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Ferran Pellisé, Miquel Serra-Burriel, Alba Vila-Casademunt, Jeffrey L. Gum, Ibrahim Obeid, Justin S. Smith, Frank S. Kleinstück, Shay Bess, Javier Pizones, Virginie Lafage, Francisco Javier S. Pérez-Grueso, Frank J. Schwab, Douglas C. Burton, Eric O. Klineberg, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Ahmet Alanay, Christopher P. Ames, and on behalf of the International Spine Study Group (ISSG) and European Spine Study Group (ESSG)

OBJECTIVE

The reported rate of complications and cost of adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery, associated with an exponential increase in the number of surgeries, cause alarm among healthcare payers and providers worldwide. The authors conjointly analyzed the largest prospective available ASD data sets to define trends in quality-of-care indicators (complications, reinterventions, and health-related quality of life [HRQOL] outcomes) since 2010.

METHODS

This is an observational prospective longitudinal cohort study. Patients underwent surgery between January 2010 and December 2016, with > 2 years of follow-up data. Demographic, surgical, radiological, and HRQOL (i.e., Oswestry Disability Index, SF-36, Scoliosis Research Society-22r) data obtained preoperatively and at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months after surgery were evaluated. Trends and changes in indicators were analyzed using local regression (i.e., locally estimated scatterplot smoothing [LOESS]) and adjusted odds ratio (OR).

RESULTS

Of the 2286 patients included in the 2 registries, 1520 underwent surgery between 2010 and 2016. A total of 1151 (75.7%) patients who were treated surgically at 23 centers in 5 countries met inclusion criteria. Patient recruitment increased progressively (2010–2011 vs 2015–2016: OR 1.64, p < 0.01), whereas baseline clinical characteristics (age, American Society of Anesthesiologists class, HRQOL scores, sagittal deformity) did not change. Since 2010 there has been a sustained reduction in major and minor postoperative complications observed at 90 days (major: OR 0.59; minor: OR 0.65; p < 0.01); at 1 year (major: OR 0.52; minor: 0.75; p < 0.01); and at 2 years of follow-up (major: OR 0.4; minor: 0.80; p < 0.01) as well as in the 2-year reintervention rate (OR 0.41, p < 0.01). Simultaneously, there has been a slight improvement in the correction of sagittal deformity (i.e., pelvic incidence–lumbar lordosis mismatch: OR 1.11, p = 0.19) and a greater gain in quality of life (i.e., Oswestry Disability Index 26% vs 40%, p = 0.02; Scoliosis Research Society-22r, self-image domain OR 1.16, p = 0.13), and these are associated with a progressive reduction of surgical aggressiveness (number of fused segments: OR 0.81, p < 0.01; percent pelvic fixation: OR 0.66, p < 0.01; percent 3-column osteotomies: OR 0.63, p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

The best available data show a robust global improvement in quality metrics in ASD surgery over the last decade. Surgical complications and reoperations have been reduced by half, while improvement in disability increased and correction rates were maintained, in patients with similar baseline characteristics.

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Dean Chou, Virginie Lafage, Alvin Y. Chan, Peter Passias, Gregory M. Mundis Jr., Robert K. Eastlack, Kai-Ming Fu, Richard G. Fessler, Munish C. Gupta, Khoi D. Than, Neel Anand, Juan S. Uribe, Adam S. Kanter, David O. Okonkwo, Shay Bess, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Han Jo Kim, Justin S. Smith, Daniel M. Sciubba, Paul Park, Praveen V. Mummaneni, and the International Spine Study Group (ISSG)

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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Andrew K. Chan, Praveen V. Mummaneni, John F. Burke, Rory R. Mayer, Erica F. Bisson, Joshua Rivera, Brenton Pennicooke, Kai-Ming Fu, Paul Park, Mohamad Bydon, Steven D. Glassman, Kevin T. Foley, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Eric A. Potts, Mark E. Shaffrey, Domagoj Coric, John J. Knightly, Michael Y. Wang, Jonathan R. Slotkin, Anthony L. Asher, Michael S. Virk, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Mohammed A. Alvi, Jian Guan, Regis W. Haid, and Dean Chou

OBJECTIVE

Reduction of Meyerding grade is often performed during fusion for spondylolisthesis. Although radiographic appearance may improve, correlation with patient-reported outcomes (PROs) is rarely reported. In this study, the authors’ aim was to assess the impact of spondylolisthesis reduction on 24-month PRO measures after decompression and fusion surgery for Meyerding grade I degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis.

METHODS

The Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) was queried for patients undergoing posterior lumbar fusion for spondylolisthesis with a minimum 24-month follow-up, and quantitative correlation between Meyerding slippage reduction and PROs was performed. Baseline and 24-month PROs, including the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), EQ-5D, Numeric Rating Scale (NRS)–back pain (NRS-BP), NRS-leg pain (NRS-LP), and satisfaction (North American Spine Society patient satisfaction questionnaire) scores were noted. Multivariable regression models were fitted for 24-month PROs and complications after adjusting for an array of preoperative and surgical variables. Data were analyzed for magnitude of slippage reduction and correlated with PROs. Patients were divided into two groups: < 3 mm reduction and ≥ 3 mm reduction.

RESULTS

Of 608 patients from 12 participating sites, 206 patients with complete data were identified in the QOD and included in this study. Baseline patient demographics, comorbidities, and clinical characteristics were similarly distributed between the cohorts except for depression, listhesis magnitude, and the proportion with dynamic listhesis (which were accounted for in the multivariable analysis). One hundred four (50.5%) patients underwent lumbar decompression and fusion with slippage reduction ≥ 3 mm (mean 5.19, range 3 to 11), and 102 (49.5%) patients underwent lumbar decompression and fusion with slippage reduction < 3 mm (mean 0.41, range 2 to −2). Patients in both groups (slippage reduction ≥ 3 mm, and slippage reduction < 3 mm) reported significant improvement in all primary patient reported outcomes (all p < 0.001). There was no significant difference with regard to the PROs between patients with or without intraoperative reduction of listhesis on univariate and multivariable analyses (ODI, EQ-5D, NRS-BP, NRS-LP, or satisfaction). There was no significant difference in complications between cohorts.

CONCLUSIONS

Significant improvement was found in terms of all PROs in patients undergoing decompression and fusion for lumbar spondylolisthesis. There was no correlation with clinical outcomes and magnitude of Meyerding slippage reduction.

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Thomas J. Buell, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Han Jo Kim, Eric O. Klineberg, Virginie Lafage, Renaud Lafage, Themistocles S. Protopsaltis, Peter G. Passias, Gregory M. Mundis Jr., Robert K. Eastlack, Vedat Deviren, Michael P. Kelly, Alan H. Daniels, Jeffrey L. Gum, Alex Soroceanu, D. Kojo Hamilton, Munish C. Gupta, Douglas C. Burton, Richard A. Hostin, Khaled M. Kebaish, Robert A. Hart, Frank J. Schwab, Shay Bess, Christopher P. Ames, Justin S. Smith, and The International Spine Study Group (ISSG)

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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Thomas J. Buell, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Shay Bess, Han Jo Kim, Eric O. Klineberg, Virginie Lafage, Renaud Lafage, Themistocles S. Protopsaltis, Peter G. Passias, Gregory M. Mundis Jr., Robert K. Eastlack, Vedat Deviren, Michael P. Kelly, Alan H. Daniels, Jeffrey L. Gum, Alex Soroceanu, D. Kojo Hamilton, Munish C. Gupta, Douglas C. Burton, Richard A. Hostin, Khaled M. Kebaish, Robert A. Hart, Frank J. Schwab, Christopher P. Ames, Justin S. Smith, and the International Spine Study Group

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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Justin S. Smith, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Christine R. Baldus, Michael P. Kelly, Elizabeth L. Yanik, Jon D. Lurie, Christopher P. Ames, Shay Bess, Frank J. Schwab, and Keith H. Bridwell

OBJECTIVE

Although the health impact of adult symptomatic lumbar scoliosis (ASLS) is substantial, these patients often have other orthopedic problems that have not been previously quantified. The objective of this study was to assess disease burden of other orthopedic conditions in patients with ASLS based on a retrospective review of a prospective multicenter cohort.

METHODS

The ASLS-1 study is an NIH-sponsored prospective multicenter study designed to assess operative versus nonoperative treatment for ASLS. Patients were 40–80 years old with ASLS, defined as a lumbar coronal Cobb angle ≥ 30° and Oswestry Disability Index ≥ 20, or Scoliosis Research Society-22 questionnaire score ≤ 4.0 in pain, function, and/or self-image domains. Nonthoracolumbar orthopedic events, defined as fractures and other orthopedic conditions receiving surgical treatment, were assessed from enrollment to the 4-year follow-up.

RESULTS

Two hundred eighty-six patients (mean age 60.3 years, 90% women) were enrolled, with 173 operative and 113 nonoperative patients, and 81% with 4-year follow-up data. At a mean (± SD) follow-up of 3.8 ± 0.9 years, 104 nonthoracolumbar orthopedic events were reported, affecting 69 patients (24.1%). The most common events were arthroplasty (n = 38), fracture (n = 25), joint ligament/cartilage repair (n = 13), and cervical decompression/fusion (n = 7). Based on the final adjusted model, patients with a nonthoracolumbar orthopedic event were older (HR 1.44 per decade, 95% CI 1.07–1.94), more likely to have a history of tobacco use (HR 1.63, 95% CI 1.00–2.66), and had worse baseline leg pain scores (HR 1.10, 95% CI 1.01–1.19).

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with ASLS have high orthopedic disease burden, with almost 25% having a fracture or nonthoracolumbar orthopedic condition requiring surgical treatment during the mean 3.8 years following enrollment. Comparisons with previous studies suggest that the rate of total knee arthroplasty was considerably greater and the rates of total hip arthroplasty were at least as high in the ASLS-1 cohort compared with the similarly aged general US population. These conditions may further impact health-related quality of life and outcomes assessments of both nonoperative and operative treatment approaches in patients with ASLS.

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Emily P. Rabinovich, Thomas J. Buell, Tony R. Wang, Christopher I. Shaffrey, and Justin S. Smith

OBJECTIVE

Rod fracture (RF) after adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery is reported in approximately 6.8%–33% of patients and is associated with loss of deformity correction and higher reoperation rates. The authors’ objective was to determine the effect of accessory supplemental rod (ASR) placement on postoperative occurrence of primary RF after ASD surgery.

METHODS

This retrospective analysis examined patients who underwent ASD surgery between 2014 and 2017 by the senior authors. Inclusion criteria were age > 18 years, ≥ 5 instrumented levels including sacropelvic fixation, and diagnosis of ASD, which was defined as the presence of pelvic tilt ≥ 25°, sagittal vertical axis ≥ 5 cm, thoracic kyphosis ≥ 60°, coronal Cobb angle ≥ 20°, or pelvic incidence to lumbar lordosis mismatch ≥ 10°. The primary focus was patients with a minimum 2-year follow-up.

RESULTS

Of 148 patients who otherwise met the inclusion criteria, 114 (77.0%) achieved minimum 2-year follow-up and were included (68.4% were women, mean age 67.9 years, average body mass index 30.4 kg/m2). Sixty-two (54.4%) patients were treated with traditional dual-rod construct (DRC), and 52 (45.6%) were treated with ASR. Overall, the mean number of levels fused was 11.7, 79.8% of patients underwent Smith-Petersen osteotomy (SPO), 19.3% underwent pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO), and 66.7% underwent transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). Significantly more patients in the DRC cohort underwent SPO (88.7% of the DRC cohort vs 69.2% of the ASR cohort, p = 0.010) and TLIF (77.4% of the DRC cohort vs 53.8% of the ASR cohort, p = 0.0001). Patients treated with ASR had greater baseline sagittal malalignment (12.0 vs 8.6 cm, p = 0.014) than patients treated with DRC, and more patients in the ASR cohort underwent PSO (40.3% vs 1.6%, p < 0.0001). Among the 114 patients who completed follow-up, postoperative occurrence of RF was reported in 16 (14.0%) patients, with mean ± SD time to RF of 27.5 ± 11.8 months. There was significantly greater occurrence of RF among patients who underwent DRC compared with those who underwent ASR (21.0% vs 5.8%, p = 0.012) at comparable mean follow-up (38.4 vs 34.9 months, p = 0.072). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that ASR had a significant protective effect against RF (OR 0.231, 95% CI 0.051–0.770, p = 0.029).

CONCLUSIONS

This study demonstrated a statistically significant decrease in the occurrence of RF among ASD patients treated with ASR, despite greater baseline deformity and higher rate of PSO. These findings suggest that ASR placement may provide benefit to patients who undergo ASD surgery.

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Emily P. Rabinovich, Thomas J. Buell, Tony R. Wang, Christopher I. Shaffrey, and Justin S. Smith

OBJECTIVE

Rod fracture (RF) after adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery is reported in approximately 6.8%–33% of patients and is associated with loss of deformity correction and higher reoperation rates. The authors’ objective was to determine the effect of accessory supplemental rod (ASR) placement on postoperative occurrence of primary RF after ASD surgery.

METHODS

This retrospective analysis examined patients who underwent ASD surgery between 2014 and 2017 by the senior authors. Inclusion criteria were age > 18 years, ≥ 5 instrumented levels including sacropelvic fixation, and diagnosis of ASD, which was defined as the presence of pelvic tilt ≥ 25°, sagittal vertical axis ≥ 5 cm, thoracic kyphosis ≥ 60°, coronal Cobb angle ≥ 20°, or pelvic incidence to lumbar lordosis mismatch ≥ 10°. The primary focus was patients with a minimum 2-year follow-up.

RESULTS

Of 148 patients who otherwise met the inclusion criteria, 114 (77.0%) achieved minimum 2-year follow-up and were included (68.4% were women, mean age 67.9 years, average body mass index 30.4 kg/m2). Sixty-two (54.4%) patients were treated with traditional dual-rod construct (DRC), and 52 (45.6%) were treated with ASR. Overall, the mean number of levels fused was 11.7, 79.8% of patients underwent Smith-Petersen osteotomy (SPO), 19.3% underwent pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO), and 66.7% underwent transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). Significantly more patients in the DRC cohort underwent SPO (88.7% of the DRC cohort vs 69.2% of the ASR cohort, p = 0.010) and TLIF (77.4% of the DRC cohort vs 53.8% of the ASR cohort, p = 0.0001). Patients treated with ASR had greater baseline sagittal malalignment (12.0 vs 8.6 cm, p = 0.014) than patients treated with DRC, and more patients in the ASR cohort underwent PSO (40.3% vs 1.6%, p < 0.0001). Among the 114 patients who completed follow-up, postoperative occurrence of RF was reported in 16 (14.0%) patients, with mean ± SD time to RF of 27.5 ± 11.8 months. There was significantly greater occurrence of RF among patients who underwent DRC compared with those who underwent ASR (21.0% vs 5.8%, p = 0.012) at comparable mean follow-up (38.4 vs 34.9 months, p = 0.072). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that ASR had a significant protective effect against RF (OR 0.231, 95% CI 0.051–0.770, p = 0.029).

CONCLUSIONS

This study demonstrated a statistically significant decrease in the occurrence of RF among ASD patients treated with ASR, despite greater baseline deformity and higher rate of PSO. These findings suggest that ASR placement may provide benefit to patients who undergo ASD surgery.

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Clinton J. Devin, Anthony L. Asher, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Yagiz U. Yolcu, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Erica F. Bisson, John J. Knightly, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Kevin T. Foley, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

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

METHODS

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

RESULTS

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

CONCLUSIONS

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