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Jason W. Savage, Mick P. Kelly, Scott A. Ellison, and Paul A. Anderson

OBJECT

The authors compared the rates of postoperative adverse events and reoperation of patients who underwent lumbar spinal fusion with bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) to those of patients who underwent lumbar spinal fusion without BMP.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed the PearlDiver Technologies, Inc., database, which contains the Medicare Standard Analytical Files, the Medicare Carrier Files, the PearlDiver Private Payer Database (UnitedHealthcare), and select state all-payer data sets, from 2005 to 2010. They identified patients who underwent lumbar spinal fusion with and without BMP. The ICD-9-CM code 84.52 was used to identify patients who underwent spinal fusion with BMP. ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes identified complications that occurred during the initial hospital stay. ICD-9-CM procedural codes were used to identify reoperations within 90 days of the index procedure. The relative risks (and 95% CIs) of BMP use compared with no BMP use (control) were calculated for the association of any complication with BMP use compared with the control.

RESULTS

Between 2005 and 2010, 460,773 patients who underwent lumbar spinal fusion were identified. BMP was used in 30.7% of these patients. The overall complication rate in the BMP group was 18.2% compared with 18.7% in the control group. The relative risk of BMP use compared with no BMP use was 0.976 (95% CI 0.963–0.989), which indicates a significantly lower overall complication rate in the BMP group (p < 0.001). In both treatment groups, patients older than 65 years had a statistically significant higher rate of postoperative complications than younger patients (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

In this large-scale institutionalized database study, BMP use did not seem to increase the overall risk of developing a postoperative complication after lumbar spinal fusion surgery.

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The efficacy of intraoperative multimodal monitoring in pedicle subtraction osteotomies of the lumbar spine

Presented at the 2019 AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves

Jianning Shao, Maxwell Y. Lee, Shreya Louis, Konrad Knusel, Bryan S. Lee, Dominic W. Pelle, Jason Savage, Joseph E. Tanenbaum, Thomas E. Mroz, and Michael P. Steinmetz

OBJECTIVE

Iatrogenic spine injury remains one of the most dreaded complications of pedicle subtraction osteotomies (PSOs) and spine deformity surgeries. Thus, intraoperative multimodal monitoring (IOM), which has the potential to provide real-time feedback on spinal cord signal transmission, has become the gold standard in such operations. However, while the benefits of IOM are well established in PSOs of the thoracic spine and scoliosis surgery, its utility in PSOs of the lumbar spine has not been robustly documented. The authors’ aim was to determine the impact of IOM on outcomes in patients undergoing PSO of the lumbar spine.

METHODS

All patients older than 18 years who underwent lumbar PSOs at the authors’ institution from 2007 to 2017 were analyzed via retrospective chart review and categorized into one of two groups: those who had IOM guidance and those who did not. Perioperative complications were designated as the primary outcome measure and postoperative quality of life (QOL) scores, specifically the Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire–39 (PDQ-39) and Patient Health Questionnaire–9 (PHQ-9), were designated as secondary outcome measures. Data on patient demographics, surgical and monitoring parameters, and outcomes were gathered, and statistical analysis was performed to compare the development of perioperative complications and QOL scores between the two cohorts. In addition, the proportion of patients who reached minimal clinically important difference (MCID), defined as an increase of 4.72 points in the PDQ-39 score or a decrease of 5 points in the PHQ-9 score, in the two cohorts was also determined.

RESULTS

A total of 95 patients were included in the final analysis. IOM was not found to significantly impact the development of new postoperative deficits (p = 0.107). However, the presence of preoperative neurological comorbidities was found to significantly correlate with postoperative neurological complications (p = 0.009). Univariate analysis showed that age was positively correlated with MCID achievement 3 months after surgery (p = 0.018), but this significance disappeared at the 12-month postoperative time point (p = 0.858). IOM was not found to significantly impact MCID achievement at either the 3- or 12-month postoperative period as measured by PDQ-39 (p = 0.398 and p = 0.156, respectively). Similarly, IOM was not found to significantly impact MCID achievement at either the 3- or 12-month postoperative period, as measured by PHQ-9 (p = 0.230 and p = 0.542, respectively). Multivariate analysis showed that female sex was significantly correlated with MCID achievement (p = 0.024), but this significance disappeared at the 12-month postoperative time point (p = 0.064). IOM was not found to independently correlate with MCID achievement in PDQ-39 scores at either the 3- or 12-month postoperative time points (p = 0.220 and p = 0.097, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

In this particular cohort, IOM did not lead to statistically significant improvement in outcomes in patients undergoing PSOs of the lumbar spine (p = 0.220). The existing clinical equipoise, however, indicates that future studies in this arena are necessary to achieve systematic guidelines on IOM usage in PSOs of the lumbar spine.

Free access

Sebastian Salas-Vega, Vikram B. Chakravarthy, Robert D. Winkelman, Matthew M. Grabowski, Ghaith Habboub, Jason W. Savage, Michael P. Steinmetz, and Thomas E. Mroz

OBJECTIVE

In a healthcare landscape in which costs increasingly matter, the authors sought to distinguish among the clinical and nonclinical drivers of patient length of stay (LOS) in the hospital following elective lumbar laminectomy—a common spinal surgery that may be reimbursed using bundled payments—and to understand their relationships with patient outcomes and costs.

METHODS

Patients ≥ 18 years of age undergoing laminectomy surgery for degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis within the Cleveland Clinic health system between March 1, 2016, and February 1, 2019, were included in this analysis. Generalized linear modeling was used to assess the relationships between the day of surgery, patient discharge disposition, and hospital LOS, while adjusting for underlying patient health risks and other nonclinical factors, including the hospital surgery site and health insurance.

RESULTS

A total of 1359 eligible patients were included in the authors’ analysis. The mean LOS ranged between 2.01 and 2.47 days for Monday and Friday cases, respectively. The LOS was also notably longer for patients who were ultimately discharged to a skilled nursing facility (SNF) or rehabilitation center. A prolonged LOS occurring later in the week was not associated with greater underlying health risks, yet it nevertheless resulted in greater costs of care: the average total surgical costs for lumbar laminectomy were 20% greater for Friday cases than for Monday cases, and 24% greater for late-week cases than for early-week cases ultimately transferred to SNFs or rehabilitation centers. A Poisson generalized linear model fit the data best and showed that the comorbidity burden, surgery at a tertiary care center versus a community hospital, and the incidence of any postoperative complication were associated with significantly longer hospital stays. Discharge to home healthcare, SNFs, or rehabilitation centers, and late-week surgery were significant nonclinical predictors of LOS prolongation, even after adjusting for underlying patient health risks and insurance, with LOSs that were, for instance, 1.55 and 1.61 times longer for patients undergoing their procedure on Thursday and Friday compared to Monday, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Late-week surgeries are associated with a prolonged LOS, particularly when discharge is to an SNF or rehabilitation center. These findings point to opportunities to lower costs and improve outcomes associated with elective surgical care. Interventions to optimize surgical scheduling and perioperative care coordination could help reduce prolonged LOSs, lower costs, and, ultimately, give service line management personnel greater flexibility over how to use existing resources as they remain ahead of healthcare reforms.