News and Research for Spine Professionals

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.

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.

What Are the “Critical Elements” of Spine Surgeries?

Results of a consensus survey of spine surgeons “may be hard to digest,” stated lead author, Joseph Laratta, MD. Radiographic localization, decompression, instrumentation, and fusion were defined as critical elements for common spine procedures evaluated in a consensus survey of spine surgeons. Peer commentary by Lali Sekhon, MD.

Reprocessing of Pedicle Screws and Exposure in Sterile-Field Leads to Infection in Spinal Surgery

Coauthors discuss new research that avoiding reprocessing altogether and shielding pedicle screws intraoperatively with an impermeable guard can prevent or reduce the degree of contamination and resulting SSIs.

Surgery Shows Measurable Benefits for Patients with Adult Spinal Deformity

This study is among the 10 winners of CNS’ inaugural Paper of the Year awards, which honor the best-in-class papers published in Neurosurgery.

Dreal High-Speed Shielded Curved Device May Speed Spinal Decompression and Preserve Vital Spinal Structures

The case series by Bernard et al involved 10 patients with cervical stenosis who underwent anterior cervical discectomy and fusion or cervical disc arthroplasty.

Durotomy in Malpractice Suits: What Spine Surgeons Need to Know

Malpractice and court rulings are explored in a retrospective study involving incidental durotomy and care that was delayed or improperly performed.

Optimal End Level for Long-Segment Cervical Fusion to the Thoracic Spine?

Extending posterior cervical fusions for degenerative spine conditions into the thoracic spine is associated with less risk for pseudarthrosis but significantly greater blood loss, tendency toward greater operating room time and length of hospital stay.

High-Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation Manages Back and Leg Pain Better than Low-Frequency Counterpart

CNS 2017 Paper of the Year Award. Integral to securing regulatory approval of HF10 therapy and ensuring more people have access to treatment.

Porous PEEK Fusion Device Shows High Strength and Facilitates Bone Ingrowth

J. Kenneth Burkus, MD noted that a complication of standard PEEK-based implants relates to poor integration with the surrounding bone, producing a “PEEK-halo” effect.

Delays in Diagnosis of Vertebral Fractures Are Common in Patients With Spinal Ankylosing Disorders

Should you assume vertebral fracture in patients with spinal ankylosing disorders who present with pain following a fall?

Is Lumbar Disc Replacement a Valuable Treatment for Degenerative Disc Disease?

The FDA approved total disc replacement as a treatment for lumbar degenerative disc disease. But how valuable is TDR compared to more established or traditional procedures?

Does Minimally Invasive Lumbar Fusion Benefit Patients Compared With Open Surgery?

Researchers collected data from an observational, prospective national registry of 2,036 patients to compare outcomes of MIS vs open spine surgery.

Review Examines the Role and Disparities of Rehabilitation After Lumbar Fusion

Starting physical therapy later and incorporating psychosocial elements have support according to a literature review published in the JNS: Spine.

Interspinous Spacer Relieves Painful Symptoms of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Study Shows

The FDA-approved Superion interspinous spacer provided similar relief from symptoms of neurogenic claudication when compared to historical data from studies of decompressive laminectomy in the treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis.

Isthmic and Degenerative Lumbar Spondylolisthesis: Diagnosis and Treatment

"My goal with this presentation is to examine the history of this condition and show how far we have come, and how far we have to go,”

Synthetic Ceramic Bone Graft Substitutes

Brian Kwon, MD discussed what makes a synthetic bone graft substitute ideal during the North American Spine Foundation's biologics in spine care course.

Researchers Develop Thoracolumbar AOSpine Injury Score

Researchers have developed a data-driven, easy to use Thoracolumbar AOSpine Injury Score that will be used to develop a surgical algorithm to accompany the AOSpine Thoracolumbar Injury Classification System.

Preoperative MRSA Screening May Reduce Surgical Site Infections

Preoperative nasal swab MRSA screening may be helpful in reducing surgical site infections when used within a multimodal approach. This is according to a recent study published in Spine Deformity.

Findings Support Safety of Outpatient Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) can safely be performed in the outpatient setting.

Great Job Candidate? Don't Be Too Quick to Extend the Offer

Using a multi-step approach to hiring will create a more organized and productive search.

Investigational Non-Opioid Analgesic NeuroRelease May Provide 2 Weeks of Postsurgical Pain Relief

A novel 14-day, non-opioid, postsurgical pain treatment known as NeuroRelease is being developed by PixarBio Corporation and is expected to be FDA approved in 2018, according to the company.

Ghost Attendance: How to Handle a Candidate who Lied about Their Education

A common practice for most candidates applying for jobs is to make their resumes more robust possibly by embellishing. What if the candidate never graduated or even attended a school they said they did? How to avoid difficult situations.

3D Printing With Synthetic Scaffolds

Researchers in China have used the concept of 3D printing for biomedical purposes, specifically fabrication of an artificial vertebral body.

SpineUniverse Spine Surgeon Survey Results

In an effort to better understand challenges spine surgeons face, SpineUniverse developed several viewpoint questions.

Surgeon Surveys Provide Framework for Enhancing Perioperative Spine Care

Recent efforts have centered on perioperative interventions outside the operating room that might foster better outcomes more cost-effectively.

Spinal Cord Stimulation’s Place in the Pain Treatment Continuum and Advancements in Technology

Teatment paradigm for chronic pain is shifting, and spine surgeons should consider treatment with spinal cord stimulation earlier in the chronic pain treatment continuum.

Two-level Cervical Total Disc Replacement with Mobi-C® Shows Superior Efficacy to ACDF at 7 Years

Total disc replacement with the Mobi-C Cervical Disc demonstrated superior overall success compared to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion through 7 years in a prospective randomized study.

What Causes Osteoporosis in Greek Men?

Researchers aimed to determine the factors that are directly associated with bone mineral density, including BMD of the spine and hip, in Greek men.

Criteria for Fusion After Spinal Cord Tumor Surgery Described in Review Article

A recent literature review identified seven criteria for instrumented fusion after spinal cord tumor resection in adults. Overall, 8% of adults with spinal cord tumor surgery required fusion.

Results of a Large Single-center Retrospective Review of Cervical Disc Arthroplasty

The authors indicated this is largest non-sponsored, single-center study of cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA).

Infliximab Plus Naproxen Attains 70% Partial Remission in AS

Patients with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) who were given infliximab and naproxen achieved a 70.5% partial remission rate in a post hoc analysis of the Infliximab as First Line Therapy in Patients with Early Active Axial Spondyloarthritis Trial.

FDA's Prescription Acetaminophen Recommendation

Limiting the amount of acetaminophen per dosage unit will reduce the risk of...

Is Osteoporosis of the Spine Common in Patients with COPD?

Researchers examined the progression of osteoporosis in patients who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Low-Dose Diclofenac Approved for Management of Osteoarthritis Pain

Low-dose submicron diclofenac (Zorvolex) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the management of osteoarthritis pain.
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