News and Research for Spine Professionals

Why Perform Spinal Injections at All? Evidence is Weak

The audience discussion included the question, "If the patient is not a surgical candidate, would you and do you send that patient for pain management?"

Early Occupational Intervention for Chronic Low Back Pain Does Not Add to Benefits of Usual Care

Low back pain interventions that include an explanation of the pain may be sufficient to limit sick leave in patients with LBP and physically demanding jobs.

Radiofrequency Ablation of the Basivertebral Nerve Shows Efficacy in Case Series

Results of prospective open-label case series are in keeping with earlier studies of basivertebral nerve ablation in the treatment of chronic low back pain.

High-Dose Vitamin D Supplementation in Healthy Adults Linked to Bone Thinning

Study reveals there is no further bone benefit by increasing vitamin D in healthy adults who are vitamin D sufficient.

USC Launches Online Pain Medicine Programs

USC offers a Master of Science in Pain Medicine and a Certificate in Pain Medicine. Both online programs provide clinicians a comprehensive body of knowledge on pain and enable them to better treat pain in their patients.

John F. Kennedy’s Unsuccessful Back Surgeries and Chronic Back Pain

The authors uncovered information proving to be the tip of the iceberg revealing more about JFK's chronic back pain and possibly his death.

What Factors Are Important to Patients When Deciding Between Minimally Invasive or Open Surgery for Posterior Lumbar Fusion?

Lead author, Dr. Hwee Weng Dennis Hey comments on this research study. Choll W. Kim, MD, offers his insight on the values of informed-consent.

Half of Patients Expect Physicians, Nurses to Protect Them Against Hospital Shootings

In an active hospital shooting situation, under what circumstances do you lock down doors and stay versus run and take patients with you?

Volume Benchmarks for Common Lumbar Spine Surgeries Defined in Recent Study

Volume benchmarks for common lumbar spine surgeries were defined in a retrospective review published online ahead of print in The Spine Journal.

Measuring Outcomes in the Treatment of Early Onset Scoliosis

Assessing outcomes in treatment of EOS entails more than just assessing the Cobb angle. At the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Scoliosis Research Society, presenters discussed options and outcomes.

ACA Brand Relaunch Aims to Set a Higher Standard for Chiropractic Care

Four key findings from the ACA’s Brand Study are revealed. David Herd, DC spoke with SpineUniverse about encouraging consistent, evidence-based care as part of the association’s goals.

Arachnoid Web of the Spine: Optimal Detection and Management

Systematic review of surgically treated patients with arachnoid web of the spine provides a comprehensive review of the published literature on AWS to help physicians who see these patients.

Advisory on rhBMP-2 in "The Spine Journal" Had a Greater Effect on Practice Than FDA Warning

New findings suggest the 2011 warnings in TSJ had a more profound impact on practice patterns in terms of decreasing rhBMP-2 use than the 2008 FDA warning.

Are Magnetically Controlled Growing Rods a Game Changer for Early-Onset Scoliosis?

The debate between magnetically controlled growing rods vs traditional growing rods continued at the Scoliosis Research Society's annual meeting.

Smokers With Cervical Disc Disease Have Increased Spine Surgery Rates

Are stronger pre-surgical smoking cessation programs needed? Zorica Buser, PhD, and Jeffrey C. Wang, MD, comment on the study findings.

Osteoporosis Drug Significantly Reduced Fractures Compared to Traditional Treatment

Unlike previous romosozumab studies, this study showed the drug’s benefits beyond vertebral fractures, but cardiovascular risk puts FDA approval on hold.

Casting for Treatment of Early-Onset Scoliosis—Practice Pearls

Key points from the Scoliosis Research Society’s webinar on casting in treatment of early-onset scoliosis features commentary by faculty members.

Low Risk of Adjacent Segment Degeneration Found Following Lumbar Total Disc Replacement

“These findings finally verify the holy grail for those of us who have dedicated decades to disc replacement. We now have substantiated proof that this is correct,” stated Richard D. Guyer, MD.

The Future of Scientific Publications: The Effects of Open Access, Social Media, and Altmetrics

A panel of editors from leading spine journals convened to discuss the movement toward open access articles, new digital technologies, and if impact factor is an accurate measure for scientific journals.

Nonopioid Multimodal Analgesia for Pre- and Post-Operative Spine Surgery

Multimodal analgesia, including use of nonopioid analgesia has emerged as a way to improve pain control following spine surgery and help limit the risk of opioid use.

Opioid Focus: Federal Crisis Response, Education Versus Regulations and Legislation

The complexity of the opioid overdose problem is multifaceted and includes a poorly understood population, lack of provider education and an inordinate focus on pills and not the patient.

Do Occult Pathogens Play a Role in Failed Back Surgery?

Occult pathogens may play a role in chronic pain and failed fusion in instrumented spine surgery. The impact of this potential association is marked given the rising rates of instrumented spinal fusions in the past decade.

Preventing Spinal Implant Contamination in Spine Surgery

Is preventing spinal device-related infection a life-long battle? Bacteria are tougher to kill when they attach to the surface of a spinal implant, even before they form a biofilm.

Women Report Better Outcomes After Surgery for Degenerative Lumbar Spondylolisthesis

Why women with degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis are more likely to be satisfied with their surgical outcome.

Pre-Operative Depression Linked to Increased Opioid Use Following Lumbar Fusion

Delay lumbar spinal fusion until depression is treated? How does depression affect post-operative pain control?

High Fat, High Sugar Diet Linked to Increased Fracture Risk

Vertebral fracture risk increased by chronic consumption of diet high in advanced glycation end-products (AGEs).

Spine Technology News Highlights June 2018

Spine technology news highlights for June 18 include a novel investigational PEEK-on-ceramic cervical artificial disc, registration deadline and information about academic pain medicine programs and the NASS spine registry.

8 Spine Technology and News Highlights July 2018

SpineUniverse highlights a blend of eight news briefs covering technology, clinical research, corporate updates, spine devices, surgical opinion, and more from July 2018.

Findings Support Vertebral Augmentation Over Non-surgical Management of Vertebral Compression Fracture

Strong support for vertebral augmentation over non-surgical management of vertebral compression fractures was found in a recent meta-analysis of 25 prospective studies.

Women Are More Susceptible to Traumatic Lumbar Spine Injury Than Men

Gender differences in traumatic spine injuries include a higher rate of cervical spine fractures in men and a higher rate of thoracolumbar fractures in women.

Top 3 Device Manufacturers in the U.S. Spine Market

The total US spine market in 2017 was valued at over $7.7 billion USD. Of the many segments that make up this market, the MIS segment is among the fastest-growing. Of interest, the top 3 competitors in the overall market coincide with that of the MIS market, albeit in different orders.

Reimagining Spine Surgery Through Awake Spinal Fusion

NASS 2018 presentation on awake spinal fusions using spinal anesthesia in the outpatient setting, which led to improved outcomes and enhanced recovery time compared with performing these procedures under general anesthesia.

Marked Rise in Lumbar Fusion Rates Found in Past Decade

The rate of lumbar fusion performed in the United States increased by 32% between 2004 and 2015, with the largest increase found among patients aged 65 years and older.

Pre-Operative Planning Reduces Complication Risk in Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery

Approximately 70% of patients undergoing adult spinal deformity surgery will develop perioperative or related complications. What is the best way to assess frailty in patients undergoing spine surgery?

Paradigm Shift to Outpatient Spine Surgery Centers

Among the many changes ushered in by the Affordable Care Act is a focus on patient outcomes and the economics of health care in addition to clinical outcomes. Ambulatory surgery centers have evolved as one method to achieve these goals.

Cervical Excitatory Neurons Rescue Breathing After Spinal Cord Injury

Researchers discovered a novel neuronal circuit involving cervical excitatory interneurons that, when activated, rescue breathing after severe spinal cord injury.

Lumbar Decompression Is Safe and Effective for Grade 1 Spondylolisthesis, Study Shows

Lumbar decompression is safe and effective for grade 1 spondylolisthesis-related spinal stenosis in patients with relative pre-operative stability, according to a retrospective review of prospectively collect data from a single center.

Rates of Lumbar Radiofrequency Ablation on The Rise Despite Controversial Efficacy Data

Use of radiofrequency ablation to treat facet-mediated chronic low back pain is controversial. Large retrospective study examines trends in RFA use from 2007-2016.

Assessing Lumbar Conditions in Elite Athletes

Study explores the common lumbar conditions affecting this elite athletic patient subgroup and how treatment impacts return to play.

How Cervical Myelopathy Led to Michael Collins’ Placement on Apollo 11

This story embodies the absolute best of the American spirit. One can only imagine the relentless, quiet frustration Astronaut Collins felt in watching someone else go to the moon in his place on Apollo 8. All the while, he never really knew if he would ever get another chance.

Sleep Disorders Independently Linked to Higher Medical Costs in Low Back Pain

Study findings highlight importance of early detection and management of sleep disorders in patients with low back pain, including relationships between pain, disability and downstream healthcare utilization.

Standalone Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion Is Effective for Spinal Stenosis

The authors believe that standalone LLIF is a minimally invasive alternative to traditional anterior or posterior approaches in carefully selected patients.

Meta-analysis Links Bisphosphonates to Atrial Fibrillation

“The results of our analysis (pooled data from randomized control trials and observational studies) suggest an increased risk of developing...

Patient Risk for Recurrent Herniation and Readmission by Annular Defect Size

Study results indicate intra-operative identification of annular defect size may allow spine surgeons to risk-stratify patients for recurrent disc herniation.

Insurance Status Linked to Quality of Care During Hospitalization for Primary Spinal Neoplasms

Insurance status was a significant predictor of experiencing adverse quality events during hospitalizations for primary spinal neoplasms in a recent retrospective cohort study.

Patterns in Back Pain Over Time: Who Recovers and Who Persists?

Researchers analyzed data from a representative sample (n=12,782) of the Canadian population enrolled in the National Population Health Survey Results. Study results identified four distinct trajectories.

Factors Predict Which Patients Crossover to Surgery for Spondylolisthesis

Study identified factors in which patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis are likely to crossover to surgical treatment after initially being randomized to nonoperative care.

The Pros and Cons of Open Access Publishing

What’s the future for open access publishing? Could the elimination of subscription-based models without having systems in place to ensure independently vetted, high quality content lead to serious unintended consequences for the scientific literature?

Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement Outcomes at 5 to 10 Years

During ISASS19, Frank Phillips, MD, presented 5 to 10 year cervical artificial disc replacement outcomes; one of the most rigorously studied procedures to date in spine surgery.

Has the Affordable Care Act Improved Patients’ Health?

Researchers examined evidence from more than 40 studies to determine what impact insurance coverage has on health and mortality, if any.
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