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David R. Howell, Morgan N. Potter, Michael W. Kirkwood, Pamela E. Wilson, Aaron J. Provance and Julie C. Wilson

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to determine which variables assessed during an initial clinical evaluation for concussion are independently associated with time until symptom resolution among pediatric patients.

METHODS

Data collected from a prospective clinical registry of pediatric patients with concussion were analyzed. The primary outcome variable was time from injury until symptom resolution. Predictor variables assessed within 10 days after injury included preinjury factors, Health and Behavior Inventory scores, headache severity, and balance, vestibular, and oculomotor test performances. The researchers used univariate Cox proportional models to identify potential predictors of symptom resolution time and constructed a multivariate Cox proportional hazards model in which total duration of concussion symptoms remained the outcome variable.

RESULTS

The sample consisted of 351 patients (33% female, mean age 14.6 ± 2.2 years, evaluated 5.6 ± 2.6 days after concussion). Univariate Cox proportional hazards models indicated that several variables were associated with a longer duration of symptoms, including headache severity (hazard ratio [HR] 0.90 [95% CI 0.85–0.96]), headache frequency (HR 0.83 [95% CI 0.71–0.96]), confusion (HR 0.79 [95% CI 0.69–0.92]), forgetfulness (HR 0.79 [95% CI 0.68–0.92]), attention difficulties (HR 0.83 [95% CI 0.72–0.96]), trouble remembering (HR 0.84 [95% CI 0.72–0.98]), getting tired often (HR 0.86 [95% CI 0.76–0.97]), getting tired easily (HR 0.86 [95% CI 0.76–0.98]), dizziness (HR 0.86 [95% CI 0.75–0.99]), and abnormal performance on the Romberg test (HR 0.59 [95% CI 0.40–0.85]). A multivariate Cox proportional hazards model indicated that an abnormal performance on the Romberg test was independently associated with a longer duration of symptoms (HR 0.65 [95% CI 0.44–0.98]; p = 0.038).

CONCLUSIONS

For children and adolescents evaluated within 10 days after receiving a concussion, abnormal performance on the Romberg test was independently associated with a longer duration of symptoms during recovery. In line with findings of other recent studies investigating predictors of symptom resolution, postural stability tests may provide useful prognostic information for sports medicine clinicians.

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Günther Deuschl, Kenneth A. Follett, Ping Luo, Joern Rau, Frances M. Weaver, Steffen Paschen, Frank Steigerwald, Lisa Tonder, Valerie Stoker and Domenic J. Reda

OBJECTIVE

Several randomized studies have compared the effect of deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus with the best medical treatment in large groups of patients. Important outcome measures differ between studies. Two such major studies, the life-quality study of the German Competence Network for Parkinson’s disease (LQ study) and the US Veterans Affairs/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke trial (VA/NINDS trial), were compared here in order to understand their differences in outcomes.

METHODS

Unless otherwise noted, analyses were based on those subjects in each study who received a DBS implant (LQ study 76 patients, VA/NINDS trial 140 patients) and who had data for the measurement under consideration (i.e., no imputations for missing data), referred to hereafter as the “as-treated completers” (LQ 69 patients, VA/NINDS 125 patients). Data were prepared and analyzed by biostatisticians at the US Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program Coordinating Center, the Coordinating Center for Clinical Trials Marburg, and Medtronic, under the direction of two authors (G.D. and K.A.F.). Data were extracted from the respective databases into SAS data sets and analyzed using SAS software. Analyses were based on the 6-month follow-up data from both studies because this was the endpoint for the LQ study.

RESULTS

Pre-DBS baseline demographics differed significantly between the studies, including greater levodopa responsiveness (LDR) in the LQ study population than in the VA/NINDS group. After DBS, LQ subjects demonstrated greater improvement in motor function (Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale, Motor Examination [UPDRS-III]), activities of daily living (ADLs), and complications of therapy. Medication reduction and improvements in life quality other than ADLs were not significantly different between LQ and VA/NINDS subjects. When the two populations were compared according to pre-DBS LDR, the “full responders” to levodopa (≥ 50% improvement on UPDRS-III with medication) in the two studies showed no significant difference in motor improvement with DBS (LQ 18.5 ± 12.0–point improvement on UPDRS-III vs VA/NINDS 17.7 ± 15.6–point improvement, p = 0.755). Among levodopa full responders, ADLs improved slightly more in the LQ group, but scores on other UPDRS subscales and the Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire-39 were not significantly different between the two studies.

CONCLUSIONS

This comparison suggests that patient selection criteria, especially preoperative LDR, are the most important source of differences in motor outcomes and quality of life between the two studies.

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Liyong Sun, Jian Ren and Hongqi Zhang

Craniocervical junction dural arteriovenous fistula (CCJDAVF) is a rare and unique type of intracranial DAVF with complex neurovascular anatomy, making it difficult to identify the arterialized vein during operation. The authors report the case of a 50-year-old male who presented with symptoms of venous hypertensive myelopathy. Angiography demonstrated a left CCJDAVF. The fistula was successfully disconnected via a suboccipital midline approach. The selective indocyanine green videoangiography (SICG-VA) technique was applied to distinguish the fistula site and arterialized vein from adjacent normal vessels. Favorable clinical and angiographic outcomes were attained. The detailed operative technique, surgical nuances, and utility of SICG-VA are illustrated in this video atlas.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/GJYl_jOJQqU.

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Bertrand Debono, Marco V. Corniola, Raphael Pietton, Pascal Sabatier, Olivier Hamel and Enrico Tessitore

OBJECTIVE

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) proposes a multimodal, evidence-based approach to perioperative care. Thanks to the improvement in care protocols and the fluidity of the patient pathway, the first goal of ERAS is the improvement of surgical outcomes and patient experience, with a final impact on a reduction in the hospital length of stay (LOS). The implementation of ERAS in spinal surgery is in the early stages. The authors report on their initial experience in applying an ERAS program to several degenerative spinal fusion procedures.

METHODS

The authors selected two 2-year periods: the first from before any implementation of ERAS principles (pre-ERAS years 2012–2013) and the second corresponding to a period when the paradigm was applied widely (post-ERAS years 2016–2017). Patient groups in these periods were retrospectively compared according to three degenerative conditions requiring fusion: anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF), anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF), and posterior lumbar fusion. Data were collected on patient demographics, operative and perioperative data, LOSs, 90-day readmissions, and morbidity. ERAS-trained nurses were involved to support patients at each pre-, intra-, and postoperative step with the help of a mobile application (app). A satisfaction survey was included in the app.

RESULTS

The pre-ERAS group included 1563 patients (159 ALIF, 749 ACDF, and 655 posterior fusion), and the post-ERAS group included 1920 patients (202 ALIF, 612 ACDF, and 1106 posterior fusion). The mean LOS was significantly shorter in the post-ERAS group than in the pre-ERAS group for all three conditions. It was reduced from 6.06 ± 1.1 to 3.33 ± 0.8 days for the ALIF group (p < 0.001), from 3.08 ± 0.9 to 1.3 ± 0.7 days for the ACDF group (p < 0.001), and from 6.7 ± 4.8 to 4.8 ± 2.3 days for posterior fusion cases (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in overall complications between the two periods for the ALIF (11.9% pre-ERAS vs 11.4% post-ERAS, p = 0.86) and ACDF (6.0% vs 8.2%, p = 0.12) cases, but they decreased significantly for lumbar fusions (14.8% vs 10.9%, p = 0.02). Regarding satisfaction with overall care among 808 available responses, 699 patients (86.5%) were satisfied or very satisfied, and regarding appreciation of the mobile e-health app in the perceived optimization of care management, 665 patients (82.3%) were satisfied or very satisfied.

CONCLUSIONS

The introduction of the ERAS approach at the authors’ institution for spinal fusion for three studied conditions resulted in a significant decrease in LOS without causing increased postoperative complications. Patient satisfaction with overall management, upstream organization of hospitalization, and the use of e-health was high. According to the study results, which are consistent with those in other studies, the whole concept of ERAS (primarily reducing complications and pain, and then reducing LOS) seems applicable to spinal surgery.

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Tyler S. Cole, Sirin Gandhi, Justin R. Mascitelli, Douglas Hardesty, Claudio Cavallo and Michael T. Lawton

Venous interruption through surgical clip ligation is the gold standard treatment for ethmoidal dural arteriovenous fistula (e-dAVF). Their malignant natural history is attributable to the higher predilection for retrograde cortical venous drainage. This video illustrates an e-dAVF in a 70-year-old man with progressive tinnitus and headache. Angiogram revealed bilateral e-dAVFs (Borden III–Cognard III) with one fistula draining into cavernous sinus and another to the sagittal sinus. A bifrontal craniotomy was utilized for venous interruption of both e-dAVFs. Postoperative angiography confirmed curative obliteration with no postoperative anosmia. Bilateral e-dAVFs are rare but can be safely treated simultaneously through a single craniotomy.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/666edwKHGKc.

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Michael L. Martini, Dominic A. Nistal, Brian C. Deutsch and John M. Caridi

OBJECTIVE

The authors set out to conduct the first national-level study assessing the risks and outcomes for different lumbar fusion procedures in patients with opioid use disorders (OUDs) to help guide the future development of targeted enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols for this unique population.

METHODS

Data for patients with or without OUDs who underwent an anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF), posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF), or lateral transverse lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) for lumbar disc degeneration (LDD) were collected from the 2013–2014 National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample database. Multivariable logistic regression was implemented to analyze how OUD status impacted in-hospital complications, length of hospital stay, discharge disposition, and total charges by procedure type.

RESULTS

A total of 139,995 patients with LDD were identified, with 1280 patients (0.91%) also having a concurrent OUD diagnosis. Overall complication rates were higher in OUD patients (48.44% vs 31.01%, p < 0.0001). OUD patients had higher odds of pulmonary (p = 0.0006), infectious (p < 0.0001), and hematological (p = 0.0009) complications. Multivariate regression modeling of outcomes by procedure type showed that after ALIF, OUD patients had higher odds of nonhome discharge (p = 0.0007), extended hospitalization (p = 0.0002), and greater total charges (p = 0.0054). This analysis also revealed that OUD patients faced higher odds of complication (p = 0.0149 and p = 0.0471), extended hospitalization (p = 0.0439 and p = 0.0001), and higher total charges (p < 0.0001 and p < 0.0001) after PLIF and LLIF procedures, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Obtaining a better understanding of the risks and outcomes that OUD patients face perioperatively is a necessary step toward developing more effective ERAS protocols for this vulnerable population. This study, which sought to characterize the outcome profiles for lumbar fusion procedures in OUD patients on a national level, found that this population tended to experience increased odds of complications, extended hospitalization, nonhome discharge, and higher total costs. Results from this study warrant future prospective studies to better the understanding of these associations and to further the development of better ERAS programs that may improve patient care and reduce cost burden.

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Dong Hwa Heo and Choon Keun Park

OBJECTIVE

The aims of enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) are to improve surgical outcomes, shorten hospital stays, and reduce complications. The objective of this study was to introduce ERAS with biportal endoscopic transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) and to investigate the clinical results.

METHODS

Patients were divided into two groups based on the fusion procedures. Patients who received microscopic TLIF without ERAS were classified as the non-ERAS group, whereas those who received percutaneous biportal endoscopic TLIF with ERAS were classified as the ERAS group. The mean Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and visual analog scale (VAS) scores were compared between the two groups. In addition, demographic characteristics, diagnosis, mean operative time, estimated blood loss (EBL), fusion rate, readmissions, and complications were investigated and compared.

RESULTS

Forty-six patients were grouped into the non-ERAS group (microscopic TLIF without ERAS) and 23 patients into the ERAS group (biportal endoscopic TLIF with ERAS). The VAS score for preoperative back pain on days 1 and 2 was significantly higher in the non-ERAS group than in the ERAS group (p < 0.05). The mean operative duration was significantly higher in the ERAS group than in the non-ERAS group, while the mean EBL was significantly lower in the ERAS group than in the non-ERAS group (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in fusion rate between the two groups (p > 0.05). Readmission was required in 2 patients who were from the non-ERAS group. Postoperative complications occurred in 6 cases in the non-ERAS group and in 2 cases in the ERAS group.

CONCLUSIONS

Percutaneous biportal endoscopic TLIF with an ERAS pathway may have good aspects in reducing bleeding and postoperative pain. Endoscopic fusion surgery along with the ERAS concept may help to accelerate recovery after surgery.

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Contemporary concepts of pain surgery

JNSPG 75th Anniversary Invited Review Article

Kim J. Burchiel and Ahmed M. Raslan

Pain surgery is one of the historic foundations of neurological surgery. The authors present a review of contemporary concepts in surgical pain management, with reference to past successes and failures, what has been learned as a subspecialty over the past 50 years, as well as a vision for current and future practice. This subspecialty confronts problems of cancer pain, nociceptive pain, and neuropathic pain. For noncancer pain, ablative procedures such as dorsal root entry zone lesions and rhizolysis for trigeminal neuralgia (TN) should continue to be practiced. Other procedures, such as medial thalamotomy, have not been proven effective and require continued study. Dorsal rhizotomy, dorsal root ganglionectomy, and neurotomy should probably be abandoned. For cancer pain, cordotomy is an important and underutilized method for pain control. Intrathecal opiate administration via an implantable system remains an important option for cancer pain management. While there are encouraging results in small case series, cingulotomy, hypophysectomy, and mesencephalotomy deserve further detailed analysis. Electrical neuromodulation is a rapidly changing discipline, and new methods such as high-frequency spinal cord stimulation (SCS), burst SCS, and dorsal root ganglion stimulation may or may not prove to be more effective than conventional SCS. Despite a history of failure, deep brain stimulation for pain may yet prove to be an effective therapy for specific pain conditions. Peripheral nerve stimulation for conditions such as occipital neuralgia and trigeminal neuropathic pain remains an option, although the quality of outcomes data is a challenge to these applications. Based on the evidence, motor cortex stimulation should be abandoned. TN is a mainstay of the surgical treatment of pain, particularly as new evidence and insights into TN emerge. Pain surgery will continue to build on this heritage, and restorative procedures will likely find a role in the armamentarium. The challenge for the future will be to acquire higher-level evidence to support the practice of surgical pain management.