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Neel Anand and Eli M. Baron

Transpsoas discectomy and interbody fusion has become an increasingly popular method of achieving lumbar interbody fusion, but reports of neurological, vascular, and gastrointestinal complications associated with this procedure have been described in the literature. To date, however, ureteral complications have not been reported with this procedure. The authors report 2 cases of ureteral injury and 1 case of renal injury following this procedure. A low index of suspicion is warranted to work up any patient having flank or abdominal symptoms after undergoing transpsoas discectomy and interbody fusion.

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Neel Anand, Eli M. Baron and Babak Khandehroo

Object

Minimally invasive correction of adult scoliosis is a surgical method increasing in popularity. Limited data exist, however, as to how effective these methodologies are in achieving coronal plane and sagittal plane correction in addition to improving spinopelvic parameters. This study serves to quantify how much correction is possible with present circumferential minimally invasive surgical (cMIS) methods.

Methods

Ninety patients were selected from a database of 187 patients who underwent cMIS scoliosis correction. All patients had a Cobb angle greater than 15°, 3 or more levels fused, and availability of preoperative and postoperative 36-inch standing radiographs. The mean duration of follow-up was 37 months. Preoperative and postoperative Cobb angle, sagittal vertical axis (SVA), coronal balance, lumbar lordosis (LL), and pelvic incidence (PI) were measured. Scatter plots were performed comparing the pre- and postoperative radiological parameters to calculate ceiling effects for SVA correction, Cobb angle correction, and PI-LL mismatch correction.

Results

The mean preoperative SVA value was 60 mm (range 11.5–151 mm); the mean postoperative value was 31 mm (range 0–84 mm). The maximum SVA correction achieved with cMIS techniques in any of the cases was 89 mm. In terms of coronal Cobb angle, a mean correction of 61% was noted, with a mean preoperative value of 35.8° (range 15°–74.7°) and a mean postoperative value of 13.9° (range 0°–32.5°). A ceiling effect for Cobb angle correction was noted at 42°. The ability to correct the PI-LL mismatch to 10° was limited to cases in which the preoperative PI-LL mismatch was 38° or less.

Conclusions

Circumferential MIS techniques as currently used for the treatment of adult scoliosis have limitations in terms of their ability to achieve SVA correction and lumbar lordosis. When the preoperative SVA is greater than 100 mm and a substantial amount of lumbar lordosis is needed, as determined by spinopelvic parameter calculations, surgeons should consider osteotomies or other techniques that may achieve more lordosis.

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J. Patrick Johnson, Robert S. Pashman, Carl Lauryssen, Neel Anand, John J. Regan and Robert S. Bray

✓ Spinal deformity has classically and historically been studied by those in the discipline of orthopedic surgery. This may be attributable to the orthopedic interventionalists' experience with osseous fixation for long-bone and other skeletal fractures. Neurosurgeons have maintained a long-standing interest in complex cervical spinal disorders, and their interest in the larger field of complex spinal deformity has been expanding.

An understanding of spinal deformity disorders, biomechanics, bone biology, and metallurgy is necessary before clinical, teaching, and research activities can be undertaken within neurosurgery.

The authors describe basic and advanced concepts of spinal deformity management with cases to illustrate teaching points.

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Neel Anand, Rebecca Rosemann, Bhavraj Khalsa and Eli M. Baron

Object

The goal of this study was to assess the operative outcomes of adult patients with scoliosis who were treated surgically with minimally invasive correction and fusion.

Methods

This was a retrospective study of 28 consecutive patients who underwent minimally invasive correction and fusion over 3 or more levels for adult scoliosis. Hospital and office charts were reviewed for clinical data. Functional outcome data were collected at each visit and at the last follow-up through self-administered questionnaires. All radiological measurements were obtained using standardized computer measuring tools.

Results

The mean age of the patients in the study was 67.7 years (range 22–81 years), with a mean follow-up time of 22 months (range 13–37 months). Estimated blood loss for anterior procedures (transpsoas discectomy and interbody fusions) was 241 ml (range 20–2000 ml). Estimated blood loss for posterior procedures, including L5–S1 transsacral interbody fusion (and in some cases L4–5 and L5–S1 transsacral interbody fusion) and percutaneous screw fixation, was 231 ml (range 50–400 ml). The mean operating time, which was recorded from incision time to closure, was 232 minutes (range 104–448 minutes) for the anterior procedures, and for posterior procedures it was 248 minutes (range 141–370 minutes). The mean length of hospital stay was 10 days (range 3–20 days). The preoperative Cobb angle was 22° (range 15–62°), which corrected to 7° (range 0–22°). All patients maintained correction of their deformity and were noted to have solid arthrodesis on plain radiographs. This was further confirmed on CT scans in 21 patients. The mean preoperative visual analog scale and treatment intensity scale scores were 7.05 and 53.5; postoperatively these were 3.03 and 25.88, respectively. The mean preoperative 36-Item Short Form Health Survey and Oswestry Disability Index scores were 55.73 and 39.13; postoperatively they were 61.50 and 7, respectively. In terms of major complications, 2 patients had quadriceps palsies from which they recovered within 6 months, 1 sustained a retrocapsular renal hematoma, and 1 patient had an unrelated cerebellar hemorrhage.

Conclusions

Minimally invasive surgical correction of adult scoliosis results in mid- to long-term outcomes similar to traditional surgical approaches. Whereas operating times are comparable to those achieved with open approaches, blood loss and morbidity appear to be significantly lower in patients undergoing minimally invasive deformity correction. This approach may be particularly useful in the elderly.

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Srinath Samudrala, Shoshanna Vaynman, Ty Thiayananthan, Samer Ghostine, Darren L. Bergey, Neel Anand, Robert S. Pashman and J. Patrick Johnson

Object

Sagittal plane deformities can be subdivided into kyphotic and lordotic forms and further characterized according to their global or regional (focal) presentation. Regional deformities of a significant magnitude constitute a gibbous deformity. Pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO) and interlaminar Smith-Petersen osteotomies have been used to correct sagittal plane deformities in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. By resecting a portion of the vertebral body and closing in the gap of this vertebra, the spine is placed in local lordosis and kyphosis is corrected. These osteotomies have generally been carried out in the lumbar or less frequently in the thoracic area. While PSO has been performed in the mid and lower thoracic spine, there have been no case series of patients undergoing PSO at the CTJ. Specifically, a PSO approach that addresses the challenges of the CTJ is needed. Here, the authors review their case series of PSOs performed in the CTJ. Their goal in the treatment of these patients was to correct the regional CTJ kyphosis, restore forward gaze, and reduce the pain associated with the deformity.

Methods

Eight patients (5 males and 3 females, mean age 63 years) underwent PSO for the correction of CTJ kyphosis. Pedicle subtraction osteotomy was performed at C-7 or the upper thoracic vertebrae and was facilitated by a computer-guided intraoperative monitoring system. Surgical indications included postlaminectomy kyphosis, spinal cord tumor resection, posttraumatic kyphosis, and degenerative cervical spondylosis.

Results

The mean follow-up was 15.3 months (range 12–20 months), and the mean preoperative CTJ kyphosis was 38.67° (range 25°–60°). Clinically satisfactory correction of the regional deformity was accomplished in all patients, achieving a mean correction of 35.63° (range 15°–66°) at the CTJ, with restoration of forward gaze and significant reduction in pain.

Conclusions

A CTJ deformity is a distinctive form of kyphosis that presents as a variable local deformity and requires complex spinal reconstructive techniques to restore sagittal balance and forward gaze. Pedicle subtraction osteotomy allows for significant correction through one spinal segment, and it can be used safely to correct the regional sagittal alignment of the cervical spine and head in relation to the pelvis. Pedicle subtraction osteotomy can be used alone or in combination with other techniques as some patients may require multistage procedures with anterior and posterior spinal reconstruction to obtain stable sagittal correction. All deformities in these patients were kyphotic in nature with only mild elements of scoliosis or coronal plane deformity. This is unlike lumbar and thoracic curves where the kyphosis is frequently associated with scoliosis.

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J. Patrick Johnson, Carl Lauryssen, Helen O. Cambron, Robert Pashman, John J. Regan, Neel Anand and Robert Bray

Object

The authors evaluated cervical spine radiographs to determine sagittal alignment in patients who underwent one- or two-level arthroplasty with the Bryan cervical artificial disc prosthesis.

Methods

The curvature of the surgically treated spinal segments and the overall curvature of the cervical spine were evaluated in 13 patients who underwent 16 cervical arthroplasty device placements. Preoperative and postoperative lateral radiographs were reviewed and compared using standardized techniques for measuring spinal curvature. Patients who underwent a single-level cervical arthroplasty had a 4.7° mean reduction (p < 0.05) in lordosis after cervical artificial disc replacement. The three patients who underwent two-level cervical arthroplasty had no significant changes in the sagittal alignment.

Conclusions

Patients who underwent arthroplasty with a Bryan cervical artificial disc had a focal loss of lordosis (that is, kyphosis) at the treated levels after single-level procedures. Nevertheless, there was no significant change in the overall sagittal curvature of the cervical spine after single-level artificial disc replacements. The patients who underwent two-level artificial disc placement had no significant changes in lordosis at the treated levels or in the overall curvature. The likely source of this outcome appears to be the endplate milling procedures that reorient the vertebral endplates.

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Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, Neel Anand, Gary Fleischer, Khaled Kabaish, Miguel Melgar, Richard Nasca and Thomas Raley

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Khoi D. Than, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Kelly J. Bridges, Stacie Tran, Paul Park, Dean Chou, Frank La Marca, Juan S. Uribe, Todd D. Vogel, Pierce D. Nunley, Robert K. Eastlack, Neel Anand, David O. Okonkwo, Adam S. Kanter and Gregory M. Mundis Jr.

OBJECTIVE

High-quality studies that compare outcomes of open and minimally invasively placed pedicle screws for adult spinal deformity are needed. Therefore, the authors compared differences in complications from a circumferential minimally invasive spine (MIS) surgery and those from a hybrid surgery.

METHODS

A retrospective review of a multicenter database of patients with spinal deformity who were treated with an MIS surgery was performed. Database inclusion criteria included an age of ≥ 18 years and at least 1 of the following: a coronal Cobb angle of > 20°, a sagittal vertical axis of > 5 cm, a pelvic incidence–lumbar lordosis angle of > 10°, and/or a pelvic tilt of > 20°. Patients were propensity matched according to the levels instrumented.

RESULTS

In this database, a complete data set was available for 165 patients, and after those who underwent 3-column osteotomy were excluded, 137 patients were available for analysis; 76 patients remained after propensity matching (MIS surgery group 38 patients, hybrid surgery group 38 patients). The authors found no difference in demographics, number of levels instrumented, or preoperative and postoperative radiographic results. At least 1 complication was suffered by 55.3% of patients in the hybrid surgery group and 44.7% of those in the MIS surgery group (p = 0.359). Patients in the MIS surgery group had significantly fewer neurological, operative, and minor complications than those in the hybrid surgery group. The reoperation rates in both groups were similar. The most common complication category for the MIS surgery group was radiographic and for the hybrid surgery group was neurological. Patients in both groups experienced postoperative improvement in their Oswestry Disability Index and visual analog scale (VAS) back and leg pain scores (all p < 0.05); however, MIS surgery provided a greater reduction in leg pain according to VAS scores.

CONCLUSIONS

Overall complication rates in the MIS and hybrid surgery groups were similar. MIS surgery resulted in significantly fewer neurological, operative, and minor complications. Reoperation rates in the 2 groups were similar, and despite complications, the patients reported significant improvement in their pain and function.

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Pierce D. Nunley, Gregory M. Mundis Jr., Richard G. Fessler, Paul Park, Joseph M. Zavatsky, Juan S. Uribe, Robert K. Eastlack, Dean Chou, Michael Y. Wang, Neel Anand, Kelly A. Frank, Marcus B. Stone, Adam S. Kanter, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Praveen V. Mummaneni and the International Spine Study Group

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to educate medical professionals about potential financial impacts of improper diagnosis-related group (DRG) coding in adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery.

METHODS

Medicare’s Inpatient Prospective Payment System PC Pricer database was used to collect 2015 reimbursement data for ASD procedures from 12 hospitals. Case type, hospital type/location, number of operative levels, proper coding, length of stay, and complications/comorbidities (CCs) were analyzed for effects on reimbursement. DRGs were used to categorize cases into 3 types: 1) anterior or posterior only fusion, 2) anterior fusion with posterior percutaneous fixation with no dorsal fusion, and 3) combined anterior and posterior fixation and fusion.

RESULTS

Pooling institutions, cases were reimbursed the same for single-level and multilevel ASD surgery. Longer stay, from 3 to 8 days, resulted in an additional $1400 per stay. Posterior fusion was an additional $6588, while CCs increased reimbursement by approximately $13,000. Academic institutions received higher reimbursement than private institutions, i.e., approximately $14,000 (Case Types 1 and 2) and approximately $16,000 (Case Type 3). Urban institutions received higher reimbursement than suburban institutions, i.e., approximately $3000 (Case Types 1 and 2) and approximately $3500 (Case Type 3). Longer stay, from 3 to 8 days, increased reimbursement between $208 and $494 for private institutions and between $1397 and $1879 for academic institutions per stay.

CONCLUSIONS

Reimbursement is based on many factors not controlled by surgeons or hospitals, but proper DRG coding can significantly impact the financial health of hospitals and availability of quality patient care.