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Aladine A. Elsamadicy, David T. Lubkin, Amanda R. Sergesketter, Syed M. Adil, Lefko T. Charalambous, Nicolas Drysdale, Theresa Williamson, Joaquin Camara-Quintana, Muhammad M. Abd-El-Barr, C. Rory Goodwin, and Isaac O. Karikari

OBJECTIVE

In the United States, healthcare expenditures have been soaring at a concerning rate. There has been an excessive use of postoperative radiographs after spine surgery and this has been a target for hospitals to reduce unnecessary costs. However, there are only limited data identifying the rate of instrumentation changes on radiographs after complex spine surgery involving ≥ 5-level fusions.

METHODS

The medical records of 136 adult (≥ 18 years old) patients with spine deformity undergoing elective, primary complex spinal fusion (≥ 5 levels) for deformity correction at a major academic institution between 2010 and 2015 were reviewed. Patient demographics, comorbidities, and intra- and postoperative complication rates were collected for each patient. The authors reviewed the first 5 subsequent postoperative and follow-up radiographs, and determined whether revision of surgery was performed within 5 years postoperatively. The primary outcome investigated in this study was the rate of hardware changes on follow-up radiographs.

RESULTS

The majority of patients were female, with a mean age of 53.8 ± 20.0 years and a body mass index of 27.3 ± 6.2 kg/m2 (parametric data are expressed as the mean ± SD). The median number of fusion levels was 9 (interquartile range 7–13), with a mean length of surgery of 327.8 ± 124.7 minutes and an estimated blood loss of 1312.1 ± 1269.2 ml. The mean length of hospital stay was 6.6 ± 3.9 days, with a 30-day readmission rate of 14.0%. Postoperative and follow-up change in stability on radiographs (days from operation) included: image 1 (4.6 ± 9.3 days) 0.0%; image 2 (51.7 ± 49.9 days) 3.0%; image 3 (142.1 ± 179.8 days) 5.6%; image 4 (277.3 ± 272.5 days) 11.3%; and image 5 (463.1 ± 525.9 days) 15.7%. The 3rd year after surgery had the highest rate of hardware revision (5.55%), followed by the 2nd year (4.68%), and the 1st year (4.54%).

CONCLUSIONS

This study suggests that the rate of instrumentation changes on radiographs increases over time, with no changes occurring at the first postoperative image. In an era of cost-conscious healthcare, fewer orders for early radiographs after complex spinal fusions (≥ 5 levels) may not impact patient care and can reduce the overall use of healthcare resources.

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Christine Park, Lefko T. Charalambous, Zidanyue Yang, Syed M. Adil, Sarah E. Hodges, Hui-Jie Lee, Laura Zitella Verbick, Aaron R. McCabe, and Shivanand P. Lad

OBJECTIVE

Nontraumatic, primary intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) accounts for 2 million strokes worldwide annually and has a 1-year survival rate of 50%. Recent studies examining functional outcomes from ICH evacuation have been performed, but limited work has been done quantifying the incidence of subsequent complications and their healthcare economic impact. The purpose of this study was to quantify the incidence and healthcare resource utilization (HCRU) for major complications that can arise from ICH.

METHODS

The IBM MarketScan Research databases were used to retrospectively identify patients with ICH from 2010 to 2015. Complications examined included cerebral edema, hydrocephalus, venous thromboembolic events (VTEs), pneumonia, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and seizures. For each complication, inpatient mortality and HCRU were assessed.

RESULTS

Of 25,322 adult patients included, 10,619 (42%) developed complications during the initial admission of ICH: 22% had cerebral edema, 11% hydrocephalus, 10% pneumonia, 6% UTIs, 5% seizures, and 5% VTEs. The inpatient mortality rates at 7 and 30 days for each complication of ICH ranked from highest to lowest were hydrocephalus (24% and 32%), cerebral edema (15% and 20%), pneumonia (8% and 18%), seizure (7% and 13%), VTE (4% and 11%), and UTI (4% and 8%). Hydrocephalus had the highest total cost (median $92,776, IQR $39,308–$180,716) at 7 days post–ICH diagnosis and the highest cumulative total cost (median $170,839, IQR $91,462–$330,673) at 1 year post–ICH diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS

This study characterizes one of the largest cohorts of patients with nontraumatic ICH in the US. More than 42% of the patients with ICH developed complications during initial admission, which resulted in high inpatient mortality and considerable HCRU.