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Joon S. Yoo, Dil V. Patel, Benjamin C. Mayo, Dustin H. Massel, Sailee S. Karmarkar, Eric H. Lamoutte and Kern Singh

OBJECTIVE

Due to the reported benefits associated with minimally invasive spine surgery (MIS), patients seeking out minimally invasive surgery may have higher expectations regarding their outcomes. In this study the authors aimed to assess the effects of preoperative expectations and postoperative outcome actuality, and the difference between the two, on postoperative satisfaction following MIS for lumbar fusion procedures.

METHODS

Patients scheduled for either a 1- or 2-level lumbar fusion MIS were administered confidential surveys preoperatively and at 6 months postoperatively. The surveys administered preoperatively consisted of 2 parts: preoperative patient-reported outcomes (PROs), including the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), visual analog scale (VAS) back pain, and VAS leg pain, and expected postoperative PROs. The surveys administered 6 months postoperatively consisted of 2 parts: postoperative PROs and satisfaction. Preoperative symptoms, expected postoperative symptoms, and actual postoperative symptoms were compared using paired t-tests. Pearson correlation was used to compare the association between 1) postoperative change in PROs and satisfaction, 2) expectation and satisfaction, 3) expectation-actuality discrepancy and satisfaction, and 4) actuality and satisfaction.

RESULTS

In total, 101 patients completed all surveys. Patients expected to improve in all PROs from baseline, except for ODI personal care, in which they expected to get worse after surgery. In actuality, patients improved in all PROs from baseline, except for ODI personal care, in which they did not demonstrate improvement or worsening. Patients did not surpass any expectations regarding PRO improvement. The association between patient satisfaction and postoperative change was strong for the VAS back pain score, while ODI and VAS leg pain scores showed moderate correlations. Preoperative expectation and postoperative satisfaction demonstrated weak to moderate correlations for all outcome measures. All 3 PROs demonstrated moderate correlation between patient satisfaction and the expectation-actuality discrepancy. All 3 PROs demonstrated strong correlations between satisfaction and actual postoperative outcomes, with ODI having the strongest correlation.

CONCLUSIONS

In this observational study, the authors determined that the actual postoperative results following surgery were strongly correlated with patient satisfaction, while the patients’ expectation, the expectation-actuality discrepancy, and the postoperative improvement did not demonstrate strong correlations for all patient-reported outcome measures utilized in this study. The investigation results suggest that the most important indicator of how satisfied patients feel following surgery may be the actual outcome itself, rather than the preoperative expectation or the degree to which the expected result was met.

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Benjamin C. Mayo, Dustin H. Massel, Daniel D. Bohl, Ankur S. Narain, Fady Y. Hijji, William W. Long, Krishna D. Modi, Bryce A. Basques, Alem Yacob and Kern Singh

OBJECTIVE

Prior studies have correlated preoperative depression and poor mental health status with inferior patient-reported outcomes following lumbar spinal procedures. However, literature regarding the effect of mental health on outcomes following cervical spinal surgery is limited. As such, the purpose of this study is to test for the association of preoperative SF-12 Mental Component Summary (MCS) scores with improvements in Neck Disability Index (NDI), SF-12 Physical Component Summary (PCS), and neck and arm pain following anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF).

METHODS

A prospectively maintained surgical database of patients who underwent a primary 1- or 2-level ACDF during 2014–2015 was reviewed. Patients were excluded if they did not have complete patient-reported outcome data for the preoperative or 6-week, 12-week, or 6-month postoperative visits. At baseline, preoperative SF-12 MCS score was assessed for association with preoperative NDI, neck visual analog scale (VAS) score, arm VAS score, and SF-12 PCS score. The preoperative MCS score was then tested for association with changes in NDI, neck VAS, arm VAS, and SF-12 PCS scores from the preoperative visit to postoperative visits. These tests were conducted using multivariate regression controlling for baseline characteristics as well as for the preoperative score for the patient-reported outcome being assessed.

RESULTS

A total of 52 patients were included in the analysis. At baseline, a higher preoperative MCS score was negatively associated with a lower preoperative NDI (coefficient: −0.74, p < 0.001) and preoperative arm VAS score (−0.06, p = 0.026), but not preoperative neck VAS score (−0.03, p = 0.325) or SF-12 PCS score (0.04, p = 0.664). Additionally, there was no association between preoperative MCS score and improvement in NDI, neck VAS, arm VAS, or SF-12 PCS score at any of the postoperative time points (6 weeks, 12 weeks, and 6 months, p > 0.05 for each). The percentage of patients achieving a minimum clinically important difference at 6 months did not differ between the bottom and top MCS score halves (p > 0.05 for each).

CONCLUSIONS

The results of this study suggest that better preoperative mental health status is associated with lower perceived preoperative disability but is not associated with severity of preoperative neck or arm pain. In contrast to other studies, the present study was unable to demonstrate that preoperative mental health is predictive of improvement in patient-reported outcomes at any postoperative time point following an ACDF.

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Brittany E. Haws, Benjamin Khechen, Ankur S. Narain, Fady Y. Hijji, Daniel D. Bohl, Dustin H. Massel, Benjamin C. Mayo, Junyoung Ahn and Kern Singh

OBJECTIVE

Intraoperative local steroid application has been theorized to reduce swelling and improve swallowing in the immediate period following anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to quantify the impact of intraoperative local steroid application on patient-reported swallow function and swelling after ACDF.

METHODS

A prospective, randomized single-blind controlled trial was conducted. A priori power analysis determined that 104 subjects were needed to detect an 8-point difference in the Quality of Life in Swallowing Disorders (SWAL-QOL) questionnaire score. One hundred four patients undergoing 1- to 3-level ACDF procedures for degenerative spinal pathology were randomized to Depo-Medrol (DEPO) or no Depo-Medrol (NODEPO) cohorts. Prior to surgical closure, patients received 1 ml of either Depo-Medrol (DEPO) or saline (NODEPO) applied to a Gelfoam carrier at the surgical site. Patients were blinded to the application of steroid or saline following surgery. The SWAL-QOL questionnaire was administered both pre- and postoperatively. A ratio of the prevertebral swelling distance to the anteroposterior diameter of each vertebral body level was calculated at the involved levels ± 1 level by using pre- and postoperative lateral radiographs. The ratios of all levels were averaged and multiplied by 100 to obtain a swelling index. An air index was calculated in the same manner but using the tracheal air window diameter in place of the prevertebral swelling distance. Statistical analysis was performed using the Student t-test and chi-square analysis. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05.

RESULTS

Of the 104 patients, 55 (52.9%) were randomized to the DEPO cohort and 49 (47.1%) to the NODEPO group. No differences in baseline patient demographics or preoperative characteristics were demonstrated between the two cohorts. Similarly, estimated blood loss and length of hospitalization did not differ between the cohorts. Neither was there a difference in the mean change in the scaled total SWAL-QOL score, swelling index, and air index between the groups at any time point. Furthermore, no complications were observed in either group (retropharyngeal abscess or esophageal perforation).

CONCLUSIONS

The results of this prospective, randomized single-blind study did not demonstrate an impact of local intraoperative steroid application on patient-reported swallowing function or swelling following ACDF. Neither did the administration of Depo-Medrol lead to an earlier hospital discharge than that in the NODEPO cohort. These results suggest that intraoperative local steroid administration may not provide an additional benefit to patients undergoing ACDF procedures.

■ CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE Type of question: therapeutic; study design: randomized controlled trial; evidence: Class I.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT03311425 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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Brittany E. Haws, Benjamin Khechen, Dil V. Patel, Mundeep S. Bawa, Junyoung Ahn, Daniel D. Bohl, Benjamin C. Mayo, Dustin H. Massel, Jordan A. Guntin, Kaitlyn L. Cardinal and Kern Singh

OBJECTIVE

Local epidural steroid application may be associated with decreased pain and narcotic use in the immediate postoperative period following lumbar discectomy. However, local steroid delivery following lumbar fusion procedures has not been well characterized. This study aims to characterize the effect of local intraoperative depomedrol application on perioperative and postoperative outcomes following a single-level minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MIS TLIF).

METHODS

A prospective, randomized, single-blinded study was performed. A priori power analysis determined that 86 patients were needed to detect a difference of 1 point in the visual analog scale (VAS) pain score between groups. Ninety-three patients were randomized into depomedrol (DEPO) and no depomedrol (NODEPO) cohorts. Prior to surgical closure, DEPO patients received 1 ml depomedrol (80 mg) applied directly to the surgical site by using a Gelfoam carrier. NODEPO patients received 1 ml saline on the same Gelfoam carrier. Perioperative outcomes including acute postoperative pain and narcotic use were assessed for the duration of inpatient stay. Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) questionnaires including VAS back and leg pain scores, and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) were administered preoperatively and at 6-week, 12-week, and 6-month follow-up. Outcomes for DEPO and NODEPO cohorts were compared using linear regression controlled for sex.

RESULTS

Of the 93 patients, 45 (48.4%) were randomized to DEPO and 48 (51.6%) to NODEPO. A greater percentage of DEPO patients were female (53.3% vs 27.1%, p = 0.010). There were no other significant differences in patient baseline characteristics. Similarly, operating time, estimated blood loss, and length of inpatient stay did not differ between cohorts. Patients in the DEPO cohort consumed fewer hourly narcotics on postoperative day 0 (5.3 vs 6.3 oral morphine equivalents/hour, p = 0.034). However, no differences in acute postoperative pain or total narcotics consumption were observed between groups. Preoperative VAS leg scores were statistically different between cohorts (p = 0.027). However, preoperative ODI and VAS back scores did not differ between groups. Additionally, DEPO and NODEPO groups experienced similar improvements in PROs at all postoperative time points.

CONCLUSIONS

Local depomedrol use did not lead to decreases in acute postoperative pain or narcotics consumption after MIS TLIF. Additionally, local depomedrol was not associated with postoperative improvements in PROs. The findings of this randomized trial suggest that surgical and clinical outcomes following MIS TLIF may not be impacted by intraoperative application of depomedrol.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT03308084 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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James M. Parrish, Nathaniel W. Jenkins, Michael T. Nolte, Dustin H. Massel, Nadia M. Hrynewycz, Thomas S. Brundage, Jonathan A. Myers, Kern Singh and the Minimally Invasive Spine Study Group (MISSG)

OBJECTIVE

While the anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) procedure may be amenable to ambulatory surgery, it has been hypothesized that limitations such as the risk of postoperative ileus and vascular complications have hindered transition of this procedure to the outpatient setting. Identification of independent risk factors predisposing patients to inpatient stays of ≥ 24 hours after ALIF may facilitate better postsurgical outcomes, target modifiable risk factors, and assist in the development of screening tools to transition appropriate patients to the ambulatory surgery center (ASC) setting for this procedure. The purpose of this study was to identify the most relevant risk factors that predispose patients to ≥ 24-hour admission following ALIF.

METHODS

A prospectively maintained surgical registry was reviewed for patients undergoing single ALIF between May 2006 and December 2019. Demographics, preoperative diagnosis, perioperative variables, and postoperative complications were evaluated according to their relative risk (RR) elevation for an inpatient stay of ≥ 24 hours. A Poisson regression model was used to evaluate predictors of inpatient stays of ≥ 24 hours. Risk factors for inpatient admission of ≥ 24 hours were identified with a stepwise backward regression model.

RESULTS

A total of 111 patients underwent single-level ALIF (50.9% female and 52.6% male, ≤ 50 years old). Eleven (9.5%) patients were discharged in < 24 hours and 116 remained admitted for ≥ 24 hours. The average inpatient stay was > 2 days (53.7 hours). The most common postoperative complications were fever (body temperature ≥ 100.4°F; n = 4, 3.5%) and blood transfusions (n = 4, 3.5%). Bivariate analysis revealed a preoperative diagnosis of retrolisthesis or lateral listhesis to elevate the RR for an inpatient stay of ≥ 24 hours (RR 1.11, p = 0.001, both diagnoses). Stepwise multivariate analysis demonstrated significant predictors for inpatient stays of ≥ 24 hours to be an operation on L4–5, coexisting degenerative disc disease (DDD) with foraminal stenosis, and herniated nucleus pulposus (RR 1.11, 95% CI 1.03–1.20, p = 0.009, all covariates).

CONCLUSIONS

This study provides data regarding the incidence of demographic and perioperative characteristics and postoperative complications as they pertain to patients undergoing single-level ALIF. This preliminary investigation identified the most relevant risk factors to be considered before appropriately transitioning ALIF procedures to the ASC. Further studies of preoperative characteristics are needed to elucidate ideal ASC ALIF patients.