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Editorial. Nuances of restoration of lumbar lordosis using an MIS anterior column release versus posterior 3-column osteotomy

Michael S. Virk and Praveen V. Mummaneni

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Stereotactic navigation for the prepsoas oblique lateral lumbar interbody fusion: technical note and case series

Anthony M. DiGiorgio, Caleb S. Edwards, Michael S. Virk, Praveen V. Mummaneni, and Dean Chou

The prepsoas retroperitoneal approach is a minimally invasive technique used for anterior lumbar interbody fusion. The approach may have a more favorable risk profile than the transpsoas approach, decreasing the risks that come with dissecting through the psoas muscle. However, the oblique angle of the spine in the prepsoas approach can be disorienting and challenging. This technical report provides an overview of the use of navigation in prepsoas oblique lateral lumbar interbody fusion in a series of 49 patients.

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Editorial. Damage capitation as malpractice reform

Anthony M. DiGiorgio, Michael S. Virk, and Praveen V. Mummaneni

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Frequency of symptomatic vertebral body compression fractures requiring intervention following single-fraction stereotactic radiosurgery for spinal metastases

Michael S. Virk, James E. Han, Anne S. Reiner, Lily A. McLaughlin, Daniel M. Sciubba, Eric Lis, Yoshiya Yamada, Mark Bilsky, and Ilya Laufer

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to determine the rate of symptomatic vertebral body compression fractures (VCFs) requiring kyphoplasty or surgery in patients treated with 24-Gy single-fraction stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

METHODS

This retrospective analysis included all patients who had been treated with 24-Gy, single-fraction, image-guided intensity-modulated radiation therapy for histologically confirmed solid tumor metastases over an 8-year period (2005–2013) at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Charts and imaging studies were reviewed for post-SRS kyphoplasty or surgery for mechanical instability. A Spinal Instability Neoplastic Score (SINS) was calculated for each patient both at the time of SRS and at the time of intervention for VCF.

RESULTS

Three hundred twenty-three patients who had undergone single-fraction SRS between C-1 and L-5 were included in this analysis. The cumulative incidence of VCF 5 years after SRS was 7.2% (95% CI 4.1–10.2), whereas that of death following SRS at the same time point was 82.5% (95% CI 77.5–87.4). Twenty-six patients with 36 SRS-treated levels progressed to symptomatic VCF requiring treatment with kyphoplasty (6 patients), surgery (10 patients), or both (10 patients). The median time to symptomatic VCF was 13 months. Seven patients developed VCF at 11 levels adjacent to the SRS-treated level. Fractured levels had no evidence of tumor progression. The median SINS changed from 6.5 at SRS (interquartile range [IQR] 4.3–8.8) to 11.5 at stabilization (IQR 9–13). In patients without prior stabilization at the level of SRS, there was an association between the SINS and the time to fracture.

CONCLUSIONS

Five years after ablative single-fraction SRS to spinal lesions, the cumulative incidence of symptomatic VCF at the treated level without tumor recurrence was 7.2%. Higher SINSs at the time of SRS correlated with earlier fractures.

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Applicability of cervical sagittal vertical axis, cervical lordosis, and T1 slope on pain and disability outcomes after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion in patients without deformity

Darryl Lau, Anthony M. DiGiorgio, Andrew K. Chan, Cecilia L. Dalle Ore, Michael S. Virk, Dean Chou, Erica F. Bisson, and Praveen V. Mummaneni

OBJECTIVE

Understanding what influences pain and disability following anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) in patients with degenerative cervical spine disease is critical. This study examines the timing of clinical improvement and identifies factors (including spinal alignment) associated with worse outcomes.

METHODS

Consecutive adult patients were enrolled in a prospective outcomes database from two academic centers participating in the Quality Outcomes Database from 2013 to 2016. Demographics, surgical details, radiographic data, arm and neck pain (visual analog scale [VAS] scores), and disability (Neck Disability Index [NDI] and EQ-5D scores) were reviewed. Multivariate analysis was used.

RESULTS

A total of 186 patients were included, and 48.4% were male. Their mean age was 55.4 years, and 45.7% had myelopathy. Preoperative cervical sagittal vertical axis (cSVA), cervical lordosis (CL), and T1 slope values were 24.9 mm (range 0–55 mm), 10.4° (range −6.0° to 44°), and 28.3° (range 14.0°–51.0°), respectively. ACDF was performed at 1, 2, and 3 levels in 47.8%, 42.0%, and 10.2% of patients, respectively. Preoperative neck and arm VAS scores were 5.7 and 5.4, respectively. NDI and EQ-5D scores were 22.1 and 0.5, respectively. There was significant improvement in all outcomes at 3 months (p < 0.001) and 12 months (p < 0.001). At 3 months, neck VAS (3.0), arm VAS (2.2), NDI (12.7), and EQ-5D (0.7) scores were improved, and at 12 months, neck VAS (2.8), arm VAS (2.3), NDI (11.7), and EQ-5D (0.8) score improvements were sustained. Improvements occurred within the first 3-month period; there was no significant difference in outcomes between the 3-month and 12-month mark. There was no correlation among cSVA, CL, or T1 slope with any outcome endpoint. The most consistent independent preoperative factors associated with worse outcomes were high neck and arm VAS scores and a severe NDI result (p < 0.001). Similar findings were seen with worse NDI and EQ-5D scores (p < 0.001). A significant linear trend of worse NDI and EQ-5D scores at 3 and 12 months was associated with worse baseline scores. Of the 186 patients, 171 (91.9%) had 3-month follow-up data, and 162 (87.1%) had 12-month follow-up data.

CONCLUSIONS

ACDF is effective in improving pain and disability, and improvement occurs within 3 months of surgery. cSVA, CL, and T1 slope do not appear to influence outcomes following ACDF surgery in the population with degenerative cervical disease. Therefore, in patients with relatively normal cervical parameters, augmenting alignment or lordosis is likely unnecessary. Worse preoperative pain and disability were independently associated with worse outcomes.

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

Praveen V. Mummaneni, Paul Park, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Michael Y. Wang, Juan S. Uribe, Richard G. Fessler, Dean Chou, Adam S. Kanter, David O. Okonkwo, Gregory M. Mundis Jr., Robert K. Eastlack, Pierce D. Nunley, Neel Anand, Michael S. Virk, Lawrence G. Lenke, Khoi D. Than, Leslie C. Robinson, Kai-Ming Fu, and the International Spine Study Group (ISSG)

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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Correlation of return to work with patient satisfaction after surgery for lumbar spondylolisthesis: an analysis of the Quality Outcomes Database

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

OBJECTIVE

Return to work (RTW) and satisfaction are important outcome measures after surgery for degenerative spine disease. The authors queried the prospective Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) to determine if RTW correlated with patient satisfaction.

METHODS

The QOD was queried for patients undergoing surgery for degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis. The primary outcome of interest was correlation between RTW and patient satisfaction, as measured by the North American Spine Society patient satisfaction index (NASS). Secondarily, data on satisfied patients were analyzed to see what patient factors correlated with RTW.

RESULTS

Of 608 total patients in the QOD spondylolisthesis data set, there were 292 patients for whom data were available on both satisfaction and RTW status. Of these, 249 (85.3%) were satisfied with surgery (NASS score 1–2), and 224 (76.7%) did RTW after surgery. Of the 68 patients who did not RTW after surgery, 49 (72.1%) were still satisfied with surgery. Of the 224 patients who did RTW, 24 (10.7%) were unsatisfied with surgery (NASS score 3–4). There were significantly more people who had an NASS score of 1 in the RTW group than in the non-RTW group (71.4% vs 42.6%, p < 0.05). Failure to RTW was associated with lower level of education, worse baseline back pain (measured with a numeric rating scale), and worse baseline disability (measured with the Oswestry Disability Index [ODI]).

CONCLUSIONS

There are a substantial number of patients who are satisfied with surgery even though they did not RTW. Patients who were satisfied with surgery and did not RTW typically had worse preoperative back pain and ODI and typically did not have a college education. While RTW remains an important measure after surgery, physicians should be mindful that patients who do not RTW may still be satisfied with their outcome.

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Minimally invasive versus open transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion for grade I lumbar spondylolisthesis: 5-year follow-up from the prospective multicenter Quality Outcomes Database registry

Andrew K. Chan, Mohamad Bydon, Erica F. Bisson, 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, Giorgos D. Michalopoulos, Jian Guan, Regis W. Haid, Nitin Agarwal, Christine Park, Dean Chou, and Praveen V. Mummaneni

OBJECTIVE

Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MI-TLIF) has been used to treat degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis and is associated with expedited recovery, reduced operative blood loss, and shorter hospitalizations compared to those with traditional open TLIF. However, the impact of MI-TLIF on long-term patient-reported outcomes (PROs) is less clear. Here, the authors compare the outcomes of MI-TLIF to those of traditional open TLIF for grade I degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis at 60 months postoperatively.

METHODS

The authors utilized the prospective Quality Outcomes Database registry and queried for patients with grade I degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis who had undergone single-segment surgery via an MI or open TLIF method. PROs were compared 60 months postoperatively. The primary outcome was the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). The secondary outcomes included the numeric rating scale (NRS) for back pain (NRS-BP), NRS for leg pain (NRS-LP), EQ-5D, North American Spine Society (NASS) satisfaction, and cumulative reoperation rate. Multivariable models were constructed to assess the impact of MI-TLIF on PROs, adjusting for variables reaching p < 0.20 on univariable analyses and respective baseline PRO values.

RESULTS

The study included 297 patients, 72 (24.2%) of whom had undergone MI-TLIF and 225 (75.8%) of whom had undergone open TLIF. The 60-month follow-up rates were similar for the two cohorts (86.1% vs 75.6%, respectively; p = 0.06). Patients did not differ significantly at baseline for ODI, NRS-BP, NRS-LP, or EQ-5D (p > 0.05 for all). Perioperatively, MI-TLIF was associated with less blood loss (108.8 ± 85.6 vs 299.6 ± 242.2 ml, p < 0.001) and longer operations (228.2 ± 111.5 vs 189.6 ± 66.5 minutes, p < 0.001) but had similar lengths of hospitalizations (MI-TLIF 2.9 ± 1.8 vs open TLIF 3.3 ± 1.6 days, p = 0.08). Discharge disposition to home or home health was similar (MI-TLIF 93.1% vs open TLIF 91.1%, p = 0.60). Both cohorts improved significantly from baseline for the 60-month ODI, NRS-BP, NRS-LP, and EQ-5D (p < 0.001 for all comparisons). In adjusted analyses, MI-TLIF, compared to open TLIF, was associated with similar 60-month ODI, ODI change, odds of reaching ODI minimum clinically important difference, NRS-BP, NRS-BP change, NRS-LP, NRS-LP change, EQ-5D, EQ-5D change, and NASS satisfaction (adjusted p > 0.05 for all). The 60-month reoperation rates did not differ significantly (MI-TLIF 5.6% vs open TLIF 11.6%, p = 0.14).

CONCLUSIONS

For symptomatic, single-level grade I degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis, MI-TLIF was associated with decreased blood loss perioperatively, but there was no difference in 60-month outcomes for disability, back pain, leg pain, quality of life, or satisfaction between MI and open TLIF. There was no difference in cumulative reoperation rates between the two procedures. These results suggest that in appropriately selected patients, either procedure may be employed depending on patient and surgeon preferences.

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Developing nonlinear k-nearest neighbors classification algorithms to identify patients at high risk of increased length of hospital stay following spine surgery

Shane Shahrestani, Andrew K. Chan, 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, Giorgos D. Michalopoulos, Jian Guan, Regis W. Haid, Nitin Agarwal, Dean Chou, and Praveen V. Mummaneni

OBJECTIVE

Spondylolisthesis is a common operative disease in the United States, but robust predictive models for patient outcomes remain limited. The development of models that accurately predict postoperative outcomes would be useful to help identify patients at risk of complicated postoperative courses and determine appropriate healthcare and resource utilization for patients. As such, the purpose of this study was to develop k-nearest neighbors (KNN) classification algorithms to identify patients at increased risk for extended hospital length of stay (LOS) following neurosurgical intervention for spondylolisthesis.

METHODS

The Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) spondylolisthesis data set was queried for patients receiving either decompression alone or decompression plus fusion for degenerative spondylolisthesis. Preoperative and perioperative variables were queried, and Mann-Whitney U-tests were performed to identify which variables would be included in the machine learning models. Two KNN models were implemented (k = 25) with a standard training set of 60%, validation set of 20%, and testing set of 20%, one with arthrodesis status (model 1) and the other without (model 2). Feature scaling was implemented during the preprocessing stage to standardize the independent features.

RESULTS

Of 608 enrolled patients, 544 met prespecified inclusion criteria. The mean age of all patients was 61.9 ± 12.1 years (± SD), and 309 (56.8%) patients were female. The model 1 KNN had an overall accuracy of 98.1%, sensitivity of 100%, specificity of 84.6%, positive predictive value (PPV) of 97.9%, and negative predictive value (NPV) of 100%. Additionally, a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was plotted for model 1, showing an overall area under the curve (AUC) of 0.998. Model 2 had an overall accuracy of 99.1%, sensitivity of 100%, specificity of 92.3%, PPV of 99.0%, and NPV of 100%, with the same ROC AUC of 0.998.

CONCLUSIONS

Overall, these findings demonstrate that nonlinear KNN machine learning models have incredibly high predictive value for LOS. Important predictor variables include diabetes, osteoporosis, socioeconomic quartile, duration of surgery, estimated blood loss during surgery, patient educational status, American Society of Anesthesiologists grade, BMI, insurance status, smoking status, sex, and age. These models may be considered for external validation by spine surgeons to aid in patient selection and management, resource utilization, and preoperative surgical planning.

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Predictive model for long-term patient satisfaction after surgery for grade I degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis: insights from the Quality Outcomes Database

Praveen V. Mummaneni, Mohamad Bydon, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Andrew K. Chan, Steven D. Glassman, Kevin T. Foley, Eric A. Potts, Christopher I. Shaffrey, 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, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Jian Guan, Regis W. Haid, and Erica F. Bisson

OBJECTIVE

Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, providers and hospitals have increasingly prioritized patient-centered outcomes such as patient satisfaction in an effort to adapt the “value”-based healthcare model. In the current study, the authors queried a prospectively maintained multiinstitutional spine registry to construct a predictive model for long-term patient satisfaction among patients undergoing surgery for Meyerding grade I lumbar spondylolisthesis.

METHODS

The authors queried the Quality Outcomes Database for patients undergoing surgery for grade I lumbar spondylolisthesis between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2016. The primary outcome of interest for the current study was patient satisfaction as measured by the North American Spine Surgery patient satisfaction index, which is measured on a scale of 1–4, with 1 indicating most satisfied and 4 indicating least satisfied. In order to identify predictors of higher satisfaction, the authors fitted a multivariable proportional odds logistic regression model for ≥ 2 years of patient satisfaction after adjusting for an array of clinical and patient-specific factors. The absolute importance of each covariate in the model was computed using an importance metric defined as Wald chi-square penalized by the predictor degrees of freedom.

RESULTS

A total of 502 patients, out of a cohort of 608 patients (82.5%) with grade I lumbar spondylolisthesis, undergoing either 1- or 2-level decompression (22.5%, n = 113) or 1-level decompression and fusion (77.5%, n = 389), met the inclusion criteria; of these, 82.1% (n = 412) were satisfied after 2 years. On univariate analysis, satisfied patients were more likely to be employed and working (41.7%, n = 172, vs 24.4%, n = 22; overall p = 0.001), more likely to present with predominant leg pain (23.1%, n = 95, vs 11.1%, n = 10; overall p = 0.02) but more likely to present with lower Numeric Rating Scale score for leg pain (median and IQR score: 7 [5–9] vs 8 [6–9]; p = 0.05). Multivariable proportional odds logistic regression revealed that older age (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.09–2.76; p = 0.009), preoperative active employment (OR 2.06, 95% CI 1.27–3.67; p = 0.015), and fusion surgery (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.30–4.06; p = 0.002) were the most important predictors of achieving satisfaction with surgical outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

Current findings from a large multiinstitutional study indicate that most patients undergoing surgery for grade I lumbar spondylolisthesis achieved long-term satisfaction. Moreover, the authors found that older age, preoperative active employment, and fusion surgery are associated with higher odds of achieving satisfaction.