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Joseph Laratta, Leah Y. Carreon, Avery L. Buchholz, Andrew Y. Yew, Erica F. Bisson, Praveen V. Mummaneni and Steven D. Glassman

OBJECTIVE

Medical comorbidities, particularly preoperatively diagnosed anxiety, depression, and obesity, may influence how patients perceive and measure clinical benefit after a surgical intervention. The current study was performed to define and compare the minimum clinically important difference (MCID) thresholds in patients with and without preoperative diagnoses of anxiety or depression and obesity who underwent spinal fusion for grade 1 degenerative spondylolisthesis.

METHODS

The Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) was queried for patients who underwent lumbar fusion for grade 1 degenerative spondylolisthesis during the period from January 2014 to August 2017. Collected patient-reported outcomes (PROs) included the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), health status (EQ-5D), and numeric rating scale (NRS) scores for back pain (NRS-BP) and leg pain (NRS-LP). Both anchor-based and distribution-based methods for MCID calculation were employed.

RESULTS

Of 462 patients included in the prospective registry who underwent a decompression and fusion procedure, 356 patients (77.1%) had complete baseline and 12-month PRO data and were included in the study. The MCID values for ODI scores did not significantly differ in patients with and those without a preoperative diagnosis of obesity (20.58 and 20.69, respectively). In addition, the MCID values for ODI scores did not differ in patients with and without a preoperative diagnosis of anxiety or depression (24.72 and 22.56, respectively). Similarly, the threshold MCID values for NRS-BP, NRS-LP, and EQ-5D scores were not statistically different between all groups. Based on both anchor-based and distribution-based methods for determination of MCID thresholds, there were no statistically significant differences between all cohorts.

CONCLUSIONS

MCID thresholds were similar for ODI, EQ-5D, NRS-BP, and NRS-LP in patients with and without preoperative diagnoses of anxiety or depression and obesity undergoing spinal fusion for grade 1 degenerative spondylolisthesis. Preoperative clinical and shared decision-making may be improved by understanding that preoperative medical comorbidities may not affect the way patients experience and assess important clinical changes postoperatively.

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James D. Lin, Lee A. Tan, Chao Wei, Jamal N. Shillingford, Joseph L. Laratta, Joseph M. Lombardi, Yongjung J. Kim, Ronald A. Lehman Jr. and Lawrence G. Lenke

OBJECTIVE

The S2-alar-iliac (S2AI) screw is an increasingly popular method for spinopelvic fixation. The technique of freehand S2AI screw placement has been recently described. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate, through a CT imaging study of patients with spinal deformity, that screw trajectories based on the posterior superior iliac spine (PSIS) and sacral laminar slope result in reliable freehand S2AI trajectories that traverse safely above the sciatic notch.

METHODS

Fifty consecutive patients (age ≥ 18 years) who underwent primary spinal deformity surgery were included in the study. Simulated S2AI screw trajectories were analyzed with 3D visualization software. The cephalocaudal coordinate for the starting point was 15 mm cephalad to the PSIS. The mediolateral coordinate for the starting point was in line with the lateral border of the dorsal foramina. The cephalocaudal screw trajectory was perpendicular to the sacral laminar slope. Screw trajectories, lengths, and distance above the sciatic notch were measured.

RESULTS

The mean sagittal screw angle (cephalocaudal angulation) was 44.0° ± 8.4° and the mean transverse angle (mediolateral angulation) was 37.3° ± 4.3°. The mean starting point was 5.9 ± 5.8 mm distal to the caudal border of the S1 foramen. The mean screw length was 99.9 ± 18.6 mm. Screw trajectories were on average 8.5 ± 4.3 mm above the sciatic notch. A total of 97 of 100 screws were placed above the sciatic notch. In patients with transitional lumbosacral anatomy, the starting point on the lumbarized/sacralized side was 3.4 mm higher than on the contralateral unaffected side.

CONCLUSIONS

The PSIS and sacral laminar slope are two important anatomical landmarks for freehand S2AI screw placement.

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Yoji Ogura, Jeffrey L. Gum, Portia Steele, Charles H. Crawford III, Mladen Djurasovic, R. Kirk Owens II, Joseph L. Laratta, Morgan Brown, Christy Daniels, John R. Dimar II, Steven D. Glassman and Leah Y. Carreon

OBJECTIVE

Unexpected nonhome discharge causes additional costs in the current reimbursement models, especially to the payor. Nonhome discharge is also related to longer length of hospital stay and therefore higher healthcare costs to society. With increasing demand for spine surgery, it is important to minimize costs by streamlining discharges and reducing length of hospital stay. Identifying factors associated with nonhome discharge can be useful for early intervention for discharge planning. The authors aimed to identify the drivers of nonhome discharge in patients undergoing 1- or 2-level instrumented lumbar fusion.

METHODS

The electronic medical records from a single-center hospital administrative database were analyzed for consecutive patients who underwent 1- to 2-level instrumented lumbar fusion for degenerative lumbar conditions during the period from 2016 to 2018. Discharge disposition was determined as home or nonhome. A logistic regression analysis was used to determine associations between nonhome discharge and age, sex, body mass index (BMI), race, American Society of Anesthesiologists grade, smoking status, marital status, insurance type, residence in an underserved zip code, and operative factors.

RESULTS

A total of 1502 patients were included. The majority (81%) were discharged home. Factors associated with a nonhome discharge were older age, higher BMI, living in an underserved zip code, not being married, being on government insurance, and having more levels fused. Patients discharged to a nonhome facility had longer lengths of hospital stay (5.6 vs 3.0 days, p < 0.001) and significantly increased hospital costs ($21,204 vs $17,518, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Increased age, greater BMI, residence in an underserved zip code, not being married, and government insurance are drivers for discharge to a nonhome facility after a 1- to 2-level instrumented lumbar fusion. Early identification and intervention for these patients, even before admission, may decrease the length of hospital stay and medical costs.