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Brandon A. Sherrod, Giorgos D. Michalopoulos, Graham Mulvaney, Nitin Agarwal, Andrew K. Chan, Anthony L. Asher, Domagoj Coric, Michael S. Virk, Kai-Ming Fu, Kevin T. Foley, Paul Park, Cheerag D. Upadhyaya, John J. Knightly, Mark E. Shaffrey, Eric A. Potts, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Oren N. Gottfried, Khoi D. Than, Michael Y. Wang, Luis M. Tumialán, Dean Chou, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Mohamad Bydon, and Erica F. Bisson

OBJECTIVE

Patients who undergo surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) will occasionally develop postoperative neck pain that was not present preoperatively, yet the incidence of this phenomenon is unclear. The authors aimed to elucidate patient and surgical factors associated with new-onset sustained pain after CSM surgery.

METHODS

The authors reviewed data from the Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) CSM module. The presence of neck pain was defined using the neck pain numeric rating scale (NRS). Patients with no neck pain at baseline (neck NRS score ≤ 1) were then stratified based on the presence of new postoperative pain development (neck NRS score ≥ 2) at 12 and 24 months postoperatively.

RESULTS

Of 1141 patients in the CSM QOD, 224 (19.6%) reported no neck pain at baseline. Among 170 patients with no baseline neck pain and available 12-month follow-up, 46 (27.1%) reported new postoperative pain. Among 184 patients with no baseline neck pain and available 24-month follow-up, 53 (28.8%) reported new postoperative pain. The mean differences in neck NRS scores were 4.3 for those with new postoperative pain compared with those without at 12 months (4.4 ± 2.2 vs 0.1 ± 0.3, p < 0.001) and 3.9 at 24 months (4.1 ± 2.4 vs 0.2 ± 0.4, p < 0.001). The majority of patients reporting new-onset neck pain reported being satisfied with surgery, but their satisfaction was significantly lower compared with patients without pain at the 12-month (66.7% vs 94.3%, p < 0.001) and 24-month (65.4% vs 90.8%, p < 0.001) follow-ups. The baseline Neck Disability Index (NDI) was an independent predictor of new postoperative neck pain at both the 12-month and 24-month time points (adjusted OR [aOR] 1.04, 95% CI 1.01–1.06; p = 0.002; and aOR 1.03, 95% CI 1.01–1.05; p = 0.026, respectively). The total number of levels treated was associated with new-onset neck pain at 12 months (aOR 1.34, 95% CI 1.09–1.64; p = 0.005), and duration of symptoms more than 3 months was a predictor of 24-month neck pain (aOR 3.22, 95% CI 1.01–10.22; p = 0.048).

CONCLUSIONS

Increased NDI at baseline, number of levels treated surgically, and duration of symptoms longer than 3 months preoperatively correlate positively with the risk of new-onset neck pain following CSM surgery. The majority of patients with new-onset neck pain still report satisfaction from surgery, suggesting that the risk of new-onset neck pain should not hinder indicated operations from being performed.

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Nitin Agarwal, Alexander A. Aabedi, Andrew K. Chan, Vijay Letchuman, Saman Shabani, Erica F. Bisson, Mohamad Bydon, Steven D. Glassman, Kevin T. Foley, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Eric A. Potts, Mark E. Shaffrey, Domagoj Coric, John J. Knightly, Paul Park, Michael Y. Wang, Kai-Ming Fu, Jonathan R. Slotkin, Anthony L. Asher, Michael S. Virk, Regis W. Haid Jr., Dean Chou, and Praveen V. Mummaneni

OBJECTIVE

Prior studies have revealed that a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 is associated with worse outcomes following surgical intervention in grade 1 lumbar spondylolisthesis. Using a machine learning approach, this study aimed to leverage the prospective Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) to identify a BMI threshold for patients undergoing surgical intervention for grade 1 lumbar spondylolisthesis and thus reliably identify optimal surgical candidates among obese patients.

METHODS

Patients with grade 1 lumbar spondylolisthesis and preoperative BMI ≥ 30 from the prospectively collected QOD lumbar spondylolisthesis module were included in this study. A 12-month composite outcome was generated by performing principal components analysis and k-means clustering on four validated measures of surgical outcomes in patients with spondylolisthesis. Random forests were generated to determine the most important preoperative patient characteristics in predicting the composite outcome. Recursive partitioning was used to extract a BMI threshold associated with optimal outcomes.

RESULTS

The average BMI was 35.7, with 282 (46.4%) of the 608 patients from the QOD data set having a BMI ≥ 30. Principal components analysis revealed that the first principal component accounted for 99.2% of the variance in the four outcome measures. Two clusters were identified corresponding to patients with suboptimal outcomes (severe back pain, increased disability, impaired quality of life, and low satisfaction) and to those with optimal outcomes. Recursive partitioning established a BMI threshold of 37.5 after pruning via cross-validation.

CONCLUSIONS

In this multicenter study, the authors found that a BMI ≤ 37.5 was associated with improved patient outcomes following surgical intervention. These findings may help augment predictive analytics to deliver precision medicine and improve prehabilitation strategies.

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Enrique Vargas, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Joshua Rivera, Jeremy Huang, Sigurd H. Berven, Steve E. Braunstein, and Dean Chou

OBJECTIVE

Wound complications are a common adverse event following metastatic spine tumor surgery. Some patients with spinal metastases may first undergo radiation but eventually require spinal surgery because of either cord compression or instability. The authors compared wound complication rates in patients who had undergone surgery for metastatic disease and received preoperative radiation treatments, postoperative radiation, or no radiation.

METHODS

Records from patients treated at the University of California, San Francisco, for metastatic spine disease between 2005 and 2017 were retrospectively reviewed. Baseline characteristics were collected, including preoperative Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS), Spine Instability Neoplastic Score, total radiation dose, indication for surgery, diabetes status, time between radiation and surgery, use of perioperative chemotherapy or steroids, estimated blood loss, extent of fusion, and preoperative albumin level. Wound complication was defined as poor healing, dehiscence, or infection per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, within 6 months of surgery. One-way ANOVA was used to compare means across groups. Cumulative incidence analysis with competing risk methodology was used to adjust for risk of death during follow-up. Statistical analysis was performed using R software.

RESULTS

Two hundred five patients with adequate medical records were identified. Seventy patients had received preoperative radiation, 74 had received postoperative radiation within 6 months after surgery, and 61 had received no radiation at the surgical site. Wound complication rates were similar across the 3 cohorts: 14.3% (n = 10) in the group with preoperative radiation, 10.8% (n = 8) in the group that received postoperative radiation, and 11.5% (n = 7) in the group with no radiation (p = 0.773). Competing risk analysis showed a higher cumulative incidence of wound complications for the preoperative cohort, though this difference was not significant (p = 0.46). Overall, 89 patients were treated with external beam radiation therapy (EBRT), whereas 55 received stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). There was no significant difference in wound complications for patients treated with EBRT (11.2%, n = 10) versus SBRT (14.5%, n = 8; p = 0.825). KPS was the only factor correlated with wound complications on univariate analysis (p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS

Wound complication rates did not differ across the 3 cohorts: patients treated with preoperative radiation, postoperative radiation within 6 months of surgery, or no radiation. The effect size was small for KPS and likely does not represent a clinically significant predictor of wound complications.

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Alexander F. Haddad, Michael M. Safaee, Matheus P. Pereira, Jun Yeop Oh, Darryl Lau, Lee A. Tan, Aaron J. Clark, Dean Chou, Praveen V. Mummaneni, and Christopher P. Ames

OBJECTIVE

Spinal meningiomas pose unique challenges based on the location of their dural attachment. However, there is a paucity of literature investigating the role of dural attachment location on outcomes after posterior-based approach for spinal meningioma resection. The aim of this study was to investigate any differences in outcomes between dural attachment location subgroups in spinal meningioma patients who underwent posterior-based resection.

METHODS

This was a single-institution review of patients who underwent resection of a spinal meningioma from 1997 to 2017. Surgical, oncological, and neurological outcomes were compared between patients with varying dural attachments. Multivariate analysis was utilized.

RESULTS

A total of 141 patients were identified. The mean age was 62 years, and 110 women were included. The sites of dural attachments were as follows: 16 (11.3%) dorsal, 31 (22.0%) dorsolateral, 17 (12.1%) lateral, 40 (28.4%) ventral, and 37 (26.2%) ventrolateral. Most meningiomas were WHO grade I (92.2%) and in the thoracic spine (61.0%). All patients underwent a posterior approach for tumor resection. There were no differences between subgroups in terms of largest diameter of tumor resected (p = 0.201), gross-total resection (GTR) or subtotal resection (p = 0.362), Simpson grade of resection, perioperative complications (p = 0.116), long-term neurological deficit (p = 0.100), or postoperative radiation therapy (p = 0.971). Cervical spine location was associated with reduced incidence of GTR (OR 0.271, 95% CI 0.108–0.684, p = 0.006) on multivariate analysis. The overall incidence of recurrence/progression was 4.6%, with no difference (p = 0.800) between subgroups. Similarly, the average length of follow-up was 28.1 months, with no difference between subgroups (p = 0.413).

CONCLUSIONS

Posterior-based approaches for resection of spinal meningiomas are safe and effective, regardless of dural attachment location, with similar surgical, oncological, and neurological outcomes. Comparison of long-term recurrence rates between dural attachment subgroups is required.

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Andrew K. Chan, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Oren N. Gottfried, Christine Park, Khoi D. Than, Erica F. Bisson, Mohamad Bydon, Anthony L. Asher, Domagoj Coric, Eric A. Potts, Kevin T. Foley, Michael Y. Wang, Kai-Ming Fu, Michael S. Virk, John J. Knightly, Scott Meyer, Paul Park, Cheerag Upadhyaya, Mark E. Shaffrey, Avery L. Buchholz, Luis M. Tumialán, Jay D. Turner, Giorgos D. Michalopoulos, Brandon A. Sherrod, Nitin Agarwal, Dean Chou, Regis W. Haid Jr., and Praveen V. Mummaneni

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to determine whether multilevel anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) or posterior cervical laminectomy and fusion (PCLF) is superior for patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) and high preoperative neck pain.

METHODS

This was a retrospective study of prospectively collected data using the Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) CSM module. Patients who received a subaxial fusion of 3 or 4 segments and had a visual analog scale (VAS) neck pain score of 7 or greater at baseline were included. The 3-, 12-, and 24-month outcomes were compared for patients undergoing ACDF with those undergoing PCLF.

RESULTS

Overall, 1141 patients with CSM were included in the database. Of these, 495 (43.4%) presented with severe neck pain (VAS score > 6). After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, we compared 65 patients (54.6%) undergoing 3- and 4-level ACDF and 54 patients (45.4%) undergoing 3- and 4-level PCLF. Patients undergoing ACDF had worse Neck Disability Index scores at baseline (52.5 ± 15.9 vs 45.9 ± 16.8, p = 0.03) but similar neck pain (p > 0.05). Otherwise, the groups were well matched for the remaining baseline patient-reported outcomes. The rates of 24-month follow-up for ACDF and PCLF were similar (86.2% and 83.3%, respectively). At the 24-month follow-up, both groups demonstrated mean improvements in all outcomes, including neck pain (p < 0.05). In multivariable analyses, there was no significant difference in the degree of neck pain change, rate of neck pain improvement, rate of pain-free achievement, and rate of reaching minimal clinically important difference (MCID) in neck pain between the two groups (adjusted p > 0.05). However, ACDF was associated with a higher 24-month modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association scale (mJOA) score (β = 1.5 [95% CI 0.5–2.6], adjusted p = 0.01), higher EQ-5D score (β = 0.1 [95% CI 0.01–0.2], adjusted p = 0.04), and higher likelihood for return to baseline activities (OR 1.2 [95% CI 1.1–1.4], adjusted p = 0.002).

CONCLUSIONS

Severe neck pain is prevalent among patients undergoing surgery for CSM, affecting more than 40% of patients. Both ACDF and PCLF achieved comparable postoperative neck pain improvement 3, 12, and 24 months following 3- or 4-segment surgery for patients with CSM and severe neck pain. However, multilevel ACDF was associated with superior functional status, quality of life, and return to baseline activities at 24 months in multivariable adjusted analyses.

Open access

Laura A. Snyder, Melissa Erickson, Justin S. Smith, and Praveen V. Mummaneni

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Rong Xie, Jinping Liu, Minghao Wang, Yinhui Dong, Praveen V. Mummaneni, and Dean Chou

OBJECTIVE

Postoperative dysphagia after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) has many contributing factors, and long-term data are sparse. The authors evaluated dysphagia after ACDF based on levels fused and cervical sagittal parameters.

METHODS

Patients who underwent ACDF between 2009 and 2018 at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), were retrospectively studied. Dysphagia was evaluated preoperatively, immediately postoperatively, and at last follow-up using the UCSF dysphagia score. Dysphagia was categorized as normal (level 7), mild (levels 5 and 6), moderate (levels 3 and 4), and severe (levels 1 and 2). The UCSF mild dysphagia score was further classified as "minimal dysphagia," while moderate and severe dysphagia were classified as "significant dysphagia." "Any dysphagia" included any dysphagia, regardless of grade. Cervical sagittal parameters were measured preoperatively, immediately postoperatively, and at last follow-up.

RESULTS

A total of 131 patients met inclusion criteria. The mean follow-up was 43.89 (24–142) months. Seventy-eight patients (59.5%) reported dysphagia immediately postoperatively, and 44 patients (33.6%) reported some dysphagia at last follow-up (p < 0.001). The rates of moderate dysphagia were 13.0% immediately postoperatively and 1.5% at the last follow-up (p < 0.001). Twenty-two patients (16.8%) had significant dysphagia immediately postoperatively, and 2 patients (1.5%) had significant dysphagia at last follow-up (p < 0.001). Patients with immediate postoperative dysphagia had less C2–7 preoperative lordosis (−9.35°) compared with patients without (−14.15°, p = 0.029), but there was no association between C2–7 lordosis and dysphagia at last follow-up (p = 0.232). The prevalence rates of immediate postoperative dysphagia and long-term dysphagia were 87.5% and 58.3% in ≥ 3-level ACDF; 64.0% and 40.0% in 2-level ACDF; and 43.9% and 17.5% in 1-level ACDF, respectively (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The realistic incidence of any dysphagia after ACDF was 59.5% immediately postoperatively and 33.6% at the minimum 2-year follow-up, higher than previously published rates. However, most dysphagia was not severe. The number of fused levels was the most important risk factor for long-term dysphagia, but not for immediate postoperative dysphagia. Loss of preoperative C2–7 lordosis was associated with immediate postoperative dysphagia, but not long-term dysphagia. ACDF segmental lordosis and cervical sagittal vertical axis were not associated with long-term dysphagia in ACDF.

Open access

Bo Li, Gregory A. Kuzmik, Saman Shabani, Nitin Agarwal, Alysha Jamieson, Thomas Wozny, Simon Ammanuel, Praveen V. Mummaneni, and Dean Chou

It can be difficult to avoid violating the pleura during the retropleural approach to the thoracolumbar spine. In this video, the authors resect a short segment of rib to allow more room for pleural dissection during a minimally invasive (MIS) lateral retropleural approach. After a lateral MIS skin incision, the rib is dissected and removed, clearly identifying the retropleural space. The curvature of the rib can then be followed, decreasing the risk of pleural violation. The pleura can then be mobilized ventrally until the spine is accessed. Managing the diaphragm is also illustrated by separating the fibers without a traditional cut through the muscle.

The video can be found here: https://stream.cadmore.media/r10.3171/2022.3.FOCVID21138

Free access

Connor Berlin, Alexandria C. Marino, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Juan Uribe, Luis M. Tumialán, Jay Turner, Michael Y. Wang, Paul Park, Erica F. Bisson, Mark Shaffrey, Oren Gottfried, Khoi D. Than, Kai-Ming Fu, Kevin Foley, Andrew K. Chan, Mohamad Bydon, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Cheerag Upadhyaya, Domagoj Coric, Anthony Asher, Eric A. Potts, John Knightly, Scott Meyer, and Avery Buchholz

OBJECTIVE

While surgical decompression is an important treatment modality for cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM), it remains unclear if the severity of preoperative myelopathy status affects potential benefit from surgical intervention and when maximum postoperative improvement is expected. This investigation sought to determine if retrospective analysis of prospectively collected patient-reported outcomes (PROs) following surgery for CSM differed when stratified by preoperative myelopathy status. Secondary objectives included assessment of the minimal clinically important difference (MCID).

METHODS

A total of 1151 patients with CSM were prospectively enrolled from the Quality Outcomes Database at 14 US hospitals. Baseline demographics and PROs at baseline and 3 and 12 months were measured. These included the modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association (mJOA) score, Neck Disability Index (NDI), quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) from the EQ-5D, and visual analog scale from the EQ-5D (EQ-VAS). Patients were stratified by preoperative myelopathy severity using criteria established by the AO Spine study group: mild (mJOA score 15–17), moderate (mJOA score 12–14), or severe (mJOA score < 12). Univariate analysis was used to identify demographic variables that significantly varied between myelopathy groups. Then, multivariate linear regression and linear mixed regression were used to model the effect of severity and time on PROs, respectively.

RESULTS

For NDI, EQ-VAS, and QALY, patients in all myelopathy cohorts achieved significant, maximal improvement at 3 months without further improvement at 12 months. For mJOA, moderate and severe myelopathy groups demonstrated significant, maximal improvement at 3 months, without further improvement at 12 months. The mild myelopathy group did not demonstrate significant change in mJOA score but did maintain and achieve higher PRO scores overall when compared with more advanced myelopathy cohorts. The MCID threshold was reached in all myelopathy cohorts at 3 months for mJOA, NDI, EQ-VAS, and QALY, with the only exception being mild myelopathy QALY at 3 months.

CONCLUSIONS

As assessed by statistical regression and MCID analysis, patients with cervical myelopathy experience maximal improvement in their quality of life, neck disability, myelopathy score, and overall health by 3 months after surgical decompression, regardless of their baseline myelopathy severity. An exception was seen for the mJOA score in the mild myelopathy cohort, improvement of which may have been limited by ceiling effect. The data presented here will aid surgeons in patient selection, preoperative counseling, and expected postoperative time courses.

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James Mooney, Giorgos D. Michalopoulos, Daniel Zeitouni, Sally El Sammak, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Michael Y. Wang, Domagoj Coric, Andrew K. Chan, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Erica F. Bisson, Brandon Sherrod, Regis W. Haid Jr., John J. Knightly, Clinton J. Devin, Brenton H. Pennicooke, Anthony L. Asher, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

Spine surgery represents an ideal target for healthcare cost reduction efforts, with outpatient surgery resulting in significant cost savings. With an increased focus on value-based healthcare delivery, lumbar decompression surgery has been increasingly performed in the outpatient setting when appropriate. The aim of this study was to compare clinical and patient-reported outcomes following outpatient and inpatient lumbar decompression surgery.

METHODS

The Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) was queried for patients undergoing elective one- or two-level lumbar decompression (laminectomy or laminotomy with or without discectomy) for degenerative spine disease. Patients were grouped as outpatient if they had a length of stay (LOS) < 24 hours and as inpatient if they stayed in the hospital ≥ 24 hours. Patients with ≥ 72-hour stay were excluded from the comparative analysis to increase baseline comparability between the two groups. To create two highly homogeneous groups, optimal matching was performed at a 1:1 ratio between the two groups on 38 baseline variables, including demographics, comorbidities, symptoms, patient-reported scores, indications, and operative details. Outcomes of interest were readmissions and reoperations at 30 days and 3 months after surgery, overall satisfaction, and decrease in Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), back pain, and leg pain at 3 months after surgery. Satisfaction was defined as a score of 1 or 2 in the North American Spine Society patient satisfaction index. Noninferiority of outpatient compared with inpatient surgery was defined as risk difference of < 1.5% at a one-sided 97.5% confidence interval.

RESULTS

A total of 18,689 eligible one- and two-level decompression surgeries were identified. The matched study cohorts consisted of 5016 patients in each group. Nonroutine discharge was slightly less common in the outpatient group (0.6% vs 0.3%, p = 0.01). The 30-day readmission rates were 4.4% and 4.3% for the outpatient and inpatient groups, respectively, while the 30-day reoperation rates were 1.4% and 1.5%. The 3-month readmission rates were 6.3% for both groups, and the 3-month reoperation rates were 3.1% for the outpatient cases and 2.9% for the inpatient cases. Overall satisfaction at 3 months was 88.8% for the outpatient group and 88.4% for the inpatient group. Noninferiority of outpatient surgery was documented for readmissions, reoperations, and patient-reported satisfaction from surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Outpatient lumbar decompression surgery demonstrated slightly lower nonroutine discharge rates in comparison with inpatient surgery. Noninferiority in clinical outcomes at 30 days and 3 months after surgery was documented for outpatient compared with inpatient decompression surgery. Additionally, outpatient decompression surgery performed noninferiorly to inpatient surgery in achieving patient satisfaction from surgery.