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Thiago S. Montenegro, Kevin Hines, Paul P. Partyka, and James Harrop

OBJECTIVE

The references list is an important part of a scientific article that serves to confirm the accuracy of the authors’ statements. The goal of this study was to evaluate the reference accuracy in the field of spine surgery.

METHODS

Four major peer-reviewed spine surgery journals were chosen for this study based on their subspecialty clinical impact factors. Sixty articles per journal were selected from 12 issues each of The Spine Journal, Spine, and Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, and 40 articles were selected from 8 issues of Global Spine Journal, for a total of 220 articles. All the articles were published in 2019 and were selected using computer-generated numbers. From the references list of each article, one reference was again selected by using a computer-generated number and then checked for citation or quotation errors.

RESULTS

The results indicate that 84.1% of articles have a minor citation error, 4.5% of articles have a major citation error, 9.5% of articles have a minor quotation error, and 9.1% of articles have a major quotation error. Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine had the fewest citation errors compared with the other journals evaluated in this study. Using chi-square analysis, no association was determined between the occurrence of errors and potential markers of reference mistakes. Still, statistical significance was found between the occurrence of citation errors and the spine journals tested.

CONCLUSIONS

In order to advance medical treatment and patient care in spine surgery, detailed documentation and attention to detail are necessary. The results from this study illustrate that improved reference accuracy is required.

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Kevin Hines, Zachary T. Wilt, Daniel Franco, Aria Mahtabfar, Nicholas Elmer, Glenn A. Gonzalez, Thiago S. Montenegro, Lohit Velagapudi, Parthik D. Patel, Maxwell Detweiler, Umma Fatema, Gregory D. Schroeder, and James Harrop

OBJECTIVE

Posterior cervical decompression and fusion (PCDF) is a commonly performed procedure to address cervical myelopathy. A significant number of these patients require revision surgery for adjacent-segment disease (ASD) or pseudarthrosis. Currently, there is no consensus among spine surgeons on the inclusion of proximal thoracic spine instrumentation. This study investigates the benefits of thoracic extension in long-segment cervical fusions and the potential drawbacks. The authors compare outcomes in long-segment subaxial cervical fusion for degenerative cervical myelopathy with caudal vertebral levels of C6, C7, and T1.

METHODS

A retrospective analysis identified 369 patients who underwent PCDF. Patients were grouped by caudal fusion level. Reoperation rates for ASD and pseudarthrosis, infection, and blood loss were examined. Data were analyzed with chi-square, 1-way ANOVA, and logistic regression.

RESULTS

The total reoperation rate for symptomatic pseudarthrosis or ASD was 4.8%. Reoperation rates, although not significant, were lower in the C3–6 group (2.6%, vs 8.3% for C3–7 and 3.8% for C3–T1; p = 0.129). Similarly, rates of infection were lower in the shorter-segment fusion without achieving statistical significance (2.6% for C3–6, vs 5.6% for C3–7 and 5.5% for C3–T1; p = 0.573). The mean blood loss was documented as 104, 125, and 224 mL for groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Given the lack of statistical difference in reoperation rates for long-segment cervical fusions ending at C6, C7, or T1, shorter fusions in high-risk surgical candidates or elderly patients may be performed without higher rates of reoperation.