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Michael L. Martini, Dominic A. Nistal, Brian C. Deutsch, and John M. Caridi

OBJECTIVE

The authors set out to conduct the first national-level study assessing the risks and outcomes for different lumbar fusion procedures in patients with opioid use disorders (OUDs) to help guide the future development of targeted enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols for this unique population.

METHODS

Data for patients with or without OUDs who underwent an anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF), posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF), or lateral transverse lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) for lumbar disc degeneration (LDD) were collected from the 2013–2014 National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample database. Multivariable logistic regression was implemented to analyze how OUD status impacted in-hospital complications, length of hospital stay, discharge disposition, and total charges by procedure type.

RESULTS

A total of 139,995 patients with LDD were identified, with 1280 patients (0.91%) also having a concurrent OUD diagnosis. Overall complication rates were higher in OUD patients (48.44% vs 31.01%, p < 0.0001). OUD patients had higher odds of pulmonary (p = 0.0006), infectious (p < 0.0001), and hematological (p = 0.0009) complications. Multivariate regression modeling of outcomes by procedure type showed that after ALIF, OUD patients had higher odds of nonhome discharge (p = 0.0007), extended hospitalization (p = 0.0002), and greater total charges (p = 0.0054). This analysis also revealed that OUD patients faced higher odds of complication (p = 0.0149 and p = 0.0471), extended hospitalization (p = 0.0439 and p = 0.0001), and higher total charges (p < 0.0001 and p < 0.0001) after PLIF and LLIF procedures, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Obtaining a better understanding of the risks and outcomes that OUD patients face perioperatively is a necessary step toward developing more effective ERAS protocols for this vulnerable population. This study, which sought to characterize the outcome profiles for lumbar fusion procedures in OUD patients on a national level, found that this population tended to experience increased odds of complications, extended hospitalization, nonhome discharge, and higher total costs. Results from this study warrant future prospective studies to better the understanding of these associations and to further the development of better ERAS programs that may improve patient care and reduce cost burden.

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Frank J. Yuk, Jonathan J. Rasouli, Marc S. Arginteanu, Alfred A. Steinberger, Frank M. Moore, Kevin C. Yao, John M. Caridi, and Yakov Gologorsky

OBJECTIVE

Rigid cervicothoracic kyphotic deformity (CTKD) remains a difficult pathology to treat, especially in the setting of prior cervical instrumentation and fusion. CTKD may result in chronic neck pain, difficulty maintaining horizontal gaze, and myelopathy. Prior studies have advocated for the use of C7 or T1 pedicle subtraction osteotomies (PSOs). However, these surgeries are fraught with danger and, most significantly, place the C7, C8, and/or T1 nerve roots at risk.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed their experience with performing T2 PSO for the correction of rigid CTKD. Demographics collected included age, sex, details of prior cervical surgery, and coexisting conditions. Perioperative variables included levels decompressed, levels instrumented, estimated blood loss, length of surgery, length of stay, complications from surgery, and length of follow-up. Radiographic measurements included C2–7 sagittal vertical axis (SVA) correction, and changes in the cervicothoracic Cobb angle, lumbar lordosis, and C2–S1 SVA.

RESULTS

Four male patients were identified (age range 55–72 years). Three patients had undergone prior posterior cervical laminectomy and instrumented fusion and developed postsurgical kyphosis. All patients underwent T2 PSO: 2 patients received instrumentation at C2–T4, and 2 patients received instrumentation at C2–T5. The median C2–7 SVA correction was 3.85 cm (range 2.9–5.3 cm). The sagittal Cobb angle correction ranged from 27.8° to 37.6°. Notably, there were no neurological complications.

CONCLUSIONS

T2 PSO is a powerful correction technique for the treatment of rigid CTKD. Compared with C7 or T1 PSO, there is decreased risk of injury to intrinsic hand muscle innervators, and there is virtually no risk of vertebral artery injury. Laminectomy may also be safer, as there is less (or no) scar tissue from prior surgeries. Correction at this distal level may allow for a greater sagittal correction. The authors are optimistic that these findings will be corroborated in larger cohorts examining this challenging clinical entity.

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Sean N. Neifert, Lauren K. Grant, Jonathan J. Rasouli, Ian Thomas McNeill, Samuel K. Cho, and John M. Caridi

This report describes a 42-year-old man who presented with an α-type spinal deformity with a Cobb angle of 224.9° and associated spinal cord rotation greater than 90°. Preoperative imaging revealed extensive spinal deformity, and 3D modeling confirmed the α-type nature of his deformity. Intraoperative photography demonstrated spinal cord rotation greater than 90°, which likely contributed to the patient’s poor neurological status. Reports of patients with Cobb angles ≥ 100° are rare, and to the authors’ knowledge, there have been no published cases of adult α-type spinal deformity. Furthermore, very few cases or case series of spinal cord rotation have been published previously, with no single patient having rotation greater than 90° to the authors’ knowledge. Given these two rarities presenting in the same patient, this report can provide important insights into the operative management of this difficult form of spinal deformity.