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Mohamed Macki, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, Shujie Xiao, Lonni Schultz, Michael Bazydlo, Mohamad Bydon, Paul Park, Victor Chang, and for the MSSIC Investigators

OBJECTIVE

As compensation transitions from a fee-for-service to pay-for-performance healthcare model, providers must prioritize patient-centered experiences. Here, the authors’ primary aim was to identify predictors of patient dissatisfaction at 1 and 2 years after lumbar surgery.

METHODS

The Michigan Spine Surgery Improvement Collaborative (MSSIC) was queried for all lumbar operations at the 1- and 2-year follow-ups. Predictors of patients’ postoperative contentment were identified per the North American Spine Surgery (NASS) Patient Satisfaction Index, wherein satisfied patients were assigned a score of 1 (“the treatment met my expectations”) or 2 (“I did not improve as much as I had hoped, but I would undergo the same treatment for the same outcome”) and unsatisfied patients were assigned a score of 3 (“I did not improve as much as I had hoped, and I would not undergo the same treatment for the same outcome”) or 4 (“I am the same or worse than before treatment”). Multivariable Poisson generalized estimating equation models were used to report adjusted risk ratios (RRadj).

RESULTS

Among 5390 patients with a 1-year follow-up, 22% reported dissatisfaction postoperatively. Dissatisfaction was predicted by higher body mass index (RRadj =1.07, p < 0.001), African American race compared to white (RRadj = 1.51, p < 0.001), education level less than high school graduation compared to a high school diploma or equivalent (RRadj = 1.25, p = 0.008), smoking (RRadj = 1.34, p < 0.001), daily preoperative opioid use > 6 months (RRadj = 1.22, p < 0.001), depression (RRadj = 1.31, p < 0.001), symptom duration > 1 year (RRadj = 1.32, p < 0.001), previous spine surgery (RRadj = 1.32, p < 0.001), and higher baseline numeric rating scale (NRS)–back pain score (RRadj = 1.04, p = 0.002). Conversely, an education level higher than high school graduation, independent ambulation (RRadj = 0.90, p = 0.039), higher baseline NRS–leg pain score (RRadj = 0.97, p = 0.013), and fusion surgery (RRadj = 0.88, p = 0.014) decreased dissatisfaction.

Among 2776 patients with a 2-year follow-up, 22% reported dissatisfaction postoperatively. Dissatisfaction was predicted by a non-white race, current smoking (RRadj = 1.26, p = 0.004), depression (RRadj = 1.34, p < 0.001), symptom duration > 1 year (RRadj = 1.47, p < 0.001), previous spine surgery (RRadj = 1.28, p < 0.001), and higher baseline NRS–back pain score (RRadj = 1.06, p = 0.003). Conversely, at least some college education (RRadj = 0.87, p = 0.035) decreased the risk of dissatisfaction.

CONCLUSIONS

Both comorbid conditions and socioeconomic circumstances must be considered in counseling patients on postoperative expectations. After race, symptom duration was the strongest predictor of dissatisfaction; thus, patient-centered measures must be prioritized. These findings should serve as a tool for surgeons to identify at-risk populations that may need more attention regarding effective communication and additional preoperative counseling to address potential barriers unique to their situation.

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Hesham Mostafa Zakaria, Tarek R. Mansour, Edvin Telemi, Karam Asmaro, Mohamed Macki, Michael Bazydlo, Lonni Schultz, David R. Nerenz, Muwaffak Abdulhak, Jason M. Schwalb, Paul Park, and Victor Chang

OBJECTIVE

The Michigan Spine Surgery Improvement Collaborative (MSSIC) is a prospective, longitudinal, multicenter, quality-improvement collaborative. Using MSSIC, the authors sought to identify the relationship between a positive Patient Health Questionnaire–2 (PHQ-2) screening, which is predictive of depression, and patient satisfaction, return to work, and achieving Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) minimal clinically important difference (MCID) scores up to 2 years after lumbar fusion.

METHODS

Data from a total of 8585 lumbar fusion patients were analyzed. Patient satisfaction was measured by the North American Spine Society patient satisfaction index. A positive PHQ-2 score is one that is ≥ 3, which has an 82.9% sensitivity and 90.0% specificity in detecting major depressive disorder. Generalized estimating equation models were constructed; variables tested include age, sex, race, past medical history, severity of surgery, and preoperative opioid usage.

RESULTS

Multivariate analysis was performed. Patients with a positive PHQ-2 score (i.e., ≥ 3) were less likely to be satisfied after lumbar fusion at 90 days (relative risk [RR] 0.93, p < 0.001), 1 year (RR 0.92, p = 0.001), and 2 years (RR 0.92, p = 0.028). A positive PHQ-2 score was also associated with decreased likelihood of returning to work at 90 days (RR 0.76, p < 0.001), 1 year (RR 0.85, p = 0.001), and 2 years (RR 0.82, p = 0.031). A positive PHQ-2 score was predictive of failure to achieve an ODI MCID at 90 days (RR 1.07, p = 0.005) but not at 1 year or 2 years after lumbar fusion.

CONCLUSIONS

A multivariate analysis based on information from a large, multicenter, prospective database on lumbar fusion patients was performed. The authors found that a positive score (≥ 3) on the PHQ-2, which is a simple and accurate screening tool for depression, predicts an inability to return to work and worse satisfaction up to 2 years after lumbar fusion. Depression is a treatable condition, and so in the same way that patients are medically optimized before surgery to decrease postoperative morbidity, perhaps patients should have preoperative psychiatric optimization to improve postoperative functional outcomes.

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Hesham Mostafa Zakaria, Michael Bazydlo, Lonni Schultz, Markian A. Pahuta, Jason M. Schwalb, Paul Park, Ilyas Aleem, David R. Nerenz, Victor Chang, and for the MSSIC Investigators

OBJECTIVE

The Michigan Spine Surgery Improvement Collaborative (MSSIC) is a statewide, multicenter quality improvement initiative. Using MSSIC data, the authors sought to identify 90-day adverse events and their associated risk factors (RFs) after cervical spine surgery.

METHODS

A total of 8236 cervical spine surgery cases were analyzed. Multivariable generalized estimating equation regression models were constructed to identify RFs for adverse events; variables tested included age, sex, diabetes mellitus, disc herniation, foraminal stenosis, central stenosis, American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Classification System (ASA) class > II, myelopathy, private insurance, anterior versus posterior approach, revision procedures, number of surgical levels, length of procedure, blood loss, preoperative ambulation, ambulation day of surgery, length of hospital stay, and discharge disposition.

RESULTS

Ninety days after cervical spine surgery, adverse events identified included radicular findings (11.6%), readmission (7.7%), dysphagia requiring dietary modification (feeding tube or nothing by mouth [NPO]) (6.4%), urinary retention (4.7%), urinary tract infection (2.2%), surgical site hematoma (1.1%), surgical site infection (0.9%), deep vein thrombosis (0.7%), pulmonary embolism (0.5%), neurogenic bowel/bladder (0.4%), myelopathy (0.4%), myocardial infarction (0.4%), wound dehiscence (0.2%), claudication (0.2%), and ileus (0.2%). RFs for dysphagia included anterior approach (p < 0.001), fusion procedures (p = 0.030), multiple-level surgery when considering anterior procedures only (p = 0.037), and surgery duration (p = 0.002). RFs for readmission included ASA class > II (p < 0.001), while preoperative ambulation (p = 0.001) and private insurance (p < 0.001) were protective. RFs for urinary retention included increasing age (p < 0.001) and male sex (p < 0.001), while anterior-approach surgery (p < 0.001), preoperative ambulation (p = 0.001), and ambulation day of surgery (p = 0.001) were protective. Preoperative ambulation (p = 0.010) and anterior approach (p = 0.002) were protective of radicular findings.

CONCLUSIONS

A multivariate analysis from a large, multicenter, prospective database identified the common adverse events after cervical spine surgery, along with their associated RFs. This information can lead to more informed surgeons and patients. The authors found that early mobilization after cervical spine surgery has the potential to significantly decrease adverse events.

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Mohamed Macki, Travis Hamilton, Seokchun Lim, Edvin Telemi, Michael Bazydlo, David R. Nerenz, Hesham Mostafa Zakaria, Lonni Schultz, Jad G. Khalil, Miguelangelo J. Perez-Cruet, Ilyas S. Aleem, Paul Park, Jason M. Schwalb, Muwaffak M. Abdulhak, and Victor Chang

OBJECTIVE

Most studies on racial disparities in spine surgery lack data granularity to control for both comorbidities and self-assessment metrics. Analyses from large, multicenter surgical registries can provide an enhanced platform for understanding different factors that influence outcome. In this study, the authors aimed to determine the effects of race on outcomes after lumbar surgery, using patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in 3 areas: the North American Spine Society patient satisfaction index, the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) on the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) for low-back pain, and return to work.

METHODS

The Michigan Spine Surgery Improvement Collaborative was queried for all elective lumbar operations. Patient race/ethnicity was categorized as Caucasian, African American, and “other.” Measures of association between race and PROs were calculated with generalized estimating equations (GEEs) to report adjusted risk ratios.

RESULTS

The African American cohort consisted of a greater proportion of women with the highest comorbidity burden. Among the 7980 and 4222 patients followed up at 1 and 2 years postoperatively, respectively, African American patients experienced the lowest rates of satisfaction, MCID on ODI, and return to work. Following a GEE, African American race decreased the probability of satisfaction at both 1 and 2 years postoperatively. Race did not affect return to work or achieving MCID on the ODI. The variable of greatest association with all 3 PROs at both follow-up times was postoperative depression.

CONCLUSIONS

While a complex myriad of socioeconomic factors interplay between race and surgical success, the authors identified modifiable risk factors, specifically depression, that may improve PROs among African American patients after elective lumbar spine surgery.