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Characterizing the Effect of Perioperative Narcotic Consumption and Narcotic Prescription Dosing at Discharge on Satisfaction With Pain Control for Patients Undergoing Single-level Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion

Owusu-Sarpong, Stephane; Iweala, Uchechi; Bloom, David; Buckland, Aaron J; Protopsaltis, Themistocles S; Fischer, Charla R
STUDY DESIGN/METHODS:A single-center, retrospective review of prospectively collected data on patients who underwent single-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusions (ACDFs) between October 2014 and October 2019. OBJECTIVE:To investigate the effect of perioperative narcotic consumption and amount of narcotic prescribed at discharge on patient satisfaction with pain control after single-level ACDF. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA/BACKGROUND:Prior research has demonstrated that opioid prescription habits may be related to physician desire to produce superior patient satisfaction with pain control. METHODS:Patients with complete Press-Ganey Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey information were analyzed. Inpatient opioid prescriptions were recorded and converted to milligram morphine equivalents (MME) and tablets of 5 mg oxycodone. HCAHPS scores were converted to a Likert-type 5-point scale. RESULTS:A total of 47 patients met inclusion criteria for this study. Average age was 48.1±10.9 y. Average inpatient opioids prescribed was 102±106 MME. Average opioids prescribed at discharge was 437±342 MME. No statistically significant correlation was found between satisfaction with pain control and opioid consumption while in the hospital [r=-0.106, P=0.483]. Similarly, there was no statistically significant correlation between satisfaction with pain control and opioids prescribed upon discharge [r=-0.185, P=0.219]. No statistically significant correlation was found between date of surgery and inpatient MME consumption [r=-0.113, P=0.450]. Interestingly, more opioids were prescribed at discharge the earlier the date of surgery [r=-0.426, P=0.003]. For every additional month further along in the study period, the odds of a patient reporting a top box score for satisfaction with pain control increased by 5.5% [P=0.025]. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Our study found no correlation between patient satisfaction with pain control and inpatient opioid dosage or outpatient prescription dosage after single-level ACDF. Moreover, satisfaction with pain control increased over time despite a decrease in MME prescribed at discharge. This suggests that factors other than narcotic consumption play a more important role in patient satisfaction with pain control. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE/METHODS:Level III.
PMID: 34907928
ISSN: 2380-0194
CID: 5079962

Comparative Analysis of Inpatient Opioid Consumption Between Different Surgical Approaches Following Single Level Lumbar Spinal Fusion Surgery

Zabat, Michelle A; Mottole, Nicole A; Ashayeri, Kimberly; Norris, Zoe A; Patel, Hershil; Sissman, Ethan; Balouch, Eaman; Maglaras, Constance; Protopsaltis, Themistocles S; Buckland, Aaron J; Fischer, Charla R
STUDY DESIGN/METHODS:Single-center retrospective cohort study. OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:To evaluate inpatient MME administration associated with different lumbar spinal fusion surgeries. METHODS:< .05. RESULTS:= .009). There were no significant differences in MME/hour and incidence of ileus between all groups. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Patients undergoing MIS TLIF had lower inpatient opioid intake compared to TP and SP ALIF/LLIF, as well as shorter LOS compared to all groups except SP ALIF/LLIF. Thus, it appears that the advantages of minimally invasive surgery are seen in minimally invasive TLIFs.
PMID: 35379014
ISSN: 2192-5682
CID: 5219582

Incidence of dysphagia following posterior cervical spine surgery

Zabat, Michelle A; Mottole, Nicole A; Patel, Hershil; Norris, Zoe A; Ashayeri, Kimberly; Sissman, Ethan; Balouch, Eaman; Maglaras, Constance; Protopsaltis, Themistocles S; Buckland, Aaron J; Roberts, Timothy; Fischer, Charla R
Abundant literature exists describing the incidence of dysphagia following anterior cervical surgery; however, there is a paucity of literature detailing the incidence of dysphagia following posterior cervical procedures. Further characterization of this complication is important for guiding clinical prevention and management. Patients ≥ 18 years of age underwent posterior cervical fusion with laminectomy or laminoplasty between C1-T1. Pre- and post-operative dysphagia was assessed by a speech language pathologist. The patient cohort was categorized by approach: Laminectomy + Fusion (LF) and Laminoplasty (LP). Patients were excluded from radiographic analyses if they did not have both baseline and follow-up imaging. The study included 147 LF and 47 LP cases. There were no differences in baseline demographics. There were three patients with new-onset dysphagia in the LF group (1.5% incidence) and no new cases in the LP group (p = 1.000). LF patients had significantly higher rates of post-op complications (27.9% LF vs. 8.5% LP, p = 0.005) but not intra-op complications (6.1% LF vs. 2.1% LP, p = 0.456). Radiographic analysis of the entire cohort showed no significant changes in cervical lordosis, cSVA, or T1 slope. Both group comparisons showed no differences in incidence of dysphagia pre and post operatively. Based on this study, the likelihood of developing dysphagia after LF or LP are similarly low with a new onset dysphagia rate of 1.5%.
PMID: 35240474
ISSN: 1532-2653
CID: 5174662

Reducing Post-Operative Opioid Prescribing Following Posterior Lumbar Fusion Does Not Significantly Change Patient Satisfaction

Bloom, David A; Manjunath, Amit K; Dinizo, Michael; Fried, Jordan W; Jazrawi, Laith M; Protopsaltis, Themistocles S; Fischer, Charla R
STUDYDESIGN/UNASSIGNED:Retrospective-comparative; LOE-3. OBJECTIVE:The purpose of this study was to investigate what effect, if any, an institutional opioid reduction prescribing policy following 1-or-2-level lumbar fusion has on Hospital-Consumer-Assessment-of-Healthcare-Providers-and-Systems-(HCAHPS)-survey results. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA/BACKGROUND:Prior research has demonstrated that high levels of opioid-prescribing may be related, in part, to a desire to produce superior patient satisfaction. METHODS:A retrospective review of prospectively-collected data was conducted on patients who underwent 1-or-2-level lumbar fusions L3-S1 between October 2014-October 2019 at a single institution. Patients with complete survey information were included in the analysis. Patients with a history of trauma, fracture, spinal deformity, fusions > 2 levels, or prior lumbar fusion surgery L3-S1 were excluded. Cohorts were based on date of surgery relative to implementation of an institutional opioid reduction policy, which commenced in October 1, 2018. To better compare groups, opioid prescriptions were converted into milligram-morphine-equivalents (MME). RESULTS:330 patients met inclusion criteria, 259 pre-protocol, 71 post-protocol. There were 256 1-level fusions and 74 2-level fusions included. There were few statistically significant differences between groups with respect to patient demographics (p > 0.05) with the exception of number of patients who saw the pain management service, which increased from 36.7%(95) pre-protocol, to 59.2%(42) post-protocol; p < 0.001. Estimated blood loss (EBL) decreased from 533 ± 571 mL to 346 ± 328 mL; p = 0.003. Percentage of patients who underwent concomitant laminectomy decreased from 71.8% to 49.3%; p < 0.001. Average opioids prescribed on discharge in the pre-protocol period was was 534 ± 425 MME, compared to after initiation of the protocol it was 320 ± 174 MME; P < 0.001. There was no statistically significant difference with respect to satisfaction with pain control, 4.49 ± 0.85 pre-protocol vs 4.51 ± 0.82 post-protocol; p = 0.986. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:A reduction in opioids prescribed at discharge after 1-or-2-level lumbar fusion is not associated with any statistically significant change in patient satisfaction with pain management, as measured by the HCAHPS survey.Level of Evidence: 3.
PMID: 34091561
ISSN: 1528-1159
CID: 4899482

COVID-19 pandemic and elective spinal surgery cancelations - what happens to the patients?

Norris, Zoe A; Sissman, Ethan; O'Connell, Brooke K; Mottole, Nicole A; Patel, Hershil; Balouch, Eaman; Ashayeri, Kimberly; Maglaras, Constance; Protopsaltis, Themistocles S; Buckland, Aaron J; Fischer, Charla R
BACKGROUND CONTEXT/BACKGROUND:The COVID-19 pandemic caused nationwide suspensions of elective surgeries due to reallocation of resources to the care of COVID-19 patients. Following resumption of elective cases, a significant proportion of patients continued to delay surgery, with many yet to reschedule, potentially prolonging their pain and impairment of function and causing detrimental long-term effects. PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:The aim of this study was to examine differences between patients who have and have not rescheduled their spine surgery procedures originally cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to evaluate the reasons for continued deferment of spine surgeries even after the lifting of the mandated suspension of elective surgeries. STUDY DESIGN/SETTING/METHODS:Retrospective case series at a single institution PATIENT SAMPLE: Included were 133 patients seen at a single institution where spine surgery was canceled due to a state-mandated suspension of elective surgeries from March to June, 2020. OUTCOME MEASURES/METHODS:The measures assessed included preoperative diagnoses and neurological dysfunction, surgical characteristics, reasons for surgery deferment, and PROMIS scores of pain intensity, pain interference, and physical function. METHODS:Patient electronic medical records were reviewed. Patients who had not rescheduled their canceled surgery as of January 31, 2021, and did not have a reason noted in their charts were called to determine the reason for continued surgery deferment. Patients were divided into three groups: early rescheduled (ER), late rescheduled (LR), and not rescheduled (NR). ER patients had a date of surgery (DOS) prior to the city's Phase 4 reopening on July 20, 2020; LR patients had a DOS on or after that date. Statistical analysis of the group findings included analysis of variance with Tukey's honestly significant difference (HSD) post-hoc test, independent samples T-test, and chi-square analysis with significance set at p≤.05. RESULTS:Out of 133 patients, 47.4% (63) were in the ER, 15.8% (21) in the LR, and 36.8% (49) in the NR groups. Demographics and baseline PROMIS scores were similar between groups. LR had more levels fused (3.6) than ER (1.6), p= .018 on Tukey HSD. NR (2.1) did not have different mean levels fused than LR or ER, both p= >.05 on Tukey HSD. LR had more three column osteotomies (14.3%) than ER and (1.6%) and NR (2.0%) p=.022, and fewer lumbar microdiscectomies (0%) compared to ER (20.6%) and NR (10.2%), p=.039. Other surgical characteristics were similar between groups. LR had a longer length of stay than ER (4.2 vs 2.4, p=.036). No patients in ER or LR had a nosocomial COVID-19 infection. Of NR, 2.0% have a future surgery date scheduled and 8.2% (4) are acquiring updated exams before rescheduling. 40.8% (20; 15.0% total cohort) continue to defer surgery over concern for COVID-19 exposure and 16.3% (8) for medical comorbidities. 6.1% (3) permanently canceled for symptom improvement. 8.2% (4) had follow-up recommendations for non-surgical management. 4.1% (2) are since deceased. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Over 1/3 of elective spine surgeries canceled due to COVID-19 have not been performed in the 8 months from when elective surgeries resumed in our institution to the end of the study. ER patients had less complex surgeries planned than LR. NR patients continue to defer surgery primarily over concern for COVID-19 exposure. The toll on the health of these patients as a result of the delay in treatment and on their lives due to their inability to return to normal function remains to be seen.
PMID: 34339887
ISSN: 1878-1632
CID: 5004182

Comparison of Plastic Surgeon and Spine Surgeon Closure in Revision Short Segment Thoracolumbar Spinal Fusions

Zhong, Jack; Balouch, Eaman; O'Malley, Nicholas; Maglaras, Constance; Stickley, Carolyn; Leon, Carlos; O'Connell, Brooke; Fischer, Charla R; Protopsaltis, Themistocles; Buckland, Aaron J
STUDY DESIGN/METHODS:Retrospective cohort analysis. OBJECTIVE:To compare outcomes of plastic versus spine surgeon wound closure in revision 1 to 4 level thoracolumbar fusions. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA/BACKGROUND:Plastic surgeons perform layered musculocutaneous flap closures in high-risk spine patients such as revision posterior spinal fusion and complex deformity correction surgeries. Few studies have assessed outcomes of revision fusion performed with plastic surgical closures, particularly in nondeformity thoracolumbar spinal surgery. METHODS:A retrospective review of 1 to 4 level revision thoracolumbar fusion performed by Orthopedic or Neurosurgical spine surgeons. Patient charts were reviewed for demographics and perioperative outcomes. Patients were divided into two cohorts: wound closures performed by spine surgeons and those closed by plastic surgeons. Outcomes were analyzed before and after propensity score match for prior levels fused, iliac fixation, and levels fused at index surgery. Significance was set at P < 0.05. RESULTS:Three hundred fifty-seven (87.3%) spine surgeon (SS) and 52 (12.7%) plastic surgeon (PS) closures were identified. PS group had significantly higher number of levels fused at index (PS 2.7 ± 1.0 vs. SS 1.8 ± 0.9, P < 0.001) and at prior surgeries (PS 1.8 ± 1.2 vs. SS 1.0 ± 0.9, P < 0.001), and rate of iliac instrumentation (PS 17.3% vs. SS 2.8%, P < 0.001). Plastics closure was an independent risk factor for length of stay  > 5 days (odds ratio 2.3) and postoperative seroma formation (odds ratio 7.8). After propensity score match, PS had higher rates of seromas (PS 36.5% vs. SS 3.8%, P < 0.001). There were no differences between PS and SS groups in surgical outcomes, perioperative complication, surgical site infection, seroma requiring aspiration, or return to operating room at all time points until follow-up (P > 0.05 for all). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Plastic spinal closure for 1 to 4 level revision posterior thoracolumbar fusions had no advantage in reducing wound complications over spine surgeon closure but increased postoperative seroma formation.Level of Evidence: 4.
PMID: 34435992
ISSN: 1528-1159
CID: 5011162

Clinical photographs in the assessment of adult spinal deformity: a comparison to radiographic parameters

Ryan, Devon J; Stekas, Nicholas D; Ayres, Ethan W; Moawad, Mohamed A; Balouch, Eaman; Vasquez-Montes, Dennis; Fischer, Charla R; Buckland, Aaron J; Errico, Thomas J; Protopsaltis, Themistocles S
OBJECTIVE:The goal of this study was to reliably predict sagittal and coronal spinal alignment with clinical photographs by using markers placed at easily localized anatomical landmarks. METHODS:A consecutive series of patients with adult spinal deformity were enrolled from a single center. Full-length standing radiographs were obtained at the baseline visit. Clinical photographs were taken with reflective markers placed overlying C2, S1, the greater trochanter, and each posterior-superior iliac spine. Sagittal radiographic parameters were C2 pelvic angle (CPA), T1 pelvic angle (TPA), and pelvic tilt. Coronal radiographic parameters were pelvic obliquity and T1 coronal tilt. Linear regressions were performed to evaluate the relationship between radiographic parameters and their photographic "equivalents." The data were reanalyzed after stratifying the cohort into low-body mass index (BMI) (< 30) and high-BMI (≥ 30) groups. Interobserver and intraobserver reliability was assessed for clinical measures via intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs). RESULTS:A total of 38 patients were enrolled (mean age 61 years, mean BMI 27.4 kg/m2, 63% female). All regression models were significant, but sagittal parameters were more closely correlated to photographic parameters than coronal measurements. TPA and CPA had the strongest associations with their photographic equivalents (both r2 = 0.59, p < 0.001). Radiographic and clinical parameters tended to be more strongly correlated in the low-BMI group. Clinical measures of TPA and CPA had high intraobserver reliability (all ICC > 0.99, p < 0.001) and interobserver reliability (both ICC > 0.99, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS:The photographic measures of spinal deformity developed in this study were highly correlated with their radiographic counterparts and had high inter- and intraobserver reliability. Clinical photography can not only reduce radiation exposure in patients with adult spinal deformity, but also be used to assess deformity when full-spine radiographs are unavailable.
PMID: 33990080
ISSN: 1547-5646
CID: 4867902

Trends in Pain Medication Prescriptions and Satisfaction Scores in Spine Surgery Patients at a Single Institution

Wang, Erik; Vasquez-Montes, Dennis; Jain, Deeptee; Hutzler, Lorraine H; Bosco, Joseph A; Protopsaltis, Themistocles S; Buckland, Aaron J; Fischer, Charla R
BACKGROUND:As the opioid crisis has gained national attention, there have been increasing efforts to decrease opioid usage. Simultaneously, patient satisfaction has been a crucial metric in the American health care system and has been closely linked to effective pain management in surgical patients. The purpose of this study was to examine rates of pain medication prescription and concurrent patient satisfaction in spine surgery patients. METHODS:test of independence was used to compare percentages, and 1-way analysis of variance was used to compare means across quarters. RESULTS:value range, .359-.988). CONCLUSIONS:Over the studied time period, opioid use decreased and nonopioid prescriptions increased during hospitalization, whereas satisfaction scores remained unchanged. These findings indicate an increasing effort in reducing opioid use among providers and suggest the ability to do so without affecting overall satisfaction rates. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE/METHODS:4. CLINICAL RELEVANCE/CONCLUSIONS:The opioid epidemic has highlighted the need to reduce opioid usage in orthopedic spine surgery. This study reviews the trends for inpatient management of post-op pain in orthopedic spine surgery patients in relation to patient satisfaction. There was a significant increase in non-opioid analgesic pain medications, and a reduction in opioids during the study period. During this time, patient satisfaction as measured by Press-Ganey surveys did not show a decrease. This demonstrates that treatment of post-operative pain in orthopedic spine surgery patients can be managed with less opioids, more multimodal analgesia, and patient satisfaction will not be affected.
PMID: 33560264
ISSN: 2211-4599
CID: 4779592

Biologics and Minimally Invasive Approach to TLIFs: What Is the Risk of Radiculitis?

Wang, Erik; Stickley, Carolyn; Manning, Jordan; Varlotta, Christopher G; Woo, Dainn; Ayres, Ethan; Abotsi, Edem; Vasquez-Montes, Dennis; Fischer, Charla R; Stieber, Jonathan; Quirno, Martin; Protopsaltis, Themistocles S; Passias, Peter G; Buckland, Aaron J
BACKGROUND: Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and allograft containing mesenchymal stem cells (live cell) are popular biologic substitutes for iliac crest autograft used in transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). Use of these agents in the pathogenesis of postoperative radiculitis remains controversial. Recent studies have independently linked minimally invasive (MIS) TLIF with increased radiculitis risk compared to open TLIF. The purpose of this study was to assess the rate of postoperative radiculitis in open and MIS TLIF patients along with its relationship to concurrent biologic adjuvant use. METHODS: Patients ≥18 years undergoing single-level TLIF from June 2012 to December 2018 with minimum 1-year follow-up were included. Outcome measures were rate of radiculitis, intra- and postoperative complications, revision surgery; length of stay (LOS), and estimated blood loss (EBL). RESULTS:= .038, N = 336) compared to other combinations of surgical approach and biologic use. CONCLUSIONS: Neither the MIS approach nor BMP use is an independent risk factor for post-TLIF radiculitis. However, risk of radiculitis significantly increases when they are used in tandem. This should be considered when selecting biological adjuvants for MIS TLIF. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE/METHODS: 3.
PMID: 33046541
ISSN: 2211-4599
CID: 4632542

Evaluation of Health Related Quality of Life Improvement in Patients Undergoing Spine vs Adult Reconstructive Surgery

Varlotta, Christopher; Fernandez, Laviel; Manning, Jordan; Wang, Erik; Bendo, John; Fischer, Charla; Slover, James; Schwarzkopf, Ran; Davidovitch, Roy; Zuckerman, Joseph; Bosco, Joseph; Protopsaltis, Themistocles; Buckland, Aaron J
STUDY DESIGN/METHODS:Retrospective analysis of outcomes in single-level spine and primary hip and knee arthroplasty patients. OBJECTIVE:Compare baseline and post-operative outcomes in patients undergoing spine surgery procedures with total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) to further define outcomes in orthopedic surgery. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA/BACKGROUND:Computer-adaptive Patient Reported Outcome Information System (PROMIS) allows for standardized assessment of the Health Related Quality of Life across different disease states. METHODS:Patients who underwent spine surgery (anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, cervical disc replacement, lumbar laminectomy, microscopic lumbar discectomy, transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion or adult reconstruction surgery (THA, TKA) were grouped. Mean Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI), Baseline (BL) and 6-month (6 M) PROMIS scores of Physical Function, Pain Interference, and Pain Intensity were determined. Paired t-tests compared differences in CCI, BL, 6 M, and change in PROMIS scores for spine and adult reconstruction procedures. RESULTS:304 spine surgery patients (Age=58.1 ± 15.6; 42.9% Female) and 347 adult reconstruction patients (Age=62.9 ± 11.8; 54.1% Female) were compared. Spine surgery groups had more disability and pain at baseline than adult reconstruction patients according to Physical Function [(21.0, 22.2, 9.07, 12.6, 10.4) vs (35.8, 35.0), respectively, p < .01], Pain Interference [(80.1, 74.1, 89.6, 92.5, 90.6) vs (64.0, 63.9), respectively, p < .01] and Pain Intensity [(53.0, 53.1, 58.3, 58.5, 56.1) vs (53.4, 53.8), respectively, p < .01]. At 6 M, spine surgery patients remained more disabled and had more pain compared to adult reconstruction patients. Over the 6-month timespan, spine patients experienced greater improvements than adult reconstruction patients in terms of Physical Function [(+8.7, +22.2, +9.7, +12.9, +12.1) vs (+5.3, +3.9), respectively, p < .01] and Pain Interference scores [(-15.4, -28.1, -14.7, -13.1, -12.3) vs (-8.3, -6.0), respectively, p < .01]. CONCLUSIONS:Spinal surgery patients had lower BL and 6 M PROMIS scores, but greater relative improvement in PROMIS scores compared to adult reconstruction patients. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE/METHODS:3.
PMID: 32576778
ISSN: 1528-1159
CID: 4524922