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Anton V. Zaryanov, Daniel K. Park, Jad G. Khalil, Kevin C. Baker, and Jeffrey S. Fischgrund

As a result of axial compression, traumatic vertebral burst fractures disrupt the anterior column, leading to segmental instability and cord compression. In situations with diminished anterior column support, pedicle screw fixation alone may lead to delayed kyphosis, nonunion, and hardware failure. Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty (balloon-assisted vertebroplasty) have been used in an effort to provide anterior column support in traumatic burst fractures. Cited advantages are providing immediate stability, improving pain, and reducing hardware malfunction. When used in isolation or in combination with posterior instrumentation, these techniques theoretically allow for improved fracture reduction and maintenance of spinal alignment while avoiding the complications and morbidity of anterior approaches. Complications associated with cement use (leakage, systemic effects) are similar to those seen in the treatment of osteoporotic compression fractures; however, extreme caution must be used in fractures with a disrupted posterior wall.

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Mohamed Macki, Travis Hamilton, Seokchun Lim, Edvin Telemi, Michael Bazydlo, David R. Nerenz, Hesham Mostafa Zakaria, Lonni Schultz, Jad G. Khalil, Miguelangelo J. Perez-Cruet, Ilyas S. Aleem, Paul Park, Jason M. Schwalb, Muwaffak M. Abdulhak, and Victor Chang


Most studies on racial disparities in spine surgery lack data granularity to control for both comorbidities and self-assessment metrics. Analyses from large, multicenter surgical registries can provide an enhanced platform for understanding different factors that influence outcome. In this study, the authors aimed to determine the effects of race on outcomes after lumbar surgery, using patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in 3 areas: the North American Spine Society patient satisfaction index, the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) on the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) for low-back pain, and return to work.


The Michigan Spine Surgery Improvement Collaborative was queried for all elective lumbar operations. Patient race/ethnicity was categorized as Caucasian, African American, and “other.” Measures of association between race and PROs were calculated with generalized estimating equations (GEEs) to report adjusted risk ratios.


The African American cohort consisted of a greater proportion of women with the highest comorbidity burden. Among the 7980 and 4222 patients followed up at 1 and 2 years postoperatively, respectively, African American patients experienced the lowest rates of satisfaction, MCID on ODI, and return to work. Following a GEE, African American race decreased the probability of satisfaction at both 1 and 2 years postoperatively. Race did not affect return to work or achieving MCID on the ODI. The variable of greatest association with all 3 PROs at both follow-up times was postoperative depression.


While a complex myriad of socioeconomic factors interplay between race and surgical success, the authors identified modifiable risk factors, specifically depression, that may improve PROs among African American patients after elective lumbar spine surgery.