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Open access

Rodrigo Navarro-Ramirez, Oded Rabau, Alisson Teles, Susan Ge, Abdulaziz Bin Shebreen, Neil Saran, and Jean Ouellet

Early-onset scoliosis (EOS) correction techniques have evolved slowly over the past 40 years and still remain a challenge for the spine surgeon. Avoiding spinal fusion in these patients is key to decreasing morbidity and mortality in this population.

Current treatments for EOS include both conservative and surgical options. The authors present the modified Luqué technique that has been performed at their institution for the past decade. This modified technique relies on Luqué’s principle, but with newer “gliding” implants through a less disruptive approach. The goal of this technique is to delay fusion as long as possible, with the intent to prevent deformity progression while preserving maximal growth.

Normally, these patients will have definitive fusion surgery once they have reached skeletal maturity or as close as possible. Out of 23 patients until present (close to 4-year follow-up), the authors have not performed any revision due to implant failure. Three patients have undergone final fusion as the curve progressed (one patient, 4 years out, had final fusion at age 12 years; two other patients had final fusion at 3 years). These implants, which have the CE mark in Europe, are available in Canada via a special access process with Health Canada. The implants have not yet been submitted to the FDA, as they are waiting on clinical data out of Europe and Canada.

In the following video the authors describe the modified Luqué technique step-by-step.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/k0AuFa9lYXY.

Free access

Javier Quillo-Olvera, Rodrigo Navarro-Ramírez, and Diego Quillo-Olvera

Free access

Miguel Bertelli Ramos, Carolina Matté Dagostini, Oded Rabau, Rodrigo Navarro-Ramirez, Jean A. Ouellet, Asdrubal Falavigna, and Alisson R. Teles

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to determine the publication rate of abstracts presented at the annual meetings of the AANS/CNS Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves (Spine Summit).

METHODS

The authors used a search algorithm in PubMed to determine the publication rate of abstracts presented at the Spine Summit from 2007 to 2012. The variables assessed were presentation modality, topic, meeting year, publication year, destiny journal and its 5-year impact factor (IF), country, and citation count (retrieved from the Scopus database).

RESULTS

One thousand four hundred thirty-six abstracts were analyzed; 502 were oral presentations and 934 were digital poster presentations. The publication rate was 53.97% (775/1436). The mean time from presentation to publication was 1.35 ± 1.97 years (95% CI 1.21–1.49 years). The mean citation count of published articles was 40.55 ± 55.21 (95% CI 36.66–44.44). Oral presentations had a higher publication rate (71.51%, 359/502) than digital posters (44.54%, 416/934; OR 3.13, 95% CI 2.48–3.95, p < 0.001). Oral presentations had a higher number of citations (55.51 ± 69.00, 95% CI 48.35–62.67) than digital posters (27.64 ± 34.88, 95% CI 24.28–31.00, p < 0.001). The mean IF of published articles was 3.48 ± 2.91 (95% CI 3.27–3.70). JNS: Spine (191/775, 24.64%), Spine (103/775, 13.29%), and Neurosurgery (56/775, 7.23%) had the greatest number of published articles. The US represented the highest number of published articles (616/775, 79.48%).

CONCLUSIONS

The publication rate of the Spine Summit is among the highest compared to other spine meetings. Many of the abstracts initially presented at the meeting are further published in high-IF journals and had a high citation count. Therefore, the Spine Summit maintains its high standards of scientific papers, which reflects the high quality of the research performed in the spine surgery field in North America.

Restricted access

Andreas Leidinger, Eliana E. Kim, Rodrigo Navarro-Ramirez, Nicephorus Rutabasibwa, Salim R. Msuya, Gulce Askin, Raphael Greving, Hamisi K. Shabani, and Roger Härtl

OBJECTIVE

Spinal trauma is a major cause of disability worldwide. The burden is especially severe in low-income countries, where hospital infrastructure is poor, resources are limited, and the volume of cases is high. Currently, there are no reliable data available on incidence, management, and outcomes of spinal trauma in East Africa. The main objective of this study was to describe, for the first time, the demographics, management, costs of surgery and implants, treatment decision factors, and outcomes of patients with spine trauma in Tanzania.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed prospectively collected data on spinal trauma patients in the single surgical referral center in Tanzania (Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute [MOI]) from October 2016 to December 2017. They collected general demographics and the following information: distance from site of trauma to the center, American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale (AIS), time to surgery, steroid use, and mechanism of trauma and AOSpine classification and costs. Surgical details and complications were recorded. Primary outcome was neurological status on discharge. The authors analyzed surgical outcome and determined predicting factors for positive outcome.

RESULTS

A total of 180 patients were included and analyzed in this study. The mean distance from site of trauma to MOI was 278.0 km, and the time to admission was on average 5.9 days after trauma. Young males were primarily affected (82.8% males, average age 35.7 years). On admission, 47.2% of patients presented with AIS grade A. Most common mechanisms of injury were motor vehicle accidents (28.9%) and falls from height (32.8%). Forty percent of admitted patients underwent surgery. The mean time to surgery was 33.2 days; 21.4% of patients who underwent surgery improved in AIS grade at discharge (p = 0.030). Overall, the only factor associated with improvement in neurological status was undergoing surgery (p = 0.03) and shorter time to surgery (p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

This is the first study to describe the management and outcomes of spinal trauma in East Africa. Due to the lack of referral hospitals, patients are admitted late after trauma, often with severe neurological deficit. Surgery is performed but generally late in the course of hospital stay. The decision to perform surgery and timing are heavily influenced by the availability of implants and economic factors such as insurance status. Patients with incomplete deficits who may benefit most from surgery are not prioritized. The authors’ results suggest that surgery may have a positive impact on patient outcome. Further studies with a larger sample size are needed to confirm our results. These results provide strong support to implement evidence-based protocols for the management of spinal trauma.

Free access

Fabian Sommer, Francois Waterkeyn, Ibrahim Hussain, Jacob L. Goldberg, Sertac Kirnaz, Rodrigo Navarro-Ramirez, Alaaeldin Azmi Ahmad, Massimo Balsano, Branden Medary, Hamisi Shabani, Amanda Ng, Pravesh Shankar Gadjradj, and Roger Härtl

OBJECTIVE

Telemedicine technology has been developed to allow surgeons in countries with limited resources to access expert technical guidance during surgical procedures. The authors report their initial experience using state-of-the-art wearable smart glasses with wireless capability to transmit intraoperative video content during spine surgery from sub-Saharan Africa to experts in the US.

METHODS

A novel smart glasses system with integrated camera and microphone was worn by a spine surgeon in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, during 3 scoliosis correction surgeries. The images were transmitted wirelessly through a compatible software system to a computer viewed by a group of fellowship-trained spine surgeons in New York City. Visual clarity was determined using a modified Snellen chart, and a percentage score was determined on the smallest line that could be read from the 8-line chart on white and black backgrounds. A 1- to 5-point scale (from 1 = unrecognizable to 5 = optimal clarity) was used to score other visual metrics assessed using a color test card including hue, contrast, and brightness. The same scoring system was used by the group to reach a consensus on visual quality of 3 intraoperative points including instruments, radiographs (ability to see pedicle screws relative to bony anatomy), and intraoperative surgical field (ability to identify bony landmarks such as transverse processes, pedicle screw starting point, laminar edge).

RESULTS

All surgeries accomplished the defined goals safely with no intraoperative complications. The average download and upload connection speeds achieved in Dar es Salaam were 45.21 and 58.89 Mbps, respectively. Visual clarity with the modified white and black Snellen chart was 70.8% and 62.5%, respectively. The average scores for hue, contrast, and brightness were 2.67, 3.33, and 2.67, respectively. Visualization quality of instruments, radiographs, and intraoperative surgical field were 3.67, 1, and 1, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Application of smart glasses for telemedicine offers a promising tool for surgical education and remote training, especially in low- and middle-income countries. However, this study highlights some limitations of this technology, including optical resolution, intraoperative lighting, and internet connection challenges. With continued collaboration between clinicians and industry, future iterations of smart glasses technology will need to address these issues to stimulate robust clinical utilization.

Restricted access

Lior M. Elkaim, Greg McIntosh, Nicolas Dea, Rodrigo Navarro-Ramirez, W. Bradley Jacobs, David W. Cadotte, Supriya Singh, Sean D. Christie, Aaron Robichaud, Philippe Phan, Jérôme Paquet, Andrew Nataraj, Hamilton Hall, Christopher S. Bailey, Y. Raja Rampersaud, Kenneth Thomas, Neil Manson, Charles Fisher, and Michael H. Weber

OBJECTIVE

Degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) is an important public health issue. Surgery is the mainstay of treatment for moderate and severe DCM. Delayed discharge of patients after DCM surgery is associated with increased healthcare costs. There is a paucity of data regarding predictive factors for discharge destination after scheduled surgery for patients with DCM. The purpose of this study was to identify factors predictive of home versus nonhome discharge after DCM surgery.

METHODS

Patients undergoing scheduled DCM surgery who had been enrolled in a prospective DCM substudy of the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network registry between January 2015 and October 2020 were included in this retrospective analysis. Patient data were evaluated to identify potential factors predictive of home discharge after surgery. Logistic regression was used to identify independent factors predictive of home discharge. A multivariable model was then used as a final model.

RESULTS

Overall, 639 patients were included in the initial analysis, 543 (85%) of whom were discharged home. The mean age of the entire cohort was 60 years (SD 11.8 years), with a BMI of 28.9 (SD 5.7). Overall, 61.7% of the patients were female. The mean length of stay was 2.72 days (SD 1.7 days). The final internally validated bootstrapped multivariable model revealed that younger age, higher 9-Item Patient Health Questionnaire score, lower Neck Disability Index scores, fewer operated levels, mJOA scores indicating mild disease, anterior cervical discectomy and fusion procedure, and no perioperative adverse effects were predictive of home discharge.

CONCLUSIONS

Younger age, less neck-related disability, fewer operated levels, more significant depression, less severe myelopathy, anterior cervical discectomy and fusion procedure, and no perioperative adverse effects are predictive of home discharge after surgery for DCM. These factors can help to guide clinical decision-making and optimize postoperative care pathways.