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W. Jeffrey Elias, Mark E. Shaffrey and Richard Whitehill

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Rod J. Oskouian, Richard Whitehill, Amir Samii, Mark E. Shaffrey, J. Patrick Johnson and Christopher I. Shaffrey

Both total hip and knee arthroplasty have demonstrated outstanding clinical results. The functional spinal unit composed of the intervertebral disc and facet joints is at least as complex. The intricacies of the coupled motions of the functional spinal unit have made development of an artificial disc a challenge. There have been several failed attempts to create a disc replacement that recapitulates normal motion while providing significant longevity and a low incidence of complications.

Better understanding of the biomechanics of the intervertebral disc complex and improvements in implant material have made successful intervertebral disc replacement a likely reality, now that several artificial discs have completed Food and Drug Administration clinical trials. In this manuscript the authors detail the biomaterials used in disc arthroplasty and discuss joint wear and the host response to wear debris.

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Dilantha B. Ellegala, Christopher Kligora, Scott Vandenberg, Aaron Dumont and Mark E. Shaffrey

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Edward C. Nemergut and Mark E. Shaffrey

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Mark E. Shaffrey, Elana Farace, David Schiff, James M. Larner, Melike Mut and M. Beatriz S. Lopes

Object. This study was conducted to determine whether proliferative tumor activity, as assessed using the Ki-67 immunohistochemical labeling index (LI), has prognostic utility for patients with Grade II oligoastrocytomas.

Methods. The study period spans the years 1988 to 2000. In a retrospective analysis, the authors selected cases with biopsy-proven diagnoses of Grade II oligoastrocytomas on initial presentation. The authors added new patients to this group and followed all patients prospectively at the University of Virginia Neuro-Oncology Center.

Twenty-three adult patients were followed for at least 1 year (median 40.3 months). Eleven patients with Grade II tumors and initial Ki-67 LIs less than 10% had a significantly longer median time to tumor progression (TTP, 51.8 months compared with 9.9 months) and a longer median survival (93.1 months compared with 16.1 months) than 12 patients with initial Ki-67 LIs of 10% or greater. Twelve patients with Grade III oligoastrocytomas had a mean TTP that was similar to the TTP of patients with Grade II tumors and high Ki-67 LIs (mean 4 months compared with 9.9 months) and duration of survival (13.3 months compared with 16.1 months).

Conclusions. Patients with a Grade II oligoastrocytoma and a Ki-67 LI of 10% or greater have a much shorter TTP and potentially a poorer disease prognosis than expected—more similar to patients with a Grade III oligoastrocytoma. These results indicate that in the future a measure of proliferative activity should be taken into consideration along with the World Health Organization grading criteria for oligoastrocytomas.

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Matthew F. Gornet, J. Kenneth Burkus, Mark E. Shaffrey, Perry J. Argires, Hui Nian and Frank E. Harrell Jr.

OBJECT

This study compared the safety and efficacy of treatment with the PRESTIGE LP cervical disc versus a historical control anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF).

METHODS

Prospectively collected PRESTIGE LP data from 20 investigational sites were compared with data from 265 historical control ACDF patients in the initial PRESTIGE Cervical Disc IDE study. The 280 investigational patients with single-level cervical disc disease with radiculopathy and/or myelopathy underwent arthroplasty with a low-profile artificial disc. Key safety/efficacy outcomes included Neck Disability Index (NDI), Neck and Arm Pain Numerical Rating Scale scores, 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) score, work status, disc height, range of motion, adverse events (AEs), additional surgeries, and neurological status. Clinical and radiographic evaluations were completed preoperatively, intraoperatively, and at 1.5, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months postoperatively. Predefined Bayesian statistical methods with noninformative priors were used, along with the propensity score technique for controlling confounding factors. Analysis by independent statisticians confirmed initial statistical findings.

RESULTS

The investigational and control groups were mostly similar demographically. There was no significant difference in blood loss (51.0 ml [investigational] vs 57.1 ml [control]) or hospital stay (0.98 days [investigational] vs 0.95 days [control]). The investigational group had a significantly longer operative time (1.49 hours vs 1.38 hours); 95% Bayesian credible interval of the difference was 0.01–0.21 hours. Significant improvements versus preoperative in NDI, neck/arm pain, SF-36, and neurological status were achieved by 1.5 months in both groups and were sustained at 24 months. Patient follow-up at 24 months was 97.1% for the investigational group and 84.0% for the control group. The mean NDI score improvements versus preoperative exceeded 30 points in both groups at 12 and 24 months. SF-36 Mental Component Summary superiority was established (Bayesian probability 0.993). The mean SF-36 PCS scores improved by 14.3 points in the investigational group and by 11.9 points in the control group from baseline to 24 months postoperatively. Neurological success at 24 months was 93.5% in the investigational group and 83.5% in the control group (probability of superiority ~ 1.00). At 24 months, 12.1% of investigational and 15.5% of control patients had an AE classified as device or device/surgical procedure related; 14 (5.0%) investigational and 21 (7.9%) control patients had a second surgery at the index level. The median return-to-work time for the investigational group was 40 days compared with 60 days for the control group (p = 0.020 after adjusting for preoperative work status and propensity score). Following implantation of the PRESTIGE LP device, the mean angular motion was maintained at 12 months (7.9°) and 24 months (7.5°). At 24 months, 90.0% of investigational and 87.7% of control patients were satisfied with the results of surgery. PRESTIGE LP superiority on overall success (without disc height success), a composite safety/efficacy end point, was strongly supported with 0.994 Bayesian probability.

CONCLUSIONS

This device maintains mean postoperative segmental motion while providing the potential for biomechanical stability. Investigational patients reported significantly improved clinical outcomes compared with baseline, at least noninferior to ACDF, up to 24 months after surgery.

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E. Sander Connolly Jr.

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Olumide A. Danisa, Christopher I. Shaffrey, John A. Jane, Richard Whitehill, Gwo-Jaw Wang, Thomas A. Szabo, Carolyn A. Hansen, Mark E. Shaffrey and Donald P. K. Chan

✓ The authors retrospectively studied 49 nonparaplegic patients who sustained acute unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures. All patients underwent surgical treatment and were followed for an average of 27 months. All but one patient achieved solid radiographic fusion. Three treatment groups were studied: the first group of 16 patients underwent anterior decompression and fusion with instrumentation; the second group of 27 patients underwent posterior decompression and fusion; and the third group of six patients had combined anterior—posterior surgery. Prior to surgical intervention, these groups were compared and found to be similar in age, gender, level of injury, percentage of canal compromise, neurological function, and kyphosis. Patients treated with posterior surgery had a statistically significant diminution in operative time and blood loss and number of units transfused. There were no significant intergroup differences when considering postoperative kyphotic correction, neurological function, pain assessment, or the ability to return to work. Posterior surgery was found to be as effective as anterior or anterior—posterior surgery when treating unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures. Posterior surgery, however, takes the least time, causes the least blood loss, and is the least expensive of the three procedures.

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Gregory C. Wiggins, Michael J. Rauzzino, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Russ P. Nockels, Richard Whitehill, Mark E. Shaffrey, James Wagner and Tord D. Alden

This study was conducted to determine the safety, efficacy, and complication rate associated with the anterior approach in the use of a new titanium mesh interbody fusion cage for the treatment of unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures. The experience with this technique is compared with the senior authors' (C.S., R.W., and M.S.) previously published results in the management of patients with unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures.

Between 1996 and 1999, 21 patients with unstable thoracolumbar (T12-L3) burst fractures underwent an anterolateral decompressive procedure in which a titanium cage and Kaneda device were used. Eleven of the 21 patients had sustained a neurological deficit, and all patients improved at least one Frankel grade (average 1.2 grades). There was improvement in outcome in terms of blood loss, correction of kyphosis, and pain, as measured on the Denis Pain and Work Scale, in our current group of patients treated via an anterior approach when compared with the results in those who underwent a posterior approach.

In our current study the anterior approach was demonstrated to be a safe and effective technique for the management of unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures. It offers superior results compared with the posterior approach. The addition of the new titanium mesh interbody cage to our previous anterior technique allows the patient's own bone to be harvested from the corpectomy site and used as a substrate for fusion, thereby obviating the need for iliac crest harvest. The use of the cage in association with the Kaneda device allows for improved correction of kyphosis and restoration of normal sagittal alignment in addition to improved functional outcomes.