct 30:1-6. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

Departments of1Neurological Surgery and.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate whether fat infiltration of the lumbar multifidus (LM) muscle affects revision surgery rates for adjacent-segment degeneration (ASD) after L4-5 transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) for degenerative spondylolisthesis.

Methods: A total of 178 patients undergoing single-level L4-5 TLIF for spondylolisthesis (2006 to 2016) were retrospectively analyzed. Inclusion criteria were a minimum 2-year follow-up, preoperative MR images and radiographs, and single-level L4-5 TLIF for degenerative spondylolisthesis. Twenty-three patients underwent revision surgery for ASD during the follow-up. Another 23 patients without ASD were matched with the patients with ASD. Demographic data, Roussouly curvature type, and spinopelvic parameter data were collected. The fat infiltration of the LM muscle (L3, L4, and L5) was evaluated on preoperative MRI using the Goutallier classification system.

Results: A total of 46 patients were evaluated. There were no differences in age, sex, BMI, or spinopelvic parameters with regard to patients with and those without ASD (p > 0.05). Fat infiltration of the LM was significantly greater in the patients with ASD than in those without ASD (p = 0.029). Fat infiltration was most significant at L3 in patients with ASD than in patients without ASD (p = 0.017). At L4 and L5, there was an increasing trend of fat infiltration in the patients with ASD than in those without ASD, but the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.354 for L4 and p = 0.077 for L5).

Conclusions: Fat infiltration of the LM may be associated with ASD after L4-5 TLIF for spondylolisthesis. Fat infiltration at L3 may also be associated with ASD at L3-4 after L4-5 TLIF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.6.SPINE20238DOI Listing
October 2020

Obesity may be associated with adjacent-segment degeneration after single-level transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion in spinopelvic-mismatched patients with a minimum 2-year follow-up.

J Neurosurg Spine 2020 Oct 9:1-6. Epub 2020 Oct 9.

1Departments of Neurological Surgery and.

Objective: In this study, the authors' aim was to investigate whether obesity affects surgery rates for adjacent-segment degeneration (ASD) after transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) for spondylolisthesis.

Methods: Patients who underwent single-level TLIF for spondylolisthesis at the University of California, San Francisco, from 2006 to 2016 were retrospectively analyzed. Inclusion criteria were a minimum 2-year follow-up, single-level TLIF, and degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis. Exclusion criteria were trauma, tumor, infection, multilevel fusions, non-TLIF fusions, or less than a 2-year follow-up. Patient demographic data were collected, and an analysis of spinopelvic parameters was performed. The patients were divided into two groups: mismatched, or pelvic incidence (PI) minus lumbar lordosis (LL) ≥ 10°; and balanced, or PI-LL < 10°. Within the two groups, the patients were further classified by BMI (< 30 and ≥ 30 kg/m2). Patients were then evaluated for surgery for ASD, matched by BMI and PI-LL parameters.

Results: A total of 190 patients met inclusion criteria (72 males and 118 females, mean age 59.57 ± 12.39 years). The average follow-up was 40.21 ± 20.42 months (range 24-135 months). In total, 24 patients (12.63% of 190) underwent surgery for ASD. Within the entire cohort, 82 patients were in the mismatched group, and 108 patients were in the balanced group. Within the mismatched group, adjacent-segment surgeries occurred at the following rates: BMI < 30 kg/m2, 2.1% (1/48); and BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2, 17.6% (6/34). Significant differences were seen between patients with BMI ≥ 30 and BMI < 30 (p = 0.018). A receiver operating characteristic curve for BMI as a predictor for ASD was established, with an AUC of 0.69 (95% CI 0.49-0.90). The optimal BMI cutoff value determined by the Youden index is 29.95 (sensitivity 0.857; specificity 0.627). However, in the balanced PI-LL group (108/190 patients), there was no difference in surgery rates for ASD among the patients with different BMIs (p > 0.05).

Conclusions: In patients who have a PI-LL mismatch, obesity may be associated with an increased risk of surgery for ASD after TLIF, but in obese patients without PI-LL mismatch, this association was not observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.6.SPINE20159DOI Listing
October 2020
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