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Justin S. Smith, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Christopher P. Ames and Lawrence G. Lenke

Care of the patient with adult spinal deformity (ASD) has evolved from being primarily supportive to now having the ability to directly treat and correct the spinal pathology. The focus of this narrative literature review is to briefly summarize the history of ASD treatment, discuss the current state of the art of ASD care with focus on surgical treatment and current challenges, and conclude with a discussion of potential developments related to ASD surgery.

In the past, care for ASD was primarily based on supportive measures, including braces and assistive devices, with few options for surgical treatments that were often deemed high risk and reserved for rare situations. Advances in anesthetic and critical care, surgical techniques, and instrumentation now enable almost routine surgery for many patients with ASD. Despite the advances, there are many remaining challenges currently impacting the care of ASD patients, including increasing numbers of elderly patients with greater comorbidities, high complication and reoperation rates, and high procedure cost without clearly demonstrated cost-effectiveness based on standard criteria. In addition, there remains considerable variability across multiple aspects of ASD surgery. For example, there is currently very limited ability to provide preoperative individualized counseling regarding optimal treatment approaches (e.g., operative vs nonoperative), complication risks with surgery, durability of surgery, and likelihood of achieving individualized patient goals and satisfaction. Despite the challenges associated with the current state-of-the-art ASD treatment, surgery continues to be a primary option, as multiple reports have demonstrated the potential for surgery to significantly improve pain and disability. The future of ASD care will likely include techniques and technologies to markedly reduce complication rates, including greater use of navigation and robotics, and a shift toward individualized medicine that enables improved counseling, preoperative planning, procedure safety, and patient satisfaction.

Advances in the care of ASD patients have been remarkable over the past few decades. The current state of the art enables almost routine surgical treatment for many types of ASD that have the potential to significantly improve pain and disability. However, significant challenges remain, including high complication rates, lack of demonstrated cost-effectiveness, and limited ability to meaningfully counsel patients preoperatively on an individual basis. The future of ASD surgery will require continued improvement of predictability, safety, and sustainability.

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Michael Kern, Matthias Setzer, Lutz Weise, Ali Mroe, Holger Frey, Katharina Frey, Volker Seifert and Stephan Duetzmann

OBJECTIVE

The treatment of patients with spinal stenosis and concurrent degenerative spondylolisthesis is controversial. Two large randomized controlled clinical trials reported contradictory results. The authors hypothesized that a substantial number of patients will show evidence of micro-instability after a sole decompression procedure.

METHODS

This study was a retrospective analysis of all cases of lumbar spinal stenosis treated at the Frankfurt University Clinic (Universitätsklinik Frankfurt) from 2010 through 2013. Patients who had associated spondylolisthesis underwent upright MRI studies in flexion and extension for identification of subtle signs of micro-instability. Clinical outcome was assessed by means of SF-36 bodily pain (BP) and physical functioning (PF) scales.

RESULTS

A total of 21 patients were recruited to undergo upright MRI studies. The mean duration of follow-up was 65 months (SD 16 months). Of these 21 patients, 10 (47%) showed signs of micro-instability as defined by movement of > 4 mm on flexion/extension MRI. Comparison of mean SF-36 BP and PF scores in the group of patients who showed micro-instability versus those who did not showed no statistically significant difference on either scale.

CONCLUSIONS

There seems to be a substantial subset of patients who develop morphological micro-instability after sole decompression procedures but do not experience any clinically significant effect of the instability.

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Da Zou, Weishi Li, Fei Xu and Guohong Du

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of Hounsfield unit (HU) values of the S1 body to diagnose osteoporosis in patients with lumbar degenerative diseases.

METHODS

The records of 316 patients of ages ≥ 50 years and requiring surgery for lumbar degenerative diseases were reviewed. The bone mineral density (BMD) of the S1 body and L1 was measured in HU with preoperative lumbar CT. Circular regions of interest (ROIs) were placed on midaxial and midsagittal images of the S1 body. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and the criterion of L1 HU ≤ 110 HU were used to diagnose osteoporosis. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) was calculated to assess the use of HUs of the S1 body to diagnose osteoporosis.

RESULTS

The interobserver and intraobserver reliability of measuring HU of the S1 body was excellent with intraclass correlation coefficients over 0.8 (p < 0.001). The correlation between HUs of the S1 body and average T-score of L1–4 was significant with Pearson correlation coefficients ≥ 0.60 (p < 0.001). The AUCs for using HUs of the S1 body to diagnose osteoporosis were 0.86 and 0.88 for axial HU and sagittal HU, respectively (p < 0.001). The HU thresholds with balanced sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing osteoporosis were 202 HU for axial HU (sensitivity: 76%; specificity: 76%) and 185 HU for sagittal HU (sensitivity: 80%; specificity: 80%).

CONCLUSIONS

Both sagittal and axial HUs of the S1 body are useful tools for assessing BMD and diagnosing osteoporosis. Measuring HUs of the S1 body preoperatively from lumbar CT may help with surgical planning for patients with lumbar degenerative diseases.

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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.