Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 8 of 8 items for

  • Author or Editor: Julio C. Furlan x
  • Refine by Access: all x
Clear All Modify Search
Free access

Brian C. F. Chan, B. Catharine Craven, and Julio C. Furlan

OBJECTIVE

Acute spine trauma (AST) has a relatively low incidence, but it often results in substantial individual impairments and societal economic burden resulting from the associated disability. Given the key role of neurosurgeons in the decision-making regarding operative management of individuals with AST, the authors performed a systematic search with scoping synthesis of relevant literature to review current knowledge regarding the economic burden of AST.

METHODS

This systematic review with scoping synthesis included original articles reporting cost-effectiveness, cost-utility, cost-benefit, cost-minimization, cost-comparison, and economic analyses related to surgical management of AST, whereby AST is defined as trauma to the spine that may result in spinal cord injury with motor, sensory, and/or autonomic impairment. The initial literature search was carried out using MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, CCTR, and PubMed. All original articles captured in the literature search and published from 1946 to September 27, 2017, were included. Search terms used were the following: (cost analysis, cost effectiveness, cost benefit, economic evaluation or economic impact) AND (spine or spinal cord) AND (surgery or surgical).

RESULTS

The literature search captured 5770 titles, of which 11 original studies met the inclusion/exclusion criteria. These 11 studies included 4 cost-utility analyses, 5 cost analyses that compared the cost of intervention with a comparator, and 2 studies examining direct costs without a comparator. There are a few potentially cost-saving strategies in the neurosurgical management of individuals with AST, including 1) early surgical spinal cord decompression for acute traumatic cervical spinal cord injury (or traumatic thoracolumbar fractures, traumatic cervical fractures); 2) surgical treatment of the elderly with type-II odontoid fractures, which is more costly but more effective than the nonoperative approach among individuals with age at AST between 65 and 84 years; 3) surgical treatment of traumatic thoracolumbar spine fractures, which is implicated in greater direct costs but lower general-practitioner visit costs, private expenditures, and absenteeism costs than nonsurgical management; and 4) removal of pedicle screws 1–2 years after posterior instrumented fusion for individuals with thoracolumbar burst fractures, which is more cost-effective than retaining the pedicle screws.

CONCLUSIONS

This scoping synthesis underscores a number of potentially cost-saving opportunities for neurosurgeons when managing patients with AST. There are significant knowledge gaps regarding the potential economic impact of therapeutic choices for AST that are commonly used by neurosurgeons.

Free access

Julio C. Furlan and B. Catharine Craven

OBJECTIVE

Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is the most common cause of nontraumatic spinal cord impairment and disability in the world. Given that the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score is the most frequently used outcome measure in clinical research and practice for treating patients with CSM, this review was undertaken to comprehensively and critically evaluate the psychometric properties of the JOA score.

METHODS

The authors identified studies (published in the period of January 1975 to November 2015) on the psychometric properties of the original, revised, and modified versions of the JOA score in Medline, PsycINFO, Excerpta Medica dataBASE (EMBASE), American College of Physicians Journal Club, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Additional publications were captured in a secondary search of the bibliographies in both original research articles and literature reviews identified in the original search. The JOA scores were evaluated for item generation and reduction, internal consistency, reliability, validity, and responsiveness. This review included all those versions of the JOA score whose psychometric properties had been reported in at least 2 published studies.

RESULTS

The primary search strategy identified 59 studies, of which 9 fulfilled the inclusion and exclusion criteria. An additional 18 publications were captured in the secondary search and included in the analysis. The key findings from the 27 studies analyzed indicated the following: 1) the original JOA score (1975) was the source for the revised JOA score (1994) and 3 modified versions (1991, 1993, and 1999 JOA scores) reported or used in at least 2 published studies; 2) the revised and modified versions of the JOA score are markedly different from each other; 3) only the revised JOA score (1994) was validated with the original JOA score; and 4) the 1975 JOA score is the most appropriate instrument for assessing patients in Asian populations (especially from Japan) because of its psychometric attributes, and the 1991 JOA score is the most appropriate version for use in Western populations.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors' results indicate that the original (1975), revised (1994), and modified (1991, 1993, and 1999) versions of the JOA score are substantially different from each other in terms of their content and have been incompletely examined for their psychometric properties and cultural sensitivity. Whereas the 1975 JOA score is the most appropriate version for assessing individuals from Asian populations (particularly those eating with chopsticks), the 1991 JOA score is most suitable for evaluating patients in Western populations. Nonetheless, further investigation of the psychometric properties of the 1975 and 1991 JOA scores is recommended because of a paucity of studies reporting on the responsiveness of these 2 scoring instruments.

Full access

Julio C. Furlan and Michael G. Fehlings

Cardiovascular complications in the acute stage following traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) require prompt medical attention to avoid neurological compromise, morbidity, and death. In this review, the authors summarize the neural regulation of the cardiovascular system as well as the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management of major cardiovascular complications that can occur following acute (up to 30 days) traumatic SCI. Hypotension (both supine and orthostatic), autonomic dysreflexia, and cardiac arrhythmias (including persistent bradycardia) are attributed to the loss of supraspinal control of the sympathetic nervous system that commonly occurs in patients with severe spinal cord lesions at T-6 or higher. Current evidence-based guidelines recommend: 1) monitoring of cardiac and hemodynamic parameters in the acute phase of SCI; 2) maintenance of a minimum mean arterial blood pressure of 85 mm Hg during the hyperacute phase (1 week after SCI); 3) timely detection and appropriate treatment of neurogenic shock and cardiac arrhythmias; and 4) immediate and adequate treatment of episodes of acute autonomic dysreflexia. In addition to these forms of cardiovascular dysfunction, individuals with acute SCIs are at high risk for deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism due to loss of mobility and, potentially, altered fibrinolytic activity, abnormal platelet function, and impaired circadian variations of hemostatic and fibrinolytic parameters. Current evidence supports a recommendation for thromboprophylaxis using mechanical methods and anticoagulants during the acute stage up to 3 months following SCI, depending on the severity and level of injury. Low-molecular-weight heparin is the first choice for anticoagulant prophylaxis in patients with acute SCI. Although there is insufficient evidence to recommend (or refute) the use of screening tests for DVT in asymptomatic adults with acute SCI, this strategy may detect asymptomatic DVT in at least 9.4% of individuals who undergo thromboprophylaxis using lowmolecular- weight heparin. Indications and treatment of DVT and acute pulmonary embolism are well established and are summarized in this review. Recognition of cardiovascular complications after acute SCI is essential to minimize adverse outcomes and to optimize recovery.

Restricted access

Michael G. Fehlings and Julio C. Furlan

Restricted access

Julio C. Furlan, Richard G. Perrin, Preneshlin V. Govender, Yuriy Petrenko, Eric M. Massicotte, Yoga R. Rampersaud, Stephen Lewis, and Michael G. Fehlings

Object

The capability of osteogenic protein (OP)–1 to induce bone formation has led to an increasing interest in its use in fusion surgery. This prospective study examines the safety and efficacy of OP-1 use in patients considered to be at a high risk for developing pseudarthrosis following reconstructive spinal surgery.

Methods

Outcome measures included documentation of adverse events, radiographic evaluation of fusion by an independent musculoskeletal radiologist blinded to treatment, the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36). The health-related quality of life (HRQOL) assessments (ODI and SF-36) were given at baseline and at 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after the surgical OP-1 implant.

Results

The study consisted of 17 male and 13 female patients, with a mean age of 53 years (range 20–77 years). Fourteen patients underwent operations for cervical disease, and 16 for lumbar disease, with a median postoperative follow-up of 24 months (range 13–46 months). There were significant improvements in the physical health (from 28.7 ± 1.5 to 34.2 ± 3; p = 0.025) and mental health (from 43.7 ± 2 to 47.5 ± 3.1; p = 0.015) summary scores on the SF-36. The mean postoperative ODI score at 6, 9, 12, and 18 months was significantly lower than the baseline ODI score, after taking into consideration a 10-point measurement error (p = 0.0003, p = 0.003, p = 0.004, and p = 0.032, respectively). At 24 months, however, the differences in ODI scores were no longer significant. Of the 30 patients, 24 (80%) were deemed to have a solid fusion. There were no allergic reactions to OP-1 and no symptomatic postoperative hematomas.

Conclusions

Our results suggest that the use of OP-1 is safe and may contribute to high fusion rates, as demonstrated by radiographs, reduced levels of disability, and improved HRQOL in patients considered to be at a high risk for developing a nonunion after spinal reconstructive surgery.

Restricted access

Julio C. Furlan, Sukhvinder Kalsi-Ryan, Ahilan Kailaya-Vasan, Eric M. Massicotte, and Michael G. Fehlings

Object

Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is the most common cause of spinal dysfunction in the elderly. Operative management is beneficial for most patients with moderate/severe myelopathy. This study examines the potential confounding effects of age, sex, duration of symptoms, and comorbidities on the functional outcomes and postoperative complications in patients who underwent cervical decompressive surgery.

Methods

We included consecutive patients who underwent surgery from December 2005 to October 2007. Functional outcomes were assessed using the Nurick grading system and the modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association and Berg Balance scales. Comorbidity indices included the Charlson Comorbidity Index and the number of ICD-9 codes.

Results

There were 57 men and 24 women with a mean age of 57 years (range 32–88 years). The mean duration of symptoms was 25.2 months (range 1–120 months). There was a significant functional recovery from baseline to 6 months after surgery (p < 0.01). Postoperative complications occurred in 18.5% of cases. Although the occurrence of complications was not significantly associated with sex (p = 0.188), number of ICD-9 codes (p = 0.113), duration of symptoms (p = 0.309), surgical approach (p = 0.248), or number of spine levels treated (p = 0.454), logistic regression analysis showed that patients who developed complications were significantly older than patients who had no complications (p = 0.018). Only older age (p < 0.002) and greater number of ICD-9 codes (p < 0.01) were significantly associated with poorer functional recovery after surgical treatment. However, none of the studied factors were significantly associated with clinically relevant functional recovery after surgical treatment for CSM (p > 0.05).

Conclusions

Our results indicate that surgery for CSM is associated with significant functional recovery, which appears to reach a plateau at 6 months after surgery. Age is a potential predictor of complications after decompressive surgery for CSM. Whereas older patients with a greater number of preexisting medical comorbidities had less favorable functional outcomes after surgery for CSM in the multivariate regression analysis, none of the studied factors were associated with clinically relevant functional recovery after surgery in the logistic regression analysis. Therefore, age-matched protocols based on preexisting medical comorbidities may reduce the risk for postoperative complications and improve functional outcomes after surgical treatment for CSM.

Restricted access

Oral Presentations

2010 AANS Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 1–5, 2010