Publications by authors named "Robert K Eastlack"

58 Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Association of findings on preoperative extension lateral cervical radiography with osteotomy type, approach, and postoperative cervical alignment after cervical deformity surgery.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Sep 3:1-6. Epub 2021 Sep 3.

1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, California.

Objective: The authors' objective was to determine whether preoperative lateral extension cervical spine radiography can be used to predict osteotomy type and postoperative alignment parameters after cervical spine deformity surgery.

Methods: A total of 106 patients with cervical spine deformity were reviewed. Radiographic parameters on preoperative cervical neutral and extension lateral radiography were compared with 3-month postoperative radiographic alignment parameters. The parameters included T1 slope, C2 slope, C2-7 cervical lordosis, cervical sagittal vertical axis, and T1 slope minus cervical lordosis. Associations of radiographic parameters with osteotomy type and surgical approach were also assessed.

Results: On extension lateral radiography, patients who underwent lower grade osteotomy had significantly lower T1 slope, T1 slope minus cervical lordosis, cervical sagittal vertical axis, and C2 slope. Patients who achieved more normal parameters on extension lateral radiography were more likely to undergo surgery via an anterior approach. Although baseline parameters were significantly different between neutral lateral and extension lateral radiographs, 3-month postoperative lateral and preoperative extension lateral radiographs were statistically similar for T1 slope minus cervical lordosis and C2 slope.

Conclusions: Radiographic parameters on preoperative extension lateral radiography were significantly associated with surgical approach and osteotomy grade and were similar to those on 3-month postoperative lateral radiography. These results demonstrated that extension lateral radiography is useful for preoperative planning and predicting postoperative alignment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.3.SPINE202156DOI Listing
September 2021

Global coronal decompensation and adult spinal deformity surgery: comparison of upper-thoracic versus lower-thoracic proximal fixation for long fusions.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Aug 27:1-13. Epub 2021 Aug 27.

18Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Objective: Deterioration of global coronal alignment (GCA) may be associated with worse outcomes after adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery. The impact of fusion length and upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) selection on patients with this complication is unclear. The authors' objective was to compare outcomes between long sacropelvic fusion with upper-thoracic (UT) UIV and those with lower-thoracic (LT) UIV in patients with worsening GCA ≥ 1 cm.

Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of a prospective multicenter database of consecutive ASD patients. Index operations involved instrumented fusion from sacropelvis to thoracic spine. Global coronal deterioration was defined as worsening GCA ≥ 1 cm from preoperation to 2-year follow-up.

Results: Of 875 potentially eligible patients, 560 (64%) had complete 2-year follow-up data, of which 144 (25.7%) demonstrated worse GCA at 2-year postoperative follow-up (35.4% of UT patients vs 64.6% of LT patients). At baseline, UT patients were younger (61.6 ± 9.9 vs 64.5 ± 8.6 years, p = 0.008), a greater percentage of UT patients had osteoporosis (35.3% vs 16.1%, p = 0.009), and UT patients had worse scoliosis (51.9° ± 22.5° vs 32.5° ± 16.3°, p < 0.001). Index operations were comparable, except UT patients had longer fusions (16.4 ± 0.9 vs 9.7 ± 1.2 levels, p < 0.001) and operative duration (8.6 ± 3.2 vs 7.6 ± 3.0 hours, p = 0.023). At 2-year follow-up, global coronal deterioration averaged 2.7 ± 1.4 cm (1.9 to 4.6 cm, p < 0.001), scoliosis improved (39.3° ± 20.8° to 18.0° ± 14.8°, p < 0.001), and sagittal spinopelvic alignment improved significantly in all patients. UT patients maintained smaller positive C7 sagittal vertical axis (2.7 ± 5.7 vs 4.7 ± 5.7 cm, p = 0.014). Postoperative 2-year health-related quality of life (HRQL) significantly improved from baseline for all patients. HRQL comparisons demonstrated that UT patients had worse Scoliosis Research Society-22r (SRS-22r) Activity (3.2 ± 1.0 vs 3.6 ± 0.8, p = 0.040) and SRS-22r Satisfaction (3.9 ± 1.1 vs 4.3 ± 0.8, p = 0.021) scores. Also, fewer UT patients improved by ≥ 1 minimal clinically important difference in numerical rating scale scores for leg pain (41.3% vs 62.7%, p = 0.020). Comparable percentages of UT and LT patients had complications (208 total, including 53 reoperations, 77 major complications, and 78 minor complications), but the percentage of reoperated patients was higher among UT patients (35.3% vs 18.3%, p = 0.023). UT patients had higher reoperation rates of rod fracture (13.7% vs 2.2%, p = 0.006) and pseudarthrosis (7.8% vs 1.1%, p = 0.006) but not proximal junctional kyphosis (9.8% vs 8.6%, p = 0.810).

Conclusions: In ASD patients with worse 2-year GCA after long sacropelvic fusion, UT UIV was associated with worse 2-year HRQL compared with LT UIV. This may suggest that residual global coronal malalignment is clinically less tolerated in ASD patients with longer fusion to the proximal thoracic spine. These results may inform operative planning and improve patient counseling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.2.SPINE201938DOI Listing
August 2021

Multicenter assessment of outcomes and complications associated with transforaminal versus anterior lumbar interbody fusion for fractional curve correction.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Aug 20:1-14. Epub 2021 Aug 20.

18Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Objective: Few studies have compared fractional curve correction after long fusion between transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) and anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) for adult symptomatic thoracolumbar/lumbar scoliosis (ASLS). The objective of this study was to compare fractional correction, health-related quality of life (HRQL), and complications associated with L4-S1 TLIF versus those of ALIF as an operative treatment of ASLS.

Methods: The authors retrospectively analyzed a prospective multicenter adult spinal deformity database. Inclusion required a fractional curve ≥ 10°, a thoracolumbar/lumbar curve ≥ 30°, index TLIF or ALIF performed at L4-5 and/or L5-S1, and a minimum 2-year follow-up. TLIF and ALIF patients were propensity matched according to the number and type of interbody fusion at L4-S1.

Results: Of 135 potentially eligible consecutive patients, 106 (78.5%) achieved the minimum 2-year follow-up (mean ± SD age 60.6 ± 9.3 years, 85% women, 44.3% underwent TLIF, and 55.7% underwent ALIF). Index operations had mean ± SD 12.2 ± 3.6 posterior levels, 86.6% of patients underwent iliac fixation, 67.0% underwent TLIF/ALIF at L4-5, and 84.0% underwent TLIF/ALIF at L5-S1. Compared with TLIF patients, ALIF patients had greater cage height (10.9 ± 2.1 mm for TLIF patients vs 14.5 ± 3.0 mm for ALIF patients, p = 0.001) and lordosis (6.3° ± 1.6° for TLIF patients vs 17.0° ± 9.9° for ALIF patients, p = 0.001) and longer operative duration (6.7 ± 1.5 hours for TLIF patients vs 8.9 ± 2.5 hours for ALIF patients, p < 0.001). In all patients, final alignment improved significantly in terms of the fractional curve (20.2° ± 7.0° to 6.9° ± 5.2°), maximum coronal Cobb angle (55.0° ± 14.8° to 23.9° ± 14.3°), C7 sagittal vertical axis (5.1 ± 6.2 cm to 2.3 ± 5.4 cm), pelvic tilt (24.6° ± 8.1° to 22.7° ± 9.5°), and lumbar lordosis (32.3° ± 18.8° to 51.4° ± 14.1°) (all p < 0.05). Matched analysis demonstrated comparable fractional correction (-13.6° ± 6.7° for TLIF patients vs -13.6° ± 8.1° for ALIF patients, p = 0.982). In all patients, final HRQL improved significantly in terms of Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score (42.4 ± 16.3 to 24.2 ± 19.9), physical component summary (PCS) score of the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (32.6 ± 9.3 to 41.3 ± 11.7), and Scoliosis Research Society-22r score (2.9 ± 0.6 to 3.7 ± 0.7) (all p < 0.05). Matched analysis demonstrated worse ODI (30.9 ± 21.1 for TLIF patients vs 17.9 ± 17.1 for ALIF patients, p = 0.017) and PCS (38.3 ± 12.0 for TLIF patients vs 45.3 ± 10.1 for ALIF patients, p = 0.020) scores for TLIF patients at the last follow-up (despite no differences in these parameters at baseline). The rates of total complications were similar (76.6% for TLIF patients vs 71.2% for ALIF patients, p = 0.530), but significantly more TLIF patients had rod fracture (28.6% of TLIF patients vs 7.1% of ALIF patients, p = 0.036). Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that a 1-mm increase in L4-5 TLIF cage height led to a 2.2° reduction in L4 coronal tilt (p = 0.011), and a 1° increase in L5-S1 ALIF cage lordosis led to a 0.4° increase in L5-S1 segmental lordosis (p = 0.045).

Conclusions: Operative treatment of ASLS with L4-S1 TLIF versus ALIF demonstrated comparable mean fractional curve correction (66.7% vs 64.8%), despite use of significantly larger, more lordotic ALIF cages. TLIF cage height had a significant impact on leveling L4 coronal tilt, whereas ALIF cage lordosis had a significant impact on restoration of lumbosacral lordosis. The advantages of TLIF may include reduced operative duration and hospitalization; however, associated HRQL was inferior and more rod fractures were detected in the TLIF patients included in this study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.11.SPINE201915DOI Listing
August 2021

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

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

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

Study Design: Multicenter retrospective review of prospective database.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Appropriate Risk Stratification and Accounting for Age-Adjusted Reciprocal Changes in the Thoracolumbar Spine Reduces the Incidence and Magnitude of Distal Junctional Kyphosis in Cervical Deformity Surgery.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Mar 11. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Department of Orthopedics, NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital, New York, NY, USA Department of Orthopedics, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, USA Department of Orthopedic Surgery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rocky Mountain Scoliosis and Spine, Denver, CO Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, USA Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, USA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA San Diego Center for Spinal Disorders, La Jolla, CA, USA Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, CA, USA Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA Department of Neurosurgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective cohort study of a prospective cervical deformity (CD) database.

Objective: Identify factors associated with Distal Junctional Kyphosis (DJK); assess differences across DJK types.

Summary Of Background Data: DJK may develop as compensation for mal-correction of sagittal deformity in the thoracic curve. There is limited understanding of DJK drivers, especially for different DJK types.

Methods: Included: patients with pre- and postoperative clinical/radiographic data. Excluded: patients with previous fusion to L5 or below. DJK was defined per surgeon note or DJK angle (kyphosis from LIV to LIV-2)<-10°, and pre- to postoperative change in DJK angle by<-10°. Age-specific target LL-TK alignment was calculated as published. Offset from target LL-TK was correlated to DJK magnitude and inclination. DJK types: severe (DJK<-20°), progressive (DJK increase>4.4°), symptomatic (reoperation or published disability thresholds of NDI ≥ 24 or mJOA≤14). Random forest identified factors associated with DJK. Means comparison tests assessed differences.

Results: Included: 136 CD patients (61 ± 10yrs, 61%F). DJK rate was 30%. Postop offset from ideal LL-TK correlated with greater DJK angle (r = 0.428) and inclination of the distal end of the fusion construct (r = 0.244, both p < 0.02). Seven of the top 15 factors associated with DJK were radiographic, four surgical, and four clinical. Breakdown by type: severe (22%), progressive (24%), symptomatic (61%). Symptomatic had more posterior osteotomies than asymptomatic (p = 0.018). Severe had worse NDI and upper-cervical deformity (CL, C2 slope, C0-C2), as well as more posterior osteotomies than non-severe (all p < 0.01). Progressive had greater malalignment both globally and in the cervical spine (all p < 0.03) than static. Each type had varying associated factors.

Conclusion: Offset from age-specific alignment is associated with greater DJK and more anterior distal construct inclination, suggesting DJK may develop due to inappropriate realignment. Preoperative clinical and radiographic factors are associated with symptomatic and progressive DJK, suggesting the need for preoperative risk stratification.Level of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000004033DOI Listing
March 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

Multicenter assessment of surgical outcomes in adult spinal deformity patients with severe global coronal malalignment: determination of target coronal realignment threshold.

J Neurosurg Spine 2020 Dec 4:1-14. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

18Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, California.

Objective: The impact of global coronal malalignment (GCM; C7 plumb line-midsacral offset) on adult spinal deformity (ASD) treatment outcomes is unclear. Here, the authors' primary objective was to assess surgical outcomes and complications in patients with severe GCM, with a secondary aim of investigating potential surgical target coronal thresholds for optimal outcomes.

Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of a prospective multicenter database. Operative patients with severe GCM (≥ 1 SD above the mean) and a minimum 2-year follow-up were identified. Demographic, surgical, radiographic, health-related quality of life (HRQOL), and complications data were analyzed.

Results: Of 691 potentially eligible operative patients (mean GCM 4 ± 3 cm), 80 met the criteria for severe GCM ≥ 7 cm. Of these, 62 (78%; mean age 63.7 ± 10.7 years, 81% women) had a minimum 2-year follow-up (mean follow-up 3.3 ± 1.1 years). The mean ASD-Frailty Index was 3.9 ± 1.5 (frail), 50% had undergone prior fusion, and 81% had concurrent severe sagittal spinopelvic deformity with GCM and C7-S1 sagittal vertical axis (SVA) positively correlated (r = 0.313, p = 0.015). Surgical characteristics included posterior-only (58%) versus anterior-posterior (42%) approach, mean fusion of 13.2 ± 3.8 levels, iliac fixation (90%), 3-column osteotomy (36%), operative duration of 8.3 ± 3.0 hours, and estimated blood loss of 2.3 ± 1.7 L. Final alignment and HRQOL significantly improved (p < 0.01): GCM, 11 to 4 cm; maximum coronal Cobb angle, 43° to 20°; SVA, 13 to 4 cm; pelvic tilt, 29° to 23°; pelvic incidence-lumbar lordosis mismatch, 31° to 5°; Oswestry Disability Index, 51 to 37; physical component summary of SF-36 (PCS), 29 to 37; 22-Item Scoliosis Research Society Patient Questionnaire (SRS-22r) Total, 2.6 to 3.5; and numeric rating scale score for back and leg pain, 7 to 4 and 5 to 3, respectively. Residual GCM ≥ 3 cm was associated with worse SRS-22r Appearance (p = 0.04) and SRS-22r Satisfaction (p = 0.02). The minimal clinically important difference and/or substantial clinical benefit (MCID/SCB) was met in 43%-83% (highest for SRS-22r Appearance [MCID 83%] and PCS [SCB 53%]). The severity of baseline GCM (≥ 2 SD above the mean) significantly impacted postoperative SRS-22r Satisfaction and MCID/SCB improvement for PCS. No significant partial correlations were demonstrated between GCM or SVA correction and HRQOL improvement. There were 89 total complications (34 minor and 55 major), 45 (73%) patients with ≥ 1 complication (most commonly rod fracture [19%] and proximal junctional kyphosis [PJK; 18%]), and 34 reoperations in 22 (35%) patients (most commonly for rod fracture and PJK).

Conclusions: Study results demonstrated that ASD surgery in patients with substantial GCM was associated with significant radiographic and HRQOL improvement despite high complication rates. MCID improvement was highest for SRS-22r Appearance/Self-Image. A residual GCM ≥ 3 cm was associated with a worse outcome, suggesting a potential coronal realignment target threshold to assist surgical planning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.7.SPINE20606DOI Listing
December 2020

Effect of race, age, and gender on lumbar muscle volume and fat infiltration in the degenerative spine.

J Orthop Sci 2021 Jan 29;26(1):69-74. Epub 2020 Oct 29.

San Diego Spine Foundation, San Diego, CA, USA; Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA.

Background: The quantity and quality of spinal muscles in patients with degenerative spinal diseases and various backgrounds such as age, gender, or race is unclear. We quantitatively evaluated the cross-sectional area (CSA) and fatty degeneration of the muscles around the spine, using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in patients with degenerative spinal disease, and studied the effects of age, gender, and race in multicenter retrospective study.

Methods: The subjects were Caucasian and Asian patients with degenerative lumbar disease who underwent L4-5 single level spinal fusion surgery at centers in the United States and Japan. Using preoperative axial T2 MRI at the L4-5 disc level, the cross-sectional areas of the psoas and paraspinal muscles were measured. Fat infiltration was measured using the threshold method, and percent fat area (%FA) was calculated for each muscle. The muscle/disc area ratio (MDAR) was used to control for size differences per patient. T-test, Pearson's correlation coefficient, partial correlation, and multiple linear regression were used for statistical analysis.

Results: In total, 140 patients (53 men; 87 women; mean age, 69.2 years) were analyzed. Age was similar in Caucasians (n = 64) and Asians (n = 76). MDARs were larger in Caucasians for paraspinal and psoas muscles (p < 0.005). Percent FA of psoas was similar in Caucasians and Asians, but greater in the paraspinal muscles of Asians (p < 0.05). After controlling for race and gender, age was correlated negatively with MDAR (p < 0.001) and positively with %FA (p < 0.001). In the multiple linear regression analysis, age, gender, and race were independently affected by MDAR and %FA.

Conclusions: Lumbar muscle mass and quality were affected by age, gender, and race, independently, in patients with degenerative lumbar disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jos.2019.09.006DOI Listing
January 2021

Radiographic benefit of incorporating the inflection between the cervical and thoracic curves in fusion constructs for surgical cervical deformity patients.

J Craniovertebr Junction Spine 2020 Apr-Jun;11(2):131-138. Epub 2020 Jun 5.

Department of Orthopedics, Hospital for Special Surgery New York, NY, USA.

Purpose: The aim is to assess the relationship between cervicothoracic inflection point and baseline disability, as well as the relationship between clinical outcomes and pre- to postoperative changes in inflection point.

Methods: Cervical deformity (CD) patients with baseline and 3-month (3M) postoperative radiographic, clinical, and inflection data were grouped by region of inflection point: C6 or above, C6-C7 to C7-T1, T1, or below. Inflection was defined as: Distal-most level where cervical lordosis (CL) changes to thoracic kyphosis (TK). Differences in alignment and patient factors across pre- and postoperative inflection point groups were assessed, as were outcomes by the inclusion of inflection in the CD-corrective fusion construct.

Results: A total of 108 patients were included. Preoperative inflection breakdown: C6 or above (42%), C6-C7 to C7-T1 (44%), T1 or below (15%). Surgery was associated with a caudal migration of inflection by 3M: C6 or above (8%), C6-C7 to C7-T1 (58%), T1 or below (33%). For patients with preoperative inflection T1 or below, the inclusion of inflection in the fusion construct was associated with improvements in horizontal gaze (McGregor's Slope included: -11.3° vs. not included: 1.6°, = 0.038). The inclusion of preoperative inflection in fusion was associated with the superior cervical sagittal vertical axis (cSVA) changes for C6-C7 to C7-T1 patients (-5.2 mm vs. 3.2 mm, = 0.018). The location of postoperative inflection was associated with variation in 3M alignment: Inflection C6 or above was associated with less Pelvic Tilt (PT), PT and a trend of larger cSVA. Location of inflection or inclusion in fusion was not associated with reoperation or distal junctional kyphosis.

Conclusions: Incorporating the inflection point between CL and TK in the fusion construct was associated with superior restoration of cervical alignment and horizontal gaze for surgical CD patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_57_20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7462144PMC
June 2020

Factors affecting approach selection for minimally invasive versus open surgery in the treatment of adult spinal deformity: analysis of a prospective, nonrandomized multicenter study.

J Neurosurg Spine 2020 Jun 19:1-6. Epub 2020 Jun 19.

5Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, California.

Objective: Surgical decision-making and planning is a key factor in optimizing outcomes in adult spinal deformity (ASD). Minimally invasive spinal (MIS) strategies for ASD have been increasingly used as an option to decrease postoperative morbidity. This study analyzes factors involved in the selection of either a traditional open approach or a minimally invasive approach to treat ASD in a prospective, nonrandomized multicenter trial. All centers had at least 5 years of experience in minimally invasive techniques for ASD.

Methods: The study enrolled 268 patients, of whom 120 underwent open surgery and 148 underwent MIS surgery. Inclusion criteria included age ≥ 18 years, and at least one of the following criteria: coronal curve (CC) ≥ 20°, sagittal vertical axis (SVA) > 5 cm, pelvic tilt (PT) > 25°, or thoracic kyphosis (TK) > 60°. Surgical approach selection was made at the discretion of the operating surgeon. Preoperative significant differences were included in a multivariate logistic regression analysis to determine odds ratios (ORs) for approach selection.

Results: Significant preoperative differences (p < 0.05) between open and MIS groups were noted for age (61.9 vs 66.7 years), numerical rating scale (NRS) back pain score (7.8 vs 7), CC (36° vs 26.1°), PT (26.4° vs 23°), T1 pelvic angle (TPA; 25.8° vs 21.7°), and pelvic incidence-lumbar lordosis (PI-LL; 19.6° vs 14.9°). No significant differences in BMI (29 vs 28.5 kg/m2), NRS leg pain score (5.2 vs 5.7), Oswestry Disability Index (48.4 vs 47.2), Scoliosis Research Society 22-item questionnaire score (2.7 vs 2.8), PI (58.3° vs 57.1°), LL (38.9° vs 42.3°), or SVA (73.8 mm vs 60.3 mm) were found. Multivariate analysis found that age (OR 1.05, p = 0.002), VAS back pain score (OR 1.21, p = 0.016), CC (OR 1.03, p < 0.001), decompression (OR 4.35, p < 0.001), and TPA (OR 1.09, p = 0.023) were significant factors in approach selection.

Conclusions: Increasing age was the primary driver for selecting MIS surgery. Conversely, increasingly severe deformities and the need for open decompression were the main factors influencing the selection of traditional open surgery. As experience with MIS surgery continues to accumulate, future longitudinal evaluation will reveal if more experience, use of specialized treatment algorithms, refinement of techniques, and technology will expand surgeon adoption of MIS techniques for adult spinal deformity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.4.SPINE20169DOI Listing
June 2020

Neuroanesthesia Guidelines for Optimizing Transcranial Motor Evoked Potential Neuromonitoring During Deformity and Complex Spinal Surgery: A Delphi Consensus Study.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2020 Jul;45(13):911-920

Valley Anesthesiology Consultants, Phoenix, AZ.

Study Design: Expert opinion-modified Delphi study.

Objective: We used a modified Delphi approach to obtain consensus among leading spinal deformity surgeons and their neuroanesthesiology teams regarding optimal practices for obtaining reliable motor evoked potential (MEP) signals.

Summary Of Background Data: Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring of transcranial MEPs provides the best method for assessing spinal cord integrity during complex spinal surgeries. MEPs are affected by pharmacological and physiological parameters. It is the responsibility of the spine surgeon and neuroanesthesia team to understand how they can best maintain high-quality MEP signals throughout surgery. Nevertheless, varying approaches to neuroanesthesia are seen in clinical practice.

Methods: We identified 19 international expert spinal deformity treatment teams. A modified Delphi process with two rounds of surveying was performed. Greater than 50% agreement on the final statements was considered "agreement"; >75% agreement was considered "consensus."

Results: Anesthesia regimens and protocols were obtained from the expert centers. There was a large amount of variability among centers. Two rounds of consensus surveying were performed, and all centers participated in both rounds of surveying. Consensus was obtained for 12 of 15 statements, and majority agreement was obtained for two of the remaining statements. Total intravenous anesthesia was identified as the preferred method of maintenance, with few centers allowing for low mean alveolar concentration of inhaled anesthetic. Most centers advocated for <150 μg/kg/min of propofol with titration to the lowest dose that maintains appropriate anesthesia depth based on awareness monitoring. Use of adjuvant intravenous anesthetics, including ketamine, low-dose dexmedetomidine, and lidocaine, may help to reduce propofol requirements without negatively effecting MEP signals.

Conclusion: Spine surgeons and neuroanesthesia teams should be familiar with methods for optimizing MEPs during deformity and complex spinal cases. Although variability in practices exists, there is consensus among international spinal deformity treatment centers regarding best practices.

Level Of Evidence: 5.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003433DOI Listing
July 2020

Probability of severe frailty development among operative and nonoperative adult spinal deformity patients: an actuarial survivorship analysis over a 3-year period.

Spine J 2020 08 20;20(8):1276-1285. Epub 2020 Apr 20.

Rocky Mountain Scoliosis and Spine, Denver, CO, USA.

Background: Little is known of how frailty, a dynamic measure of physiological age, progresses relative to age or disability status. Operative treatment of adult spinal deformity (ASD) may play a role in frailty remediation and maintenance.

Purpose: Compare frailty status, severe frailty development, and factors influencing severe frailty development among ASD patients undergoing operative or nonoperative treatment.

Design: Retrospective review with maximum follow-up of 3 years.

Setting: Prospective, multicenter, ASD database.

Participants: Patients were consecutively enrolled from 13 participating centers.

Inclusion Criteria: ≥18 years undergoing either operative or nonoperative treatment for ASD, exclusion criteria: spinal deformity of neuromuscular etiology, presence of active infection, or malignancy. The mean age of the participants analyzed were 54.9 for the operative cohort and 55.0 for the nonoperative cohort.

Outcomes Measures: Frailty status, severe frailty development, and factors influencing severe frailty development.

Methods: ASD patients (coronal scoliosis ≥20°, sagittal vertical axis (SVA) ≥5 cm, Pelvic Tilt (PT) ≥25°, or thoracic kyphosis ≥60°) >18 y/o, with Base Line (BL) frailty scores were included. Frailty was scored from 0 to 1 (not frail: <0.3, frail 0.3-0.5, severe frailty >0.5) through the use of ASD-frailty index (FI) which has been validated using the International Spine Study Group (ISSG) ASD database, European Spine Study Group ASD database, and the Scoli-RISK-1 Patient Database. The ISSG is funded through research grants from DePuy Synthes and individual donations and supported the current work. Operative (Op) and Nonoperative (Non-Op) patients were propensity matched. T-tests compared frailty among treatment groups and BL, 1, 2, and ≥3 years. An actuarial Kaplan-Meier survivorship analysis with log-rank (Mantel-Cox) test, adjusting for patients lost to follow-up, determined probability of severe frailty development. Multivariate Cox Regressions gauged the effect of sagittal malalignment, patient and surgical details on severe frailty development.

Results: The analysis includes 472 patients (236 Op, 236 Non-Op) selected by propensity score matching from a cohort of 1,172. Demographics and comorbidities were similar between groups (p>.05). Op exhibited decreased frailty at all follow-up intervals compared with BL (BL: 0.22 vs Y1: 0.18; Y2: 0.16; Y3: 0.15, all p<.001). Non-Op displayed similar frailty from BL to 2Y follow up, and increased frailty at 3Y follow up (0.23 vs 0.25, p=.014). Compared with Non-Op, Op had lower frailty at 1Y (0.18 vs 0.24), 2Y (0.16 vs 0.23), and 3Y (0.15 vs 0.25; all p<.001). Cumulative probability of maintaining nonsevere frailty was (Op: 97.7%, Non-Op: 94.5%) at 1Y, (Op: 95.1%, Non-Op: 90.4%) at 2Y, and (Op: 95.1%, Non-Op: 89.1%) at ≥3Y, (p=.018). Among all patients, baseline depression (hazard ratio: 2.688[1.172-6.167], p=.020), Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) back pain scores (HR: 1.247[1.012-1.537], p=.039), and nonoperative treatment (HR: 2.785[1.167-6.659], p=.021) predicted severe frailty development with having a HR>1.0 and p value<.05. Among operative patients, 6-week postoperative residual SVA malalignment (SRS-Schwab SVA+modifier) (HR: 15.034[1.922-116.940], p=.010) predicted severe frailty development indicated by having a HR>1.0 and p value <.05.

Conclusions: Non-Op patients were more likely to develop severe frailty, and at a quicker rate. Baseline depression, increased NRS back pain scores, nonoperative treatment, and postoperative sagittal malalignment at 6-week follow-up significantly predicted severe frailty development. Operative intervention and postoperative sagittal balance appear to play significant roles in frailty remediation and maintenance in ASD patients. Frailty is one factor, in a multifactorial conservation, that may be considered when determining operative or nonoperative values for ASD patients. Operating before the onset of severe frailty, may result in a lower complication risk and better long-term clinical outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2020.04.010DOI Listing
August 2020

Anterior Column Realignment: Analysis of Neurological Risk and Radiographic Outcomes.

Neurosurgery 2020 09;87(3):E347-E354

Department of Research, San Diego Spine Foundation, San Diego, California.

Background: Anterior column realignment (ACR) is a less invasive alternative to 3-column osteotomy for the correction of sagittal imbalance. We hypothesized that ACR would correct sagittal imbalance with an acceptable neurological risk.

Objective: To assess long-term neurological and radiographic outcomes after ACR.

Methods: Patients ≥18 yr who underwent ACR from 2005 to 2013 were eligible. Standing scoliosis radiographs were studied at preoperation, postoperation (≤6 wk), and at minimum 2 yr of follow-up. Clinical/radiographic data were collected through a retrospective chart review, with thoracic 1 spino-pelvic inclination (T1SPi) used as the angular surrogate for sagittal vertical axis.

Results: A total of 26 patients had complete data, with a mean follow-up of 2.8 yr (1.8-7.4). Preoperative, sagittal parameters were lumbar lordosis (LL) of -16.1°, pelvic incidence (PI)-LL of 41.7°, T1SPi of 3.6°, and pelvis tilt (PT) of 32.4°. LL improved by 30.6° (P < .001) postoperation. Mean changes in PT (-8.3), sacral slope (8.9), T1SPi (-4.9), and PI-LL (-33.5) were all significant. The motion segment angle improved by 26.6°, from 5.2° to -21.4° (P < .001). Neurological complications occurred in 32% patients postoperation (n = 8; 1 patient with both sensory and motor). New thigh numbness/paresthesia developed in 3 (13%) patients postoperation; only 1 (4%) persisted at latest follow-up. A total of 6 (24%) patients developed a new lower extremity motor deficit postoperation, with 4 (8%) having persistent new weakness at last follow-up. Out of 8 patients with preoperative motor deficit, half saw improvement postoperation and 75% improved by last follow-up.

Conclusion: There was net motor improvement, with 24% of patients improving and 16% having persistent new weakness at latest follow-up; 60% were unchanged. Radiographic results demonstrate that ACR is a useful tool to treat severe sagittal plane deformity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyaa064DOI Listing
September 2020

Predicting the combined occurrence of poor clinical and radiographic outcomes following cervical deformity corrective surgery.

J Neurosurg Spine 2019 Nov;32(2):182-190

15Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, California.

Objective: Cervical deformity (CD) correction is clinically challenging. There is a high risk of developing complications with these highly complex procedures. The aim of this study was to use baseline demographic, clinical, and surgical factors to predict a poor outcome following CD surgery.

Methods: The authors performed a retrospective review of a multicenter prospective CD database. CD was defined as at least one of the following: cervical kyphosis (C2-7 Cobb angle > 10°), cervical scoliosis (coronal Cobb angle > 10°), C2-7 sagittal vertical axis (cSVA) > 4 cm, or chin-brow vertical angle (CBVA) > 25°. Patients were categorized based on having an overall poor outcome or not. Health-related quality of life measures consisted of Neck Disability Index (NDI), EQ-5D, and modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association (mJOA) scale scores. A poor outcome was defined as having all 3 of the following categories met: 1) radiographic poor outcome: deterioration or severe radiographic malalignment 1 year postoperatively for cSVA or T1 slope-cervical lordosis mismatch (TS-CL); 2) clinical poor outcome: failing to meet the minimum clinically important difference (MCID) for NDI or having a severe mJOA Ames modifier; and 3) complications/reoperation poor outcome: major complication, death, or reoperation for a complication other than infection. Univariate logistic regression followed by multivariate regression models was performed, and internal validation was performed by calculating the area under the curve (AUC).

Results: In total, 89 patients with CD were included (mean age 61.9 years, female sex 65.2%, BMI 29.2 kg/m2). By 1 year postoperatively, 18 (20.2%) patients were characterized as having an overall poor outcome. For radiographic poor outcomes, patients' conditions either deteriorated or remained severe for TS-CL (73% of patients), cSVA (8%), horizontal gaze (34%), and global SVA (28%). For clinical poor outcomes, 80% and 60% of patients did not reach MCID for EQ-5D and NDI, respectively, and 24% of patients had severe symptoms (mJOA score 0-11). For the complications/reoperation poor outcome, 28 patients experienced a major complication, 11 underwent a reoperation, and 1 had a complication-related death. Of patients with a poor clinical outcome, 75% had a poor radiographic outcome; 35% of poor radiographic and 37% of poor clinical outcome patients had a major complication. A poor outcome was predicted by the following combination of factors: osteoporosis, baseline neurological status, use of a transition rod, number of posterior decompressions, baseline pelvic tilt, T2-12 kyphosis, TS-CL, C2-T3 SVA, C2-T1 pelvic angle (C2 slope), global SVA, and number of levels in maximum thoracic kyphosis. The final model predicting a poor outcome (AUC 86%) included the following: osteoporosis (OR 5.9, 95% CI 0.9-39), worse baseline neurological status (OR 11.4, 95% CI 1.8-70.8), baseline pelvic tilt > 20° (OR 0.92, 95% CI 0.85-0.98), > 9 levels in maximum thoracic kyphosis (OR 2.01, 95% CI 1.1-4.1), preoperative C2-T3 SVA > 5.4 cm (OR 1.01, 95% CI 0.9-1.1), and global SVA > 4 cm (OR 3.2, 95% CI 0.09-10.3).

Conclusions: Of all CD patients in this study, 20.2% had a poor overall outcome, defined by deterioration in radiographic and clinical outcomes, and a major complication. Additionally, 75% of patients with a poor clinical outcome also had a poor radiographic outcome. A poor overall outcome was most strongly predicted by severe baseline neurological deficit, global SVA > 4 cm, and including more of the thoracic maximal kyphosis in the construct.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2019.7.SPINE18651DOI Listing
November 2019

The MISDEF2 algorithm: an updated algorithm for patient selection in minimally invasive deformity surgery.

J Neurosurg Spine 2019 Oct;32(2):221-228

11Department of Neurosurgery, Cornell Medical Center, New York, New York.

Objective: Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) can be used as an alternative or adjunct to traditional open techniques for the treatment of patients with adult spinal deformity. Recent advances in MIS techniques, including advanced anterior approaches, have increased the range of candidates for MIS deformity surgery. The minimally invasive spinal deformity surgery (MISDEF2) algorithm was created to provide an updated framework for decision-making when considering MIS techniques in correction of adult spinal deformity.

Methods: A modified algorithm was developed that incorporates a patient's preoperative radiographic parameters and leads to one of 4 general plans ranging from basic to advanced MIS techniques to open deformity surgery with osteotomies. The authors surveyed 14 fellowship-trained spine surgeons experienced with spinal deformity surgery to validate the algorithm using a set of 24 cases to establish interobserver reliability. They then re-surveyed the same surgeons 2 months later with the same cases presented in a different sequence to establish intraobserver reliability. Responses were collected and analyzed. Correlation values were determined using SPSS software.

Results: Over a 3-month period, 14 fellowship-trained deformity surgeons completed the surveys. Responses for MISDEF2 algorithm case review demonstrated an interobserver kappa of 0.85 for the first round of surveys and an interobserver kappa of 0.82 for the second round of surveys, consistent with substantial agreement. In at least 7 cases, there was perfect agreement between the reviewing surgeons. The mean intraobserver kappa for the 2 surveys was 0.8.

Conclusions: The MISDEF2 algorithm was found to have substantial inter- and intraobserver agreement. The MISDEF2 algorithm incorporates recent advances in MIS surgery. The use of the MISDEF2 algorithm provides reliable guidance for surgeons who are considering either an MIS or an open approach for the treatment of patients with adult spinal deformity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2019.7.SPINE181104DOI Listing
October 2019

Development of a Novel Cervical Deformity Surgical Invasiveness Index.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2020 Jan;45(2):116-123

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

Study Design: Retrospective review.

Objective: The aim of this study was to develop a novel surgical invasiveness index for cervical deformity (CD) surgery that incorporates CD-specific parameters.

Summary Of Background Data: There has been a surgical invasiveness index for general spine surgery and adult spinal deformity, but a CD index has not been developed.

Methods: CD was defined as at least one of the following: C2-C7 Cobb >10°, cervical lordosis (CL) >10°, cervical sagittal vertical axis (cSVA) >4 cm, chin brow vertical angle >25°. Consensus from experienced spine and neurosurgeons selected weightings for each variable that went into the invasiveness index. Binary logistic regression predicted high operative time (>338 minutes), estimated blood loss (EBL) (>600 mL), or length of stay (LOS) >5 days) based on the median values of operative time, EBL, and LOS. Multivariable regression modeling was utilized to construct a final model incorporating the strongest combination of factors to predict operative time, LOS, and EBL.

Results: Eighty-five CD patients were included (61 years, 66% females). The variables in the newly developed CD invasiveness index with their corresponding weightings were: history of previous cervical surgery (3), anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (2/level), corpectomy (4/level), levels fused (1/level), implants (1/level), posterior decompression (2/level), Smith-Peterson osteotomy (2/level), three-column osteotomy (8/level), fusion to upper cervical spine (2), absolute change in T1 slope minus cervical lordosis, cSVA, T4-T12 thoracic kyphosis (TK), and sagittal vertical axis (SVA) from baseline to 1-year. The newly developed CD-specific invasiveness index strongly predicted long LOS (R = 0.310, P < 0.001), high EBL (R = 0.170, P = 0.011), and extended operative time (R = 0.207, P = 0.031). A second analysis used multivariable regression modeling to determine which combination of factors in the newly developed index were the strongest determinants of operative time, LOS, and EBL. The final predictive model included: number of corpectomies, levels fused, decompression, combined approach, and absolute changes in SVA, cSVA, and TK. This model predicted EBL (R = 0.26), operative time (R = 0.12), and LOS (R = 0.13).

Conclusion: Extended LOS, operative time, and high blood loss were strongly predicted by the newly developed CD invasiveness index, incorporating surgical factors and radiographic parameters clinically relevant for patients undergoing CD corrective surgery.

Level Of Evidence: 4.
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January 2020

Fusion Rates of Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion Using Recombinant Human Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2.

Global Spine J 2019 Jun 25;9(4):398-402. Epub 2018 Sep 25.

Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, CA, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective observational case series.

Objectives: Lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) has been widely performed with recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2), but the fusion rates using this graft alternative have not been well studied. We aimed to evaluate fusion rates in 1- and 2-level LLIF with rhBMP-2 and their relationship with fixation, as well as rates of BMP-related complications.

Methods: Institutional review board (IRB)-approved spine registry cohort of 93 patients who underwent LLIF with rhBMP-2 (71 one-level cases and 22 two-level cases). Minimum 1-year clinical follow-up and computed tomography (CT) scan for fusion assessment. Postoperative CT scans were used to evaluate the rate of fusion in all patients. Instrumentation and complications were collected from chart and imaging review.

Results: Average age was 65 years (67% female). For 1-level cases, 92% (65/71) had complete fusion and 8% (6/71) had either incomplete or indeterminate fusion. Three of the 6 patients who had incomplete or indeterminate fusion had bilateral pedicle screw instrumentation, 1 patient had unilateral posterior fixation, and 2 had no fixation. In 2-level cases, 86% (19/22) had complete fusion and 14% (3/22) had either incomplete or indeterminate fusion. The 3 patients who had incomplete or indeterminate fusion did not have fixation.

Conclusion: Interbody fusion rates with rhBMP-2 via LLIF was 92% in 1-level cases and 86% in 2-level cases, indicating that rhBMP-2 may be used as a viable graft alternative to allograft options for LLIF. Higher rates of pseudarthrosis occurred when not using fixation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2192568218797097DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6562218PMC
June 2019

Resting Pain Level as a Preoperative Predictor of Success With Indirect Decompression for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: A Pilot Study.

Global Spine J 2019 Apr 26;9(2):150-154. Epub 2018 Jul 26.

San Diego Spine Foundation, San Diego, CA, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective review of a single institution.

Objective: To determine if resting leg pain level is a predictor of success for indirect decompression in the setting of lumbar spinal stenosis, with lower levels of rest pain correlating with greater likelihood of successful indirect decompression.

Methods: Reviewed anterior or lateral lumbar interbody fusions from T12 to L5-S1 patients with a posterior-based pedicle screw-rod construct. Patients were separated into 2 groups based on a preoperative response to Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) Question 7 regarding level of pain at rest in the supine position. Responses of 0 to 2 (minimal rest pain) were group 1 (n = 54) and responses of 3 to 5 (significant rest pain) were group 2 (n = 16).

Results: Preoperative difference was detected between groups 1 and 2, in ODI (38 vs 63, < .001) and Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) back (6.8 vs 7.9, = .023). Three-month NRS leg and back scores were significantly lower in group 1 (leg, 1.9 vs 4.8, < .001; back, 3.5 vs 6.4, = .001). A significant difference was further noted in the percentage decrease in NRS leg and back scores from pre- to 3 months postoperatively between groups 1 and 2 (leg, 68.4% vs 22.7%, < .001; back, 40.0% vs 7.4%, = .012). Group 1 reached minimal clinically important difference for leg pain more often than group 2 (83.3% vs 43.8%, = .001).

Conclusion: Preoperative assessment of rest pain level in the supine position has a significant association with reduction in NRS leg and back scores in patients undergoing indirect decompression for lumbar spinal stenosis. This tool may successfully indicate which patients will be candidates for indirect decompression with interbody fusion from an anterior or lateral approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2192568218765986DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6448191PMC
April 2019

Analysis of Complications with Staged Surgery for Less Invasive Treatment of Adult Spinal Deformity.

World Neurosurg 2019 Jun 18;126:e1337-e1342. Epub 2019 Mar 18.

San Diego Center for Spinal Disorders, La Jolla, California, USA.

Background: Spinal deformity surgery is often invasive and lengthy. Staging surgery over separate operative days may reduce complications. Staging is often used in minimally invasive treatment of adult spinal deformity (ASD).

Objective: To investigate the impact of staging on complication rates between hybrid (HYB; minimally invasive interbody with open posterior screw and rod fixation) and circumferential minimally invasive surgery (cMIS; minimally invasive interbody and screw/rod placement) procedures in patients with ASD.

Methods: A multicenter database of patients with ASD was reviewed. Patients who underwent staging (at least 3 levels) and 2 years of follow-up were analyzed. A total of 99 patients underwent staging: 53 cMIS and 46 HYB surgeries. Propensity matching for levels fused resulted in 19 patients in each group. Intra- and perioperative complications were assessed.

Results: Three HYB but no cMIS intraoperative complications occurred. More HYB patients had perioperative complications than cMIS patients. Neurologic complications were more frequent in HYB versus cMIS. Other complications did not differ significantly. Thirty-day reoperations were higher with cMIS than HYB, but there was no difference in reoperation rate at long-term follow-up. cMIS patients had greater improvement in the Oswestry Disability Index. There was no difference in complications between staged versus unstaged cMIS surgeries.

Conclusions: cMIS staged surgeries appear safer than HYB staged surgeries, and equally safe to cMIS unstaged surgeries. Perioperative complications were significantly higher for HYB staged surgeries. HYB surgeries may have better results when performed in a single setting, whereas cMIS surgeries can be performed in 1 or 2 stages depending on surgeon preference.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2019.03.090DOI Listing
June 2019

Is achieving optimal spinopelvic parameters necessary to obtain substantial clinical benefit? An analysis of patients who underwent circumferential minimally invasive surgery or hybrid surgery with open posterior instrumentation.

J Neurosurg Spine 2019 Feb 22:1-6. Epub 2019 Feb 22.

12Department of Neurosurgery, University of California, San Francisco, California.

OBJECTIVEIt is now well accepted that spinopelvic parameters are correlated with clinical outcomes in adult spinal deformity (ASD). The purpose of this study was to determine whether obtaining optimal spinopelvic alignment was absolutely necessary to achieve a minimum clinically important difference (MCID) or substantial clinical benefit (SCB).METHODSA multicenter retrospective review of patients who underwent less-invasive surgery for ASD was conducted. Inclusion criteria were age ≥ 18 years and one of the following: coronal Cobb angle > 20°, sagittal vertical axis (SVA) > 5 cm, pelvic tilt (PT) > 20°, or pelvic incidence to lumbar lordosis (PI-LL) mismatch > 10°. A total of 223 patients who were treated with circumferential minimally invasive surgery or hybrid surgery and had a minimum 2-year follow-up were identified. Based on optimal spinopelvic parameters (PI-LL mismatch ± 10° and SVA < 5 cm), patients were divided into aligned (AL) or malaligned (MAL) groups. The primary clinical outcome studied was the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score.RESULTSThere were 74 patients in the AL group and 149 patients in the MAL group. Age and body mass index were similar between groups. Although the baseline SVA was similar, PI-LL mismatch (9.9° vs 17.7°, p = 0.002) and PT (19° vs 24.7°, p = 0.001) significantly differed between AL and MAL groups, respectively. As expected postoperatively, the AL and MAL groups differed significantly in PI-LL mismatch (-0.9° vs 13.1°, p < 0.001), PT (14° vs 25.5°, p = 0.001), and SVA (11.8 mm vs 48.3 mm, p < 0.001), respectively. Notably, there was no difference in the proportion of AL or MAL patients in whom an MCID (52.75% vs 61.1%, p > 0.05) or SCB (40.5% vs 46.3%, p > 0.05) was achieved for ODI score, respectively. Similarly, no differences in percentage of patients obtaining an MCID or SCB for visual analog scale back and leg pain score were observed. On multivariate analysis controlling for surgical and preoperative demographic differences, achieving optimal spinopelvic parameters was not associated with achieving an MCID (OR 0.645, 95% CI 0.31-1.33) or an SCB (OR 0.644, 95% CI 0.31-1.35) for ODI score.CONCLUSIONSAchieving optimal spinopelvic parameters was not a predictor for achieving an MCID or SCB. Since spinopelvic parameters are correlated with clinical outcomes, the authors' findings suggest that the presently accepted optimal spinopelvic parameters may require modification. Other factors, such as improvement in neurological symptoms and/or segmental instability, also likely impacted the clinical outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2018.11.SPINE181261DOI Listing
February 2019

Early and Late Reoperation Rates With Various MIS Techniques for Adult Spinal Deformity Correction.

Global Spine J 2019 Feb 10;9(1):41-47. Epub 2018 May 10.

University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Study Design: A multicenter retrospective review of an adult spinal deformity database.

Objective: We aimed to characterize reoperation rates and etiologies of adult spinal deformity surgery with circumferential minimally invasive surgery (cMIS) and hybrid (HYB) techniques.

Methods: Inclusion criteria were age ≥18 years, and one of the following: coronal Cobb >20°, sagittal vertical axis >5 cm, pelvic tilt >20°, and pelvic incidence-lumbar lordosis >10°. Patients with either cMIS or HYB surgery, ≥3 spinal levels treated with 2-year minimum follow-up were included.

Results: A total of 133 patients met inclusion for this study (65 HYB and 68 cMIS). Junctional failure (13.8%) was the most common reason for reoperation in the HYB group, while fixation failure was the most common reason in the cMIS group (14.7%). There was a higher incidence of proximal junctional failure (PJF) than distal junctional failure (DJF) within HYB (12.3% vs 3.1%), but no significant differences in PJF or DJF rates when compared to cMIS. Early (<30 days) reoperations were less common (cMIS = 1.5%; HYB = 6.1%) than late (>30 days) reoperations (cMIS = 26.5%; HYB = 27.7%), but early reoperations were more common in the HYB group after propensity matching, largely due to infection rates (10.8% vs 0%, = .04).

Conclusions: Adult spinal deformity correction with cMIS and HYB techniques result in overall reoperation rates of 27.9% and 33.8%, respectively, at minimum 2-year follow-up. Junctional failures are more common after HYB approaches, while pseudarthrosis/fixation failures happen more often with cMIS techniques. Early reoperations were less common than later returns to the operating room in both groups, but cMIS demonstrated less risk of infection and early reoperation when compared with the HYB group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2192568218761032DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6362559PMC
February 2019

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) can identify painful lumbar discs and may facilitate improved clinical outcomes of lumbar surgeries for discogenic pain.

Eur Spine J 2019 04 4;28(4):674-687. Epub 2019 Jan 4.

University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Purpose: The goal of this study was to refine clinical MRS to optimize performance and then determine whether MRS-derived biomarkers reliably identify painful discs, quantify degeneration severity, and forecast surgical outcomes for chronic low back pain (CLBP) patients.

Methods: We performed an observational diagnostic development and accuracy study. Six hundred and twenty-three (623) discs in 139 patients were scanned using MRS, with 275 discs also receiving provocative discography (PD). MRS data were used to quantify spectral features related to disc structure (collagen and proteoglycan) and acidity (lactate, alanine, propionate). Ratios of acidity to structure were used to calculate pain potential. MRS-SCOREs were compared to PD and Pfirrmann grade. Clinical utility was judged by evaluating surgical success for 75 of the subjects who underwent lumbar surgery.

Results: Two hundred and six (206) discs had both a successful MRS and independent pain diagnosis. When comparing to PD, MRS had a total accuracy of 85%, sensitivity of 82%, and specificity of 88%. These increased to 93%, 91%, and 93% respectively, in non-herniated discs. The MRS structure measures differed significantly between Pfirrmann grades, except grade I versus grade II. When all MRS positive discs were treated, surgical success was 97% versus 57% when the treated level was MRS negative, or 54% when the non-treated adjacent level was MRS positive.

Conclusion: MRS correlates with PD and may support improved surgical outcomes for CLBP patients. Noninvasive MRS is a potentially valuable approach to clarifying pain mechanisms and designing CLBP therapies that are customized to the patient. These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00586-018-05873-3DOI Listing
April 2019

Recovery Kinetics: Comparison of Patients Undergoing Primary or Revision Procedures for Adult Cervical Deformity Using a Novel Area Under the Curve Methodology.

Neurosurgery 2019 07;85(1):E40-E51

Department of Orthopaedics, NYU Medical Center-Orthopaedic Hospital, New York, New York.

Background: Limited data are available to objectively define what constitutes a "good" versus a "bad" recovery for operative cervical deformity (CD) patients. Furthermore, the recovery patterns of primary versus revision procedures for CD is poorly understood.

Objective: To define and compare the recovery profiles of CD patients undergoing primary or revision procedures, utilizing a novel area-under-the-curve normalization methodology.

Methods: CD patients undergoing primary or revision surgery with baseline to 1-yr health-related quality of life (HRQL) scores were included. Clinical symptoms and HRQL were compared among groups (primary/revision). Normalized HRQL scores at baseline and follow-up intervals (3M, 6M, 1Y) were generated. Normalized HRQLs were plotted and area under the curve was calculated, generating one number describing overall recovery (Integrated Health State). Subanalysis identified recovery patterns through 2-yr follow-up.

Results: Eighty-three patients were included (45 primary, 38 revision). Age (61.3 vs 61.9), gender (F: 66.7% vs 63.2%), body mass index (27.7 vs 29.3), Charlson Comorbidity Index, frailty, and osteoporosis (20% vs 13.2%) were similar between groups (P > .05). Primary patients were more preoperatively neurologically symptomatic (55.6% vs 31.6%), less sagittally malaligned (cervical sagittal vertical axis [cSVA]: 32.6 vs 46.6; T1 slope: 28.8 vs 36.8), underwent more anterior-only approaches (28.9% vs 7.9%), and less posterior-only approaches (37.8% vs 60.5%), all P < .05. Combined approaches, decompressions, osteotomies, and construct length were similar between groups (P > .05). Revisions had longer op-times (438.0 vs 734.4 min, P = .008). Following surgery, complication rate was similar between groups (66.6% vs 65.8%, P = .569). Revision patients remained more malaligned (cSVA, TS-CL; P < .05) than primary patients until 1-yr follow-up (P > .05). Normalized HRQLs determined primary patients to exhibit less neck pain (numeric rating scale [NRS]) and myelopathy (modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association) symptoms through 1-yr follow-up compared to revision patients (P < .05). These differences subsided when following patients through 2 yr (P > .05). Despite similar 2-yr HRQL outcomes, revision patients exhibited worse neck pain (NRS) Integrated Health State recovery (P < .05).

Conclusion: Despite both primary and revision patients exhibiting similar HRQL outcomes at final follow-up, revision patients were in a greater state of postoperative neck pain for a greater amount of time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyy435DOI Listing
July 2019

Clinical and radiographic presentation and treatment of patients with cervical deformity secondary to thoracolumbar proximal junctional kyphosis are distinct despite achieving similar outcomes: Analysis of 123 prospective CD cases.

J Clin Neurosci 2018 Oct 2;56:121-126. Epub 2018 Jul 2.

Denver, CO, USA.

CD development secondary to PJK was recently documented in adult spinal deformity patients after surgical correction for thoracolumbar ASD. This study analyzes surgical management of patients with CD secondary to proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) versus patients with primary CD. Retrospective review of multicenter cervical deformity (CD) database. CD defined as at least one of the following: C2-C7 coronal Cobb > 10°, cervical lordosis (CL) > 10°, cervical sagittal vertical axis (cSVA) > 4cm, CBVA > 25°. Patients were grouped into those with PJK (UIV +2 < -10°) prior to cervical surgery versus who don't (Non-PJK). Independent t-tests and chi-squared tests compared radiographic, clinical, and surgical metrics between PJK and non-PJK groups. Of 123 eligible CD patients, 26(21.1%) had radiographic PJK prior to cervical surgery. PJK patients had significantly greater T2-T12 thoracic kyphosis (-58.8° vs -45.0°, p = 0.002), cSVA (49.1 mm vs 38.9 mm, p = 0.020), T1 Slope (42.6° vs 28.4°, p < 0.001), TS-CL (44.1° vs 35.6°, p = 0.048), C2-T3 SVA (98.8 mm vs 75.8 mm, p = 0.015), C2 Slope (45.4° vs 36.0°, p = 0.043), and CTPA (6.4° vs 4.6°, p = 0.005). Comparing their surgeries, the PJK group had significantly more levels fused (10.7 vs 7.4, p = 0.01). There was significantly greater blood loss in PJK patients (1158 ± 1063vs 738 ± 793 cc, p = 0.028); operative time, surgical approach, and BMP-2 use were similar (all p > 0.05). PJK patients experienced higher rates of complications 30 and 90 days post-operatively (23.1% vs. 5.2%, p = 0.004; 30.8% vs. 19.6%, p = 0.026), and more instrumentation failure 30 days postoperatively (7.8% vs. 1.0%, p = 0.004). Patients with cervical deformity secondary to PJK had worse baseline CD, despite no differences in HRQL or demographics. Surgical correction of CD associated with PJK required more invasive surgery and had higher complication rates than non-PJK patients, despite achieving similar clinical outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2018.06.040DOI Listing
October 2018

Home Versus Rehabilitation: Factors that Influence Disposition After Minimally Invasive Surgery in Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery.

World Neurosurg 2018 Oct 10;118:e610-e615. Epub 2018 Jul 10.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, California, USA; Department of Orthopedic Surgery, San Diego Spine Foundation, San Diego, California, USA.

Background: Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) correction for adult spinal deformity (ASD) may reduce the need the need for postoperative skilled nursing facility (SNF) or inpatient rehabilitation (IR) placement following surgery. The likelihood of requiring placement in a facility rather than home disposition may be influenced by various factors. In addition, the associations between discharge location and outcomes and complication rates have not been elucidated in these patients. In this study, we aimed to define factors predicting disposition to an SNF/IR and to elucidate the rates of complications occurring in patients sent to home versus to a facility.

Methods: A retrospective review of a multicenter ASD database, which included patients who underwent surgery between 2009 and 2014. Inclusion criteria were age >18 years, MIS as part of index surgery, location of discharge, and at least 1 of the following: pelvic tilt >20°, sagittal vertical axis >5 cm, pelvic incidence-lumbar lordosis mismatch >10, or lumbar scoliosis >20°. Patients with a 2-year follow-up were included. Preoperative demographic and radiographic data, postoperative (<30 day) complications, and health-related quality of life were analyzed.

Results: A total of 182 patients met our inclusion criteria, including 113 who were discharged to home and 69 who were discharged to an SNF/IR. Older patients (>50 years) were more likely to be discharged to an SNF/IR (P = 0.043). Those aged >70 years were 6-fold more likely to go to an SNF/IR. No association was identified between discharge to an SNF/IR and any radiographic parameters except preoperative pelvic tilt (odds ratio [OR], 1.11; P = 0.009). Staged cases were more likely to be discharged to an SNF/IR (OR, 3.24; 95% confidence interval, 1.11-9.46; P = 0.032); otherwise, there was no difference in levels treated, operating time, estimated blood loss, osteotomy, or length of hospital stay. Patients requiring discharge to an SNF/IR had a higher rate of complications (58% vs. 39.8%; P = 0.017), including major complications (19.5% vs. 42%; P = 0.001), perioperative complications (14.2% vs. 31.9%; P = 0.004) and infections (3.5% vs. 13%; P = 0.016). Patients discharged to an SNF/IR had a higher rate of revision (19.5% vs. 33%; P = 0.035). Health-related quality of life measures were similar regardless of disposition.

Conclusions: Older patients and those undergoing staged MIS deformity correction have a higher likelihood of postoperative disposition to an SNF/IR. Complications occurred more commonly in those patients requiring transfer to an SNF/IR after hospitalization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2018.06.249DOI Listing
October 2018

Transpsoas Approach Nuances.

Neurosurg Clin N Am 2018 Jul 26;29(3):407-417. Epub 2018 Apr 26.

Department of Orthopedics, Scripps Clinic, 10666 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA; San Diego Center for Spinal Disorders, 6190 Cornerstone, San Diego, CA 92121, USA. Electronic address:

The transpsoas approach is a powerful tool in correcting adult spinal deformity secondary to the degenerative process. It may be used as a stand-alone construct or in combination with other approaches to correct both coronal and sagittal malalignment. Preoperative planning with careful analysis of full-length 36-in radiographs and an MRI of the lumbar spine is essential in determining the safety and feasibility of this approach. Ultimately the goals of deformity correction must be achieved, and lateral lumbar interbody fusion is a valuable tool that can aid in achieving these goals while minimizing perioperative morbidity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nec.2018.02.002DOI Listing
July 2018

The impact of mental health on patient-reported outcomes in cervical radiculopathy or myelopathy surgery.

J Clin Neurosci 2018 Aug 12;54:102-108. Epub 2018 Jun 12.

Division of Spinal Surgery, Departments of Orthopaedic and Neurological Surgery, NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital, New York, NY, USA. Electronic address:

Optimizing functional outcomes and disability status are essential for effective surgical treatment of cervical spine disorders. Mental impairment is common among patients with cervical spine complaints; yet little is known about the impact of baseline mental status with respect to overall patient-reported outcomes. This was a retrospective analysis of patients with cervical spondylosis with myelopathy(CM) or radiculopathy(CR: cervical disc herniation, stenosis, or spondylosis without myelopathy) at 2-year follow-ups. Patients were assessed for several health-related quality of life HRQOL) measures at baseline and 24-months post-operatively: Neck Disability Index (NDI), Visual Analog Scale(VAS), Short Form-36(SF) Physical(PCS) and Mental(MCS) Components. Patients were dichotomized by MCS score: LOW-MCS(SF-MCS < 40th percentile) vs. HIGH-MCS(SF-MCS > 60th percentile). Independent and paired t-tests compared improvement in each group for HIGH-MCS and LOW-MCS cohorts. 375 patients were analyzed(65.4yrs, 67.6%F). LOW-MCS radiculopathy patients showed significant improvement in NDI, VAS Neck and Arm Pain(p < 0.05). HIGH-MCS radiculopathy patients showed greater improvement in NDI score, VAS Neck and Arm Pain, and improvement in PCS(all p < 0.05). Comparing baseline and 2-year follow-up, LOW-MCS CM patients showed significant improvement in PCS, NDI, VAS Neck and Arm Pain(p < 0.05). HIGH-MCS myelopathy patients group showed marked improvement in NDI scores, VAS Neck and Arm Pain(p < 0.05). LOW-MCS CR patients were more likely to be less satisfied 2-years post-op(p < 0.001). Postoperative CR patients with lower baseline mental status saw less improvement and significantly worse outcomes than patients with higher baseline mental status. Improving baseline mental health may improve post-operative recovery. Implementing additional screening and care can optimize functional outcomes and disability status for patients with CR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2018.06.014DOI Listing
August 2018

Variability in Assessing Spinopelvic Parameters With Lumbosacral Transitional Vertebrae: Inter- and Intraobserver Reliability Among Spine Surgeons.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2018 06;43(12):813-816

San Diego Spine Foundation, San Diego, CA.

Study Design: Prospectively collected survey study OBJECTIVE.: The aim of this study was to determine the consistency with which spinopelvic parameters (SPP) are determined in patients with lumbosacral transitional vertebrae (LSTV).

Summary Of Background Data: The incidence of LSTV in the general population is as high as 35.6%. The often fixed nature of LSTV relative to the pelvis, but lumbar-type appearance, may lead to differential use of the S1 endplate when performing SPP assessment. This could have significant impact on SPP derived from these landmarks, resulting in considerable variation in surgical planning and decision-making.

Methods: Twenty patients demonstrating LSTV on standing lateral 36-inch spinal radiographs were randomly arranged and independently analyzed by 16 experienced spine surgeons using the same computer software. Pelvic incidence (PI), pelvic tilt (PT), lumbar lordosis (LL), and T1 pelvic angle (TPA) were captured. Two weeks after the first assessment, surgeons repeated the measurements after image sequence re-randomization. Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was calculated to evaluate interobserver reliability (IOR) for each SPP. Intraobserver reliability (IAOR) was assessed through an average Pearson correlation coefficient for each parameter for each surgeon.

Results: Sixteen surgeons completed initial measurements. IOR was poor for TPA (0.35, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.20, 0.58) and PI (0.42, 95% CI 0.26, 0.65) and fair for LL (0.67, 95% CI 0.51, 0.82), and PT (0.63, 95% CI 0.47, 0.81). Fourteen surgeons completed phase-2 measurements to assess IAOR. Average parameter PPC showed excellent IAOR (LL 0.86, TPA 0.77, PI 0.78, PT 0.86). Kappa coefficient showed fair agreement for raters choosing the same endplate for measurement (Phase 1: 0.38, Phase 2: 0.32). By patient, the percentage of raters that chose the S1 endplate for measurement varied from 6.3% to 85.7%.

Conclusion: Significant variability exists when surgeons measure SPP in patients with LSTV. These parameters are critical in determining the goals of surgical reconstruction and such variability may have considerable implications for radiographic goals and outcomes of surgical reconstruction.

Level Of Evidence: 4.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000002433DOI Listing
June 2018
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