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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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Charis A. Spears, Syed M. Adil, Brad J. Kolls, Michael E. Muhumza, Michael M. Haglund, Anthony T. Fuller, and Timothy W. Dunn

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether neurosurgical intervention for traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with reduced risks of death and clinical deterioration in a low-income country with a relatively high neurosurgical capacity. The authors further aimed to assess whether the association between surgical intervention and acute poor outcomes differs according to TBI severity and various patient factors.

METHODS

Using TBI registry data collected from a national referral hospital in Uganda between July 2016 and April 2020, the authors performed Cox regression analyses of poor outcomes in admitted patients who did and did not undergo surgery for TBI, with surgery as a time-varying treatment variable. Patients were further stratified by TBI severity using the admission Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score: mild TBI (mTBI; GCS scores 13–15), moderate TBI (moTBI; GCS scores 9–12), and severe TBI (sTBI; GCS scores 3–8). Poor outcomes constituted Glasgow Outcome Scale scores 2–3, deterioration in TBI severity between admission and discharge (e.g., mTBI to sTBI), and death. Several clinical and demographic variables were included as covariates. Patients were observed for outcomes from admission through hospital day 10.

RESULTS

Of 1544 patients included in the cohort, 369 (24%) had undergone surgery. Rates of poor outcomes were 4% (n = 13) for surgical patients and 12% (n = 144) among nonsurgical patients (n = 1175). Surgery was associated with a 59% reduction in the hazard for a poor outcome (HR 0.41, 95% CI 0.23–0.72). Age, pupillary nonreactivity, fall injury, and TBI severity at admission were significant covariates. In models stratifying by TBI severity at admission, patients with mTBI had an 80% reduction in the hazard for a poor outcome with surgery (HR 0.20, 95% CI 0.04–0.90), whereas those with sTBI had a 65% reduction (HR 0.35, 95% CI 0.14–0.89). Patients with moTBI had a statistically nonsignificant 56% reduction in hazard (HR 0.44, 95% CI 0.17–1.17).

CONCLUSIONS

In this setting, the association between surgery and rates of poor outcomes varied with TBI severity and was influenced by several factors. Patients presenting with mTBI had the greatest reduction in the hazard for a poor outcome, followed by those presenting with sTBI. However, patients with moTBI had a nonsignificant reduction in the hazard, indicating greater variability in outcomes and underscoring the need for closer monitoring of this population. These results highlight the importance of accurate, timely clinical evaluation throughout a patient’s admission and can inform decisions about whether and when to perform surgery for TBI when resources are limited.

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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.