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John F. Burke, Andrew K. Chan, Rory R. Mayer, Joseph H. Garcia, Brenton Pennicooke, Michael Mann, Sigurd H. Berven, Dean Chou, and Praveen V. Mummaneni

The clamshell thoracotomy is often used to access both hemithoraxes and the mediastinum simultaneously for cardiothoracic pathology, but this technique is rarely used for the excision of spinal tumors. We describe the use of a clamshell thoracotomy for en bloc excision of a 3-level upper thoracic chordoma in a 20-year-old patient. The lesion involved T2, T3, and T4, and it invaded both chest cavities and indented the mediastinum. After 2 biopsies to confirm the diagnosis, the patient underwent a posterior spinal fusion followed by bilateral clamshell thoracotomy for 3-level en bloc resection with simultaneous access to both chest cavities and the mediastinum. To demonstrate how the clamshell thoracotomy was used to facilitate the tumor resection, an operative video and illustrations are provided, which show in detail how the clamshell thoracotomy can be used to access both hemithoraxes and the mediastinum.

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James Mooney, Giorgos D. Michalopoulos, Daniel Zeitouni, Sally El Sammak, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Michael Y. Wang, Domagoj Coric, Andrew K. Chan, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Erica F. Bisson, Brandon Sherrod, Regis W. Haid Jr., John J. Knightly, Clinton J. Devin, Brenton H. Pennicooke, Anthony L. Asher, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

Spine surgery represents an ideal target for healthcare cost reduction efforts, with outpatient surgery resulting in significant cost savings. With an increased focus on value-based healthcare delivery, lumbar decompression surgery has been increasingly performed in the outpatient setting when appropriate. The aim of this study was to compare clinical and patient-reported outcomes following outpatient and inpatient lumbar decompression surgery.

METHODS

The Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) was queried for patients undergoing elective one- or two-level lumbar decompression (laminectomy or laminotomy with or without discectomy) for degenerative spine disease. Patients were grouped as outpatient if they had a length of stay (LOS) < 24 hours and as inpatient if they stayed in the hospital ≥ 24 hours. Patients with ≥ 72-hour stay were excluded from the comparative analysis to increase baseline comparability between the two groups. To create two highly homogeneous groups, optimal matching was performed at a 1:1 ratio between the two groups on 38 baseline variables, including demographics, comorbidities, symptoms, patient-reported scores, indications, and operative details. Outcomes of interest were readmissions and reoperations at 30 days and 3 months after surgery, overall satisfaction, and decrease in Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), back pain, and leg pain at 3 months after surgery. Satisfaction was defined as a score of 1 or 2 in the North American Spine Society patient satisfaction index. Noninferiority of outpatient compared with inpatient surgery was defined as risk difference of < 1.5% at a one-sided 97.5% confidence interval.

RESULTS

A total of 18,689 eligible one- and two-level decompression surgeries were identified. The matched study cohorts consisted of 5016 patients in each group. Nonroutine discharge was slightly less common in the outpatient group (0.6% vs 0.3%, p = 0.01). The 30-day readmission rates were 4.4% and 4.3% for the outpatient and inpatient groups, respectively, while the 30-day reoperation rates were 1.4% and 1.5%. The 3-month readmission rates were 6.3% for both groups, and the 3-month reoperation rates were 3.1% for the outpatient cases and 2.9% for the inpatient cases. Overall satisfaction at 3 months was 88.8% for the outpatient group and 88.4% for the inpatient group. Noninferiority of outpatient surgery was documented for readmissions, reoperations, and patient-reported satisfaction from surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Outpatient lumbar decompression surgery demonstrated slightly lower nonroutine discharge rates in comparison with inpatient surgery. Noninferiority in clinical outcomes at 30 days and 3 months after surgery was documented for outpatient compared with inpatient decompression surgery. Additionally, outpatient decompression surgery performed noninferiorly to inpatient surgery in achieving patient satisfaction from surgery.

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Zachary D. Rethorn, Chad E. Cook, Christine Park, Tamara Somers, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Andrew K. Chan, Brenton H. Pennicooke, Erica F. Bisson, Anthony L. Asher, Avery L. Buchholz, Mohamad Bydon, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Domagoj Coric, Kevin T. Foley, Kai-Ming Fu, John J. Knightly, Scott Meyer, Paul Park, Eric A. Potts, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Mark Shaffrey, Khoi D. Than, Luis Tumialan, Jay D. Turner, Cheerag D. Upadhyaya, Michael Y. Wang, and Oren Gottfried

OBJECTIVE

Combinations of certain social risk factors of race, sex, education, socioeconomic status (SES), insurance, education, employment, and one’s housing situation have been associated with poorer pain and disability outcomes after lumbar spine surgery. To date, an exploration of such factors in patients with cervical spine surgery has not been conducted. The objective of the current work was to 1) define the social risk phenotypes of individuals who have undergone cervical spine surgery for myelopathy and 2) analyze their predictive capacity toward disability, pain, quality of life, and patient satisfaction–based outcomes.

METHODS

The Cervical Myelopathy Quality Outcomes Database was queried for the period from January 2016 to December 2018. Race/ethnicity, educational attainment, SES, insurance payer, and employment status were modeled into unique social phenotypes using latent class analyses. Proportions of social groups were analyzed for demonstrating a minimal clinically important difference (MCID) of 30% from baseline for disability, neck and arm pain, quality of life, and patient satisfaction at the 3-month and 1-year follow-ups.

RESULTS

A total of 730 individuals who had undergone cervical myelopathy surgery were included in the final cohort. Latent class analysis identified 2 subgroups: 1) high risk (non-White race and ethnicity, lower educational attainment, not working, poor insurance, and predominantly lower SES), n = 268, 36.7% (class 1); and 2) low risk (White, employed with good insurance, and higher education and SES), n = 462, 63.3% (class 2). For both 3-month and 1-year outcomes, the high-risk group (class 1) had decreased odds (all p < 0.05) of attaining an MCID score in disability, neck/arm pain, and health-related quality of life. Being in the low-risk group (class 2) resulted in an increased odds of attaining an MCID score in disability, neck/arm pain, and health-related quality of life. Neither group had increased or decreased odds of being satisfied with surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Although 2 groups underwent similar surgical approaches, the social phenotype involving non-White race/ethnicity, poor insurance, lower SES, and poor employment did not meet MCIDs for a variety of outcome measures. This finding should prompt surgeons to proactively incorporate socially conscience care pathways within healthcare systems, as well as to optimize community-based resources to improve outcomes and personalize care for populations at social risk.