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Beejal Y. Amin, Tsung-Hsi Tu and Praveen V. Mummaneni

The potential advantages of a mini-open transforaminal interbody fusion (TLIF) operation are reduced blood loss, shorter length of stay, and less soft-tissue trauma compared to the standard open technique. Prior reports from our group and others have demonstrated successful outcomes using MIS techniques in lumbar fusion surgery.

In this 3D video, we demonstrate the key steps of the mini-open technique for a transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion using an expandable tubular retractor and contralateral percutaneous screw fixation for the treatment of a multiple recurrent disc herniation. The video demonstrates patient positioning, surgical opening with development of the Wiltse plane, placement of the tubular retractor, pedicle screw placement through both a percutaneous technique and a mini-open technique, decompression of the neural elements, graft insertion, and wound closure.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/LYRU9lbBdNg.

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Beejal Y. Amin, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Tarik Ibrahim, Alex Zouzias and Juan Uribe

The benefits of anterior interbody arthrodesis in deformity surgery are well known and include load sharing and increased fusion rates. A minimally invasive lateral transpsoas approach to the anterior lumbar spine is a promising alternative to traditional interbody techniques for the treatment of adult degenerative scoliosis. The reported advantages of the minimally invasive lateral transpsoas approach include reduced blood loss and shorter length of stay. However, there are several approach-related complications associated with this technique including injury to the nerves within the abdominal wall leading to abdominal wall paresis, bowel injury, and injury to the lumbar plexus.

In this video, we demonstrate the key steps of the minimally invasive lateral retroperitoneal transpsoas technique for interbody fusion in the treatment of adult degenerative scoliosis.

The video demonstrates patient positioning, surgical opening, passage through the anatomical safe zone, use of multidirectional EMG to navigate away from the lumbar plexus, placement of the expandable retractor, discectomy, endplate preparation, graft insertion, and wound closure. Special emphasis is placed on the approach. We highlight the relevant nerves passing through the abdominal wall with the aid of a microscope.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/XU1OujNF8F8.

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Peter D. Angevine and Paul C. McCormick

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Beejal Y. Amin and Praveen V. Mummaneni

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Beejal Y. Amin and Praveen V. Mummaneni

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Beejal Y. Amin, Tsung-Hsi Tu, William W. Schairer, Lumine Na, Steven Takemoto, Sigurd Berven, Vedat Deviren, Christopher Ames, Dean Chou and Praveen V. Mummaneni

Object

Administrative databases are increasingly being used to establish benchmarks for quality of care and to compare performance across peer hospitals. As proposals for accountable care organizations are being developed, readmission rates will be increasingly scrutinized. The purpose of the present study was to assess whether the all-cause readmissions rate appropriately reflects the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center hospital's clinically relevant readmission rate for spine surgery patients and to identify predictors of readmission.

Methods

Data for 5780 consecutive patient encounters managed by 10 spine surgeons at UCSF Medical Center from October 2007 to June 2011 were abstracted from the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) using the Clinical Data Base/Resource Manager. Of these 5780 patient encounters, 281 patients (4.9%) were rehospitalized within 30 days of the previous discharge date. The authors performed an independent chart review to determine clinically relevant reasons for readmission and extracted hospital administrative data to calculate direct costs. Univariate logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate possible predictors of readmission. The two-sample t-test was used to examine the difference in direct cost between readmission and nonreadmission cases.

Results

The main reasons for readmission were infection (39.8%), nonoperative management (13.4%), and planned staged surgery (12.4%). The current all-cause readmission algorithm resulted in an artificially high readmission rate from the clinician's point of view. Based on the authors' manual chart review, 69 cases (25% of the 281 total readmissions) should be excluded because 39 cases (13.9%) were planned staged procedures; 16 cases (5.7%) were unrelated to spine surgery; and 14 surgical cases (5.0%) were cancelled or rescheduled at index admission due to unpredictable reasons. When these 69 cases are excluded, the direct cost of readmission is reduced by 29%. The cost variance is in excess of $3 million. Predictors of readmission were admission status (p < 0.0001), length of stay (p = 0.0001), risk of death (p < 0.0001), and age (p = 0.021).

Conclusions

The authors' findings identify the potential pitfalls in the calculation of readmission rates from administrative data sets. Benchmarking algorithms for defining hospitals' readmission rates must take into account planned staged surgery and eliminate unrelated reasons for readmission. When this is implemented in the calculation method, the readmission rate will be more accurate. Current tools overestimate the clinically relevant readmission rate and cost.