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Lucas Bernardes Miranda, Ernest Braxton, Joseph Hobbs, and Matthew R. Quigley


Chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) is perceived to be a “benign,” easily treated condition in the elderly, but reported follow-up periods are brief, usually limited to acute hospitalization.


The authors conducted a retrospective review of data obtained in a prospectively identified consecutive series of adult patients admitted to their institution between September 2000 and February 2008 and in whom there was a CT diagnosis of CSDH. Survival data were compared to life-table data.


Of the 209 cases analyzed, 63% were men and the mean age was 80.6 years (range 65–96 years). Primary surgical interventions performed were bur holes in 21 patients, twist-drill closed-system drainage in 44, and craniotomies in 72. An additional 72 patients were simply observed. Reoperations were recorded in 5 patients—4 who had previously undergone twist-drill drainage and 1 who had previously undergone a bur hole procedure (p = 0.41, chi-square analysis). Thirty-five patients (16.7%) died in hospital, 130 were discharged to rehabilitation or a skilled care facility, and 44 returned home. The follow-up period extended to a maximum of 8.3 years (median 1.45 years). Six-month and 1-year mortality rates were 26.3% and 32%, respectively.

In the multivariate analysis (step-wise logistic regression), the sole factor that predicted in-hospital death was neurological status on admission (OR 2.1, p = 0.02, for each step). Following discharge, the median survival in the remaining cohort was 4.4 years. In the Cox proportional hazards model, only age (hazard ratio [HR] 1.06/year, p = 0.02) and discharge to home (HR 0.24, p = 0.01) were related to survival, whereas the type of intervention, whether surgery was performed, size of subdural hematoma, amount of shift, bilateral subdural hematomas, and anticoagulant agent use did not affect the long- or short-term mortality rate.

Comparison of postdischarge survival and anticipated actuarial survival demonstrated a markedly increased mortality rate in the CSDH group (median survival 4.4 vs 6 years, respectively; HR 1.94, p = 0.0002, log-rank test). This excess mortality rate was also observed at 6 months postdischarge with evidence of normalization only at 1 year.


In this first report of the long-term outcome of elderly patients with CSDH the authors observed persistent excess mortality up to 1 year beyond diagnosis. This belies the notion that CSDH is a benign disease and indicates it is a marker of other underlying chronic diseases similar to hip fracture.

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Domagoj Coric, Jack Zigler, Peter Derman, Ernest Braxton, Aaron Situ, and Leena Patel


Long-term outcomes of single-level lumbar arthroplasty are understood to be very good, with the most recent Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) trial showing a < 5% reoperation rate at the close of the 7-year study. This post hoc analysis was conducted to determine whether specific patients from the activL IDE data set had better outcomes than the mean good outcome of the IDE trial, as well as to identify contributing factors that could be optimized in real-world use.


Univariable and multivariable logistic regression models were developed using the randomized patient set (n = 283) from the activL trial and used to identify predictive factors and to derive risk equations. The models were internally validated using the randomized patient set and externally validated using the nonrandomized patient set (n = 52) from the activL trial. Predictive power was assessed using area under the receiver operating characteristic curve analysis.


Two factors were significantly associated with achievement of better than the mean outcomes at 7 years. Randomization to receive the activL device was positively associated with better than the mean visual analog scale (VAS)–back pain and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores, whereas preoperative narcotics use was negatively associated with better than the mean ODI score. Preoperative narcotics use was also negatively associated with return to unrestricted full-time work. Other preoperative factors associated with positive outcomes included unrestricted full-time work, working manual labor after index back injury, and decreasing disc height. Older age, greater VAS–leg pain score, greater ODI score, female sex, and working manual labor before back injury were identified as preoperative factors associated with negative outcomes. Preoperative BMI, VAS–back pain score, back pain duration ≥ 1 year, SF-36 physical component summary score, and recreational activity had no effect on outcomes.


Lumbar total disc replacement for symptomatic single-level lumbar degenerative disc disease is a well-established option for improving long-term patient outcomes. Discontinuing narcotics use may further improve patient outcomes, as this analysis identified associations between no preoperative narcotics use and better ODI score relative to the mean score of the activL trial at 7 years and increased likelihood of return to work within 7 years. Other preoperative factors that may further improve outcomes included unrestricted full-time work, working manual labor despite back injury, sedentary work status before back injury, and randomization to receive the activL device. Tailoring patient care before total disc replacement may further improve patient outcomes.