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  • Author or Editor: Richard L. Skolasky x
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Taylor E. Purvis, Brian J. Neuman, Lee H. Riley III and Richard L. Skolasky

OBJECTIVE

In this paper, the authors demonstrate to spine surgeons the prevalence and severity of anxiety and depression among patients presenting for surgery and explore the relationships between different legacy and Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) screening measures.

METHODS

A total of 512 adult spine surgery patients at a single institution completed the 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder questionnaire (GAD-7), 8-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-8) depression scale, and PROMIS Anxiety and Depression computer-adaptive tests (CATs) preoperatively. Correlation coefficients were calculated between PROMIS scores and GAD-7 and PHQ-8 scores. Published reference tables were used to determine the presence of anxiety or depression using GAD-7 and PHQ-8. Sensitivity and specificity of published guidance on the PROMIS Anxiety and Depression CATs were compared. Guidance from 3 sources was compared: published GAD-7 and PHQ-8 crosswalk tables, American Psychiatric Association scales, and expert clinical consensus. Receiver operator characteristic curves were used to determine data-driven cut-points for PROMIS Anxiety and Depression. Significance was accepted as p < 0.05.

RESULTS

In 512 spine surgery patients, anxiety and depression were prevalent preoperatively (5% with any anxiety, 24% with generalized anxiety screen-positive; and 54% with any depression, 24% with probable major depression). Correlations were moderately strong between PROMIS Anxiety and GAD-7 scores (r = 0.72; p < 0.001) and between PROMIS Depression and PHQ-8 scores (r = 0.74; p < 0.001). The observed correlation of the PROMIS Depression score was greater with the PHQ-8 cognitive/affective score (r = 0.766) than with the somatic score (r = 0.601) (p < 0.001). PROMIS Anxiety and Depression CATs were able to detect the presence of generalized anxiety screen-positive (sensitivity, 86.0%; specificity, 81.6%) and of probable major depression (sensitivity, 82.3%; specificity, 81.4%). Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis demonstrated data-driven cut-points for these groups.

CONCLUSIONS

PROMIS Anxiety and Depression CATs are reliable tools for identifying generalized anxiety screen-positive spine surgery patients and those with probable major depression.

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Michael C. Ain, Madeel A. Abdullah, Beverlie L. Ting, Richard L. Skolasky, Emily Streyer Carlisle, Joshua G. Schkrohowsky and Daniele Rigamonti

Object

The aim of this study was to assess the natural history of pain associated with spinal stenosis in individuals with achondroplasia and to characterize pain patterns and associated functional and psychological effects.

Methods

The authors measured pain severity, spatial distribution of pain, functional disability, psychological distress, physical symptoms other than pain, and healthcare utilization in 181 individuals with achondroplasia. They also assessed low back and/or lower extremity pain at the initial visit and 1-year follow-up via self-rated patient questionnaires, calculated composite scores from responses via component analyses, and used repeated measures linear regression analyses for score changes (significance, p ≤ 0.05).

Results

At the follow-up, back pain severity was unchanged. Patients reported significant progression of pain toward involvement of the lower extremities and significant increases in lower extremity pain severity overall. There were also significant increases in healthcare utilization overall. Compared with patients with back pain only, those with back pain and proximal or distal leg pain had higher self-rated pain severity; higher functional disability; and more bowel and bladder dysfunction symptoms, sleep disturbances, extremity numbness, and psychological distress.

Conclusions

Individuals with achondroplasia and symptomatic spinal stenosis often experience back pain, which may progress to lower extremity pain and debilitating consequences. A more thorough understanding of the progression of spatial pain characteristics and pain severity may aid clinical decision making regarding the optimal timing for intervention.

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Micheal Raad, Callum J. Donaldson, Mostafa H. El Dafrawy, Daniel M. Sciubba, Lee H. Riley III, Brian J. Neuman, Khaled M. Kebaish and Richard L. Skolasky

OBJECTIVE

Recommendations for the surgical treatment of isolated lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) (i.e., in the absence of concomitant scoliosis or spondylolisthesis) are unclear. The aims of this study were to investigate trends in the surgical treatment of isolated LSS in US adults and determine implications for outcomes.

METHODS

The authors analyzed inpatient and outpatient claims from the Truven Health Analytics MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Database for 20,279 patients aged 40–64 years who underwent surgery for LSS between 2010 and 2014. Only patients with continuous 12-month insurance coverage after surgery were included. The rates of decompression with arthrodesis versus decompression only and of simple (1- or 2-level, single-approach) versus complex (> 2-level or combined-approach) arthrodesis were analyzed by year and geographic region. These trends were further analyzed with respect to complications, length of hospital stay, payments made to the hospital, and patient discharge status. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05.

RESULTS

The proportion of patients who underwent decompression with arthrodesis compared with decompression only increased significantly and linearly from 2010 to 2014 (OR 1.08; 95% CI 1.06–1.10). Arthrodesis was more likely to be complex rather than simple with each subsequent year (OR 1.4; 95% CI 1.33–1.49). This trend was accompanied by an increased likelihood of postoperative complications (OR 1.11; 95% CI 1.02–1.21), higher costs (payments increased by a mean of US$1633 per year; 95% CI 1327–1939), and greater likelihood of being discharged to a skilled nursing facility as opposed to home (OR 1.11; 95% CI 1.03–1.20). The South and Midwest regions of the US had the highest proportions of patients undergoing arthrodesis (48% and 42%, respectively). The mean length of hospital stay did not change significantly (p = 0.324).

CONCLUSIONS

From 2010 to 2014, the proportion of adults undergoing decompression with arthrodesis versus decompression only for the treatment of LSS increased, especially in the South and Midwest regions of the US. A greater proportion of these fusions were complex and were associated with more complications, higher costs, and a greater likelihood of being discharged to a skilled nursing facility.

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Micheal Raad, Jay S. Reidler, Mostafa H. El Dafrawy, Raj M. Amin, Amit Jain, Brian J. Neuman, Lee H. Riley III, Daniel M. Sciubba, Khaled M. Kebaish and Richard L. Skolasky

OBJECTIVE

It is important to identify differences in the treatment of common diseases over time and across geographic regions. Several studies have reported increased use of arthrodesis to treat lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS). The purpose of this study was to investigate geographic variations in the treatment of LSS by US region.

METHODS

The authors reviewed inpatient and outpatient medical claims from 2010 to 2014 using the MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters database (Truven Health Analytics), which includes data on commercially insured members younger than 65 years. ICD-9 code 724.02 was used to identify patients aged ≥ 40 and < 65 years who underwent surgery for “spinal stenosis of the lumbar region” and for whom LSS was the only principal diagnosis. The primary outcome was the performance of spinal arthrodesis as part of the procedure. Geographic regions were based on patient residence and defined according to the US Census Bureau as the Northeast, Midwest, South, and West.

RESULTS

Rates of arthrodesis, as opposed to decompression alone, varied significantly by region, from 48% in the South, to 42% in the Midwest, 36% in the Northeast, and 31% in the West. After controlling for patient age, sex, and Charlson Comorbidity Index values, the differences remained significant. Compared with patients in the Northeast, those in the South (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.50–1.75) and Midwest (OR 1.3, 95% CI 1.18–1.41) were significantly more likely to undergo spinal arthrodesis. On multivariate analysis, patients in the West were significantly less likely to have a prolonged hospital stay (> 3 days) than those in the Northeast (OR 0.84, 95% CI 0.75–0.94). Compared with the rate in the Northeast, the rates of discharge to a skilled nursing facility were lower in the South (OR 0.41, 95% CI 0.31–0.55) and West (OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.53–0.98). The 30-day readmission rate was significantly lower in the West (OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.65–0.98) than in the Northeast and similar between the other regions. Mean payments were significantly higher in the Midwest (mean difference $5503, 95% CI $4279–$6762), South (mean difference $6187, 95% CI $5041–$7332), and West (mean difference $7732, 95% CI $6384–$9080) than in the Northeast.

CONCLUSIONS

The use of spinal arthrodesis, as well as surgical outcomes and payments for the treatment of LSS, varies significantly by US region. This highlights the importance of developing national recommendations for the treatment of LSS.