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Yoji Ogura, Yoshio Shinozaki, Yoshiomi Kobayashi, Takahiro Kitagawa, Yoshiro Yonezawa, Yohei Takahashi, Kodai Yoshida, Akimasa Yasuda and Jun Ogawa

OBJECTIVE

Patients with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) tend to bend forward to relieve neurological symptoms. They therefore have a positive sagittal vertical axis (SVA). The importance of the SVA value is well known in the field of adult spinal deformity; however, little is known about its impact on LSS. The authors sought to investigate the impact of sagittal spinopelvic alignment on clinical outcome and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) after decompression surgery for LSS.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed 83 patients who underwent lumbar decompression without fusion between January 2014 and September 2015 with a minimum follow-up of 2 years. Standing whole-spine radiographs were examined preoperatively and at final follow-up. Based on the SVA, patients were allocated to a sagittal balance group (group B; SVA < 50 mm) or a sagittal imbalance group (group I; SVA ≥ 50 mm). The authors compared the groups using Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA), Zurich Claudication Questionnaire (ZCQ), Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ), and the 8-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-8) scores.

RESULTS

Preoperative groups B (group pre-B) and I (group pre-I) included 58 and 25 patients, respectively. Preoperative sagittal malalignment had negative effects on the JOA score recovery rate, postoperative ZCQ physical function domain score, and numeric rating scale (NRS) score of postoperative low-back pain (LBP), but no significant effects were observed for RMDQ and SF-8 domain scores. Postoperatively, groups B (group post-B) and I (group post-I) included 60 and 23 patients, respectively. Group post-I had a significantly worse JOA score recovery rate, postoperative symptom severity domain score in the ZCQ, and NRS score for postoperative LBP. Similarly, the postoperative RMDQ score and the Physical Component Summary score of the SF-8 were significantly worse in group post-I.

CONCLUSIONS

Positive SVA had significantly negative effects on clinical outcome and HRQOL in LSS patients after lumbar decompression surgery.

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Yoji Ogura, Yoshio Shinozaki, Yoshiomi Kobayashi, Takahiro Kitagawa, Yoshiro Yonezawa, Yohei Takahashi, Kodai Yoshida, Akimasa Yasuda and Jun Ogawa

OBJECTIVE

The importance of global sagittal alignment is well known. Patients with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) generally tend to bend forward to relieve their neurological symptoms, i.e., they have a positive sagittal vertical axis (SVA). We hypothesized that the positive SVA associated with LSS is symptom related and should improve after surgery. However, little is known about the changes in sagittal alignment in LSS patients after decompression surgery. In this study the authors aimed to evaluate midterm radiographical changes in sagittal spinopelvic alignment after decompression surgery for LSS and to determine the factors influencing the improvement in sagittal spinopelvic alignment.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed 89 patients who underwent lumbar decompression without fusion between January 2014 and September 2015 with a minimum follow-up of 2 years. Standing whole-spine radiographs at the preoperative stage and at the final follow-up were examined. We analyzed SVA, lumbar lordosis (LL), pelvic tilt (PT), pelvic incidence (PI), thoracolumbar kyphosis (TLK), and thoracic kyphosis (TK).

RESULTS

LL and TK were significantly increased postoperatively. SVA and PI minus LL (PI-LL) were significantly decreased. There were no significant differences between the preoperative and postoperative PT, PI, SS, or TLK. Twenty-nine patients had preoperative sagittal malalignment with SVA > 50 mm. Thirteen of the 29 patients improved to SVA < 50 mm after decompression surgery. Lower ASA grade, preoperative higher LL, and lower PI-LL were related to patient improvement. A receiver operating characteristic curve for the preoperative PI-LL had an area under the curve value of 0.821, indicating moderate accuracy (p = 0.003). A cutoff value for preoperative PI-LL of 19.2° showed a sensitivity of 93.5% and a specificity of 71.4%.

CONCLUSIONS

Lumbar decompression can lead to a reactive improvement in the lumbar and global sagittal alignment. However, some of the sagittal malalignment in LSS was irreversible. Preoperative PI-LL was a useful predictor to distinguish reversible from irreversible sagittal malalignment.

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Yoji Ogura, Jeffrey L. Gum, Portia Steele, Charles H. Crawford III, Mladen Djurasovic, R. Kirk Owens II, Joseph L. Laratta, Morgan Brown, Christy Daniels, John R. Dimar II, Steven D. Glassman and Leah Y. Carreon

OBJECTIVE

Unexpected nonhome discharge causes additional costs in the current reimbursement models, especially to the payor. Nonhome discharge is also related to longer length of hospital stay and therefore higher healthcare costs to society. With increasing demand for spine surgery, it is important to minimize costs by streamlining discharges and reducing length of hospital stay. Identifying factors associated with nonhome discharge can be useful for early intervention for discharge planning. The authors aimed to identify the drivers of nonhome discharge in patients undergoing 1- or 2-level instrumented lumbar fusion.

METHODS

The electronic medical records from a single-center hospital administrative database were analyzed for consecutive patients who underwent 1- to 2-level instrumented lumbar fusion for degenerative lumbar conditions during the period from 2016 to 2018. Discharge disposition was determined as home or nonhome. A logistic regression analysis was used to determine associations between nonhome discharge and age, sex, body mass index (BMI), race, American Society of Anesthesiologists grade, smoking status, marital status, insurance type, residence in an underserved zip code, and operative factors.

RESULTS

A total of 1502 patients were included. The majority (81%) were discharged home. Factors associated with a nonhome discharge were older age, higher BMI, living in an underserved zip code, not being married, being on government insurance, and having more levels fused. Patients discharged to a nonhome facility had longer lengths of hospital stay (5.6 vs 3.0 days, p < 0.001) and significantly increased hospital costs ($21,204 vs $17,518, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Increased age, greater BMI, residence in an underserved zip code, not being married, and government insurance are drivers for discharge to a nonhome facility after a 1- to 2-level instrumented lumbar fusion. Early identification and intervention for these patients, even before admission, may decrease the length of hospital stay and medical costs.