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Esophagopharyngeal perforation and prevertebral abscess after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion: a case report [Case Report]

Shah, Jay K; Romanelli, Filippo; Yang, Jason; Rao, Naina; Gerling, Michael C
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) represents one of the most commonly performed spine surgeries. Dysphagia secondary to esophageal injury during retraction is one of the most common complications, and usually leads to self-limiting dysphagia. However, actual perforation and violation of the esophageal tissue is much rarer and can lead to delayed deep infections. Prevertebral abscess' are one of the most feared complications after ACDF, as they can lead to severe tissue swelling, osteomyelitis, hardware failure, and even death. Due to their rarity, a gold standard of workup and treatment is still unknown. A healthy 47-year-old female presents 9 months after a C4-C7 ACDF done at an outside institution with a large prevertebral abscess, osteomyelitis, hardware failure, and pseudoarthrosis secondary to esophagopharyngeal defect and prominent hardware. Overall, the patient underwent eight surgeries, and required an extended course of intravenous (IV) antibiotics, multiple diagnostic procedures, and complex soft tissue coverage using an anterolateral thigh free flap. Currently, the patient is doing well 6 months from her last procedure without any complications or plan for future surgery. This was an extremely rare case of a late occurring prevertebral abscess after ACDF. Dysphagia in the late postoperative setting should be evaluated carefully and thoroughly for any esophageal perforation and deep infection. As exemplified in this case, even partial thickness injuries to the esophageal-pharyngeal anatomy due to hardware irrigation can lead to catastrophic complications over time. Safe removal of all hardware anteriorly to avoid continued irritation of the esophagopharyngeal mucosa should be prioritized. If anterior hardware is necessary for stability, implants with the smallest footprint should be utilized. Early collaboration with ENT colleagues should be a priority and can provide crucial diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. Complex closure with a free flap was shown to be an effective way to provide successful definitive soft tissue coverage.
PMID: 34296037
ISSN: 2414-469x
CID: 4948612

Outcomes of Same-Day Orthopedic Surgery: Are Spine Patients More Likely to Have Optimal Immediate Recovery From Outpatient Procedures?

Naessig, Sara; Kapadia, Bhaveen H; Ahmad, Waleed; Pierce, Katherine; Vira, Shaleen; Lafage, Renaud; Lafage, Virginie; Paulino, Carl; Bell, Joshua; Hassanzadeh, Hamid; Gerling, Michael; Protopsaltis, Themistocles; Buckland, Aaron; Diebo, Bassel; Passias, Peter
BACKGROUND:Spinal surgery is associated with an inherently elevated risk profile, and thus far there has been limited discussion about how these outpatient spine patients are benefiting from these same-day procedures against other typical outpatient orthopedic surgeries. METHODS:Orthopedic patients who received either inpatient or outpatient surgery were isolated in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality of Improvement Program (2005-2016). Patients were stratified by type of orthopedic surgery received (spine, knee, ankle, shoulder, or hip). Mean comparisons and chi-squared tests assessed basic demographics. Perioperative complications were analyzed via regression analyses in regard to their principal inpatient or outpatient orthopedic surgery received. RESULTS:< .05) with complications decreasing for IN and OUT patients by 2016. CONCLUSIONS:Over the past decade, spine surgery has decreased in complications for IN and OUT procedures along with IN/OUT knee, ankle, hip, and shoulder procedures, reflecting greater tolerance for risk in an outpatient setting. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE/METHODS:3. CLINICAL RELEVANCE/CONCLUSIONS:Despite the increase in riskier spine procedures, complications have decreased over the years. Surgeons should aim to continue to decrease inpatient spine complications to the level of other orthopedic surgeries.
PMID: 33900991
ISSN: 2211-4599
CID: 4897932

Increased cautiousness in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients concordant with syringomyelia fails to improve overall patient outcomes

Pierce, Katherine E; Krol, Oscar; Kummer, Nicholas; Passfall, Lara; O'Connell, Brooke; Maglaras, Constance; Alas, Haddy; Brown, Avery E; Bortz, Cole; Diebo, Bassel G; Paulino, Carl B; Buckland, Aaron J; Gerling, Michael C; Passias, Peter G
Background/UNASSIGNED:Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a common cause of spinal deformity in adolescents. AIS can be associated with certain intraspinal anomalies such as syringomyelia (SM). This study assessed the rate o f SM in AIS patients and compared trends in surgical approach and postoperative outcomes in AIS patients with and without SM. Methods/UNASSIGNED:-tests and Chi-squared tests for categorical and discrete variables, respectively. Results/UNASSIGNED:< 0.001). Conclusions/UNASSIGNED:These results indicate that patients concordant with AIS and SM may be treated more cautiously (lower invasiveness score and less fusions) than those without SM.
PMID: 34194168
ISSN: 0974-8237
CID: 4926822

A Cost Benefit Analysis of Increasing Surgical Technology in Lumbar Spine Fusion

Passias, Peter G; Brown, Avery E; Alas, Haddy; Bortz, Cole A; Pierce, Katherine E; Hassanzadeh, Hamid; Labaran, Lawal A; Puvanesarajah, Varun; Vasquez-Montes, Dennis; Wang, Erik; Ihejirika, Rivka C; Diebo, Bassel G; Lafage, Virginie; Lafage, Renaud; Sciubba, Daniel M; Janjua, Muhammad Burhan; Protopsaltis, Themistocles S; Buckland, Aaron J; Gerling, Michael C
BACKGROUND CONTEXT/BACKGROUND:Numerous advances have been made in the field of spine fusion, such as minimally invasive (MIS) or robotic-assisted spine surgery. However, it is unknown how these advances have impacted the cost of care. PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:Compare the economic outcomes of lumbar spine fusion between open, MIS, and robot-assisted surgery patients. STUDY DESIGN/SETTING/METHODS:Retrospective review of a single center spine surgery database. PATIENT SAMPLE/METHODS:360 propensity matched patients. OUTCOME MEASURES/METHODS:Costs, EuroQol-5D (EQ5D), cost per quality adjusted life years (QALY). METHODS:Inclusion criteria: surgical patients >18 years undergoing lumbar fusion surgery. Patients were categorized into 3 groups based on procedure type: open, MIS, or robotic. Open patients undergoing poster spinal fusion were considered as the control group. MIS patients included those undergoing transforaminal or lateral lumbar interbody fusion with percutaneous screws. Robotic patients were those undergoing robot-assisted fusion. Propensity score matching was performed between all groups for the number of levels fused. Costs were calculated using the PearlDiver database, which reflects both private insurance and Medicare reimbursement claims for ICD-9 codes. For robotic cases, costs were reflective of operational fees and initial purchase cost. Complications and comorbidities (CC) and major complications and comorbidities (MCC) were assessed according to manual definitions. QALYs and cost per QALY were calculated using a 3% discount rate to account for residual decline to life expectancy (78.7 years). Costs per QALY were calculated for both 1 year and life expectancy, assuming no loss of benefit. A 10,000 trial Monte Carlo simulation with probabilistic sensitivity analysis (PSA) assessed our model parameters and costs. RESULTS:360 propensity matched patients (120 open, 120 MIS, 120 robotic) met inclusion criteria. Descriptive statistics for the cohort were: age 58.8 ± 13.5, 50% women, BMI 29.4 ± 6.3, operative time 294.4 ± 119.0, LOS 4.56 ± 3.31 days, EBL 515.9 ± 670.0 cc, and 2.3 ± 2.2 average levels fused. Rates of post-op complications were significantly higher in robotic cases versus open and MIS (43% vs. 21% and 22% for open and MIS, p<0.05). However, revision rates were comparable between all groups (3% open, 3% MIS, 5% robotic, p>0.05). After factoring in complications, revisions, and purchasing and operating fees, the costs of robotic cases was significantly higher than both open and MIS surgery ($60,047.01 vs. $42,538.98 open and $41,471.21 MIS). In a subanalysis of 42 patients with baseline (BL) and 1Y EQ5D data, the cost per QALY at 1Y for open, MIS, and robot-assisted cases was $296,624.48, $115,911.69, and $592,734.30. If utility gained was sustained to life expectancy, the cost per QALY was $14,905.75, $5,824.71, $29,785.64 for open, MIS, and robot-assisted cases. Results of the PSA were consistent with MIS surgery having the most incremental cost effectiveness when compared to open and robotic surgery. CONCLUSIONS:Numerous advances have been made in the field of spine surgery, however, there has been limited discussion of the effect these advances have on economic outcomes. When matched for levels fused, robot-assisted surgery patients had significantly higher rates of complications and 30% higher costs of surgery compared to minimally invasive and open spine surgery patients. While 1 year economic outcomes weren't optimal for robotic surgery cases, the projected costs per quality adjusted life years at life expectancy were well below established acceptable thresholds. The above findings may be reflective of an educational learning curve and emerging surgical technologies undergoing progressive refinement.
PMID: 33069859
ISSN: 1878-1632
CID: 4641872

Patients with psychiatric diagnoses have increased odds of morbidity and mortality in elective orthopedic surgery

Brown, Avery; Alas, Haddy; Bortz, Cole; Pierce, Katherine E; Vasquez-Montes, Dennis; Ihejirika, Rivka C; Segreto, Frank A; Haskel, Jonathan; Kaplan, Daniel James; Segar, Anand H; Diebo, Bassel G; Hockley, Aaron; Gerling, Michael C; Passias, Peter G
Psychiatric diagnoses (PD) present a significant burden on elective surgery patients and may have potentially dramatic impacts on outcomes. As ailments of the spine can be particularly debilitating, the effect of PD on outcomes was compared between elective spine surgery patients and other common elective orthopedic surgery procedures. This study included 412,777 elective orthopedic patients who were concurrently diagnosed with PD within the years 2005 to 2016. 30.2% of PD patients experienced a post-operative complication, compared to 25.1% for non-PD patients (p < 0.001). Mood Disorders (bipolar or depressive disorders) were the most commonly diagnosed PD for all elective Orthopedic procedures, followed by anxiety, then dementia (p < 0.001). Logistic regression analysis found PD to be a significant predictor of higher cost to charge ratio (CCR), length of stay (LOS), and death (all p < 0.001). Between, hand, elbow, and shoulder specialties, spine patients had the highest odds of increased CCR and unfavorable discharge, and the second highest odds of death (all p < 0.001).
PMID: 33485597
ISSN: 1532-2653
CID: 4766722

The Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Better Reflects the Impact of Length of Stay and the Occurrence of Complications Within 90 Days Than Legacy Outcome Measures for Lumbar Degenerative Surgery

Bortz, Cole; Pierce, Katherine E; Alas, Haddy; Brown, Avery; Vasquez-Montes, Dennis; Wang, Erik; Varlotta, Christopher G; Woo, Dainn; Abotsi, Edem J; Manning, Jordan; Ayres, Ethan W; Diebo, Bassel G; Gerling, Michael C; Buckland, Aaron J; Passias, Peter G
BACKGROUND:The Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS) and legacy outcome measures like the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) have not been compared for their sensitivity in reflecting the impact of perioperative complications and length of stay (LOS) in a surgical thoracolumbar population. The purpose of this study is to assess the strength of PROMIS and ODI scores as they correlate with LOS and complication outcomes of surgical thoracolumbar patients. METHODS:Retrospective cohort study. Included: patients ≥18 years undergoing thoracolumbar surgery with available preoperative and 3-month postoperative ODI and PROMIS scores. Pearson correlation assessed the linear relationships between LOS, complications, and scores for PROMIS (physical function, pain intensity, pain interference) and ODI. Linear regression predicted the relationship between complication incidence and scores for ODI and PROMIS. RESULTS:= .014) could predict complications; ODI could not. CONCLUSIONS:PROMIS domains of physical function and pain interference better reflected perioperative complications and LOS than the ODI. These results suggest PROMIS may offer more utility as an outcomes assessment instrument. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE/METHODS:3.
PMID: 33900960
ISSN: 2211-4599
CID: 4853052

A Simpler, Modified Frailty Index Weighted by Complication Occurrence Correlates to Pain and Disability for Adult Spinal Deformity Patients

Passias, Peter G; Bortz, Cole A; Pierce, Katherine E; Alas, Haddy; Brown, Avery; Vasquez-Montes, Dennis; Naessig, Sara; Ahmad, Waleed; Diebo, Bassel G; Raman, Tina; Protopsaltis, Themistocles S; Buckland, Aaron J; Gerling, Michael C; Lafage, Renaud; Lafage, Virginie
BACKGROUND:The Miller et al adult spinal deformity frailty index (ASD-FI) correlates with complication risk; however, its development was not rooted in clinical outcomes, and the 40 factors needed for its calculation limit the index's clinical utility. The present study aimed to develop a simplified, weighted frailty index for ASD patients METHODS: This study is a retrospective review of a single-center database. Component ASD-FI parameters contributing to overall ASD-FI score were assessed via Pearson correlation. Top significant, clinically relevant factors were regressed against ASD-FI score to generate the modified ASD-FI (mASD-FI). Component mASD-FI factors were regressed against incidence of medical complications, and factor weights were calculated from regression of these coefficients. Total mASD-FI score ranged from 0 to 21, and was calculated by summing weights of expressed parameters. Linear regression and published ASD-FI cutoffs generated corresponding mASD-FI frailty cutoffs: not frail (NF, <7), frail (7-12), severely frail (SF, >12). Analysis of variance assessed the relationship between frailty category and validated baseline measures of pain and disability at baseline. RESULTS:= .001). CONCLUSIONS:This study modifies an existing ASD frailty index and proposes a weighted, shorter mASD-FI. The mASD-FI relies less on patient-reported variables, and it weights component factors by their contribution to adverse outcomes. Because increasing mASD-FI score is associated with inferior clinical measures of pain and disability, the mASD-FI may serve as a valuable tool for preoperative risk assessment.
PMID: 33560265
ISSN: 2211-4599
CID: 4779602

A cost utility analysis of treating different adult spinal deformity frailty states

Brown, Avery E; Lebovic, Jordan; Alas, Haddy; Pierce, Katherine E; Bortz, Cole A; Ahmad, Waleed; Naessig, Sara; Hassanzadeh, Hamid; Labaran, Lawal A; Puvanesarajah, Varun; Vasquez-Montes, Dennis; Wang, Erik; Raman, Tina; Diebo, Bassel G; Vira, Shaleen; Protopsaltis, Themistocles S; Lafage, Virginie; Lafage, Renaud; Buckland, Aaron J; Gerling, Michael C; Passias, Peter G
The aim of this study was to investigate the cost utility of treating non-frail versus frail or severely frail adult spinal deformity (ASD) patients. 79 surgical ASD patients >18 years with available frailty and ODI data at baseline and 2-years post-surgery (2Y) were included. Utility data was calculated using the ODI converted to the SF-6D. QALYs utilized a 3% discount rate to account for decline to life expectancy (LE). Costs were calculated using the PearlDiver database. ICER was compared between non-operative (non-op.) and operative (op.) NF and F/SF patients at 2Y and LE. When compared to non-operative ASD, the ICER was $447,943.96 vs. $313,211.01 for NF and F/SF at 2Y, and $68,311.35 vs. $47,764.61 for NF and F/SF at LE. Frail and severely frail patients had lower cost per QALY compared to not frail patients at 2Y and life expectancy, and had lower ICER values when compared to a non-operative cohort of ASD patients. While these results support operative correction of frail and severely frail patients, it is important to note that these patients are often at worse baseline disability, which is closely related to frailty scores, and have more opportunity to improve postoperatively. Furthermore, there may be a threshold of frailty that is not operable due to the risk of severe complications that is not captured by this analysis. While future research should investigate economic outcomes at extended follow up times, these findings support the cost effectiveness of ASD surgery at all frailty states.
PMID: 33099349
ISSN: 1532-2653
CID: 4645652

Epidural Steroid Injections for Management of Degenerative Spondylolisthesis: Little Effect on Clinical Outcomes in Operatively and Nonoperatively Treated Patients

Gerling, Michael C; Bortz, Cole; Pierce, Katherine E; Lurie, Jon D; Zhao, Wenyan; Passias, Peter G
BACKGROUND:Although epidural steroid injection (ESI) may provide pain relief for patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis in treatment regimens of up to 4 months, it remains unclear whether ESI affects crossover from nonoperative to operative management. METHODS:This retrospective cohort study analyzed 2 groups of surgical candidates with degenerative spondylolisthesis: those who received ESI within 3 months after enrollment (ESI group) and those who did not (no-ESI group). Annual outcomes following enrollment were assessed within operative and nonoperative groups (patients who initially chose or were assigned to surgery or nonoperative treatment) by using longitudinal mixed-effect models with a random subject intercept term accounting for correlations between repeated measurements. Treatment comparisons were performed at follow-up intervals. Area-under-the-curve analysis for all time points assessed the global significance of treatment. RESULTS:The study included 192 patients in the no-ESI group and 74 in the ESI group. The no-ESI group had greater baseline Short Form-36 (SF-36) Bodily Pain scores (median, 35 versus 32) and self-reported preference for surgery (38% versus 11%). There were no differences in surgical rates within 4 years after enrollment between the no-ESI and ESI groups (61% versus 62%). The surgical ESI and no-ESI groups also showed no differences in changes in patient-reported outcomes at any follow-up interval or in the 4-year average. Compared with the nonoperative ESI group, the nonoperative no-ESI group showed greater improvements in SF-36 scores for Bodily Pain (p = 0.004) and Physical Function (p = 0.005) at 4 years, Bodily Pain at 1 year (p = 0.002) and 3 years (p = 0.005), and Physical Function at 1 year (p = 0.030) and 2 years (p = 0.002). Of the patients who were initially treated nonsurgically, those who received ESI and those who did not receive ESI did not differ with regard to surgical crossover rates. The rates of crossover to nonoperative treatment by patients who initially chose or were assigned to surgery also did not differ between the ESI and no-ESI groups. CONCLUSIONS:There was no relationship between ESI and improved clinical outcomes over a 4-year study period for patients who chose or were assigned to receive surgery for degenerative spondylolisthesis. In the nonsurgical group, ESI was associated with inferior pain reduction through 3 years, although this was confounded by greater baseline pain. ESI showed little relationship with surgical crossover. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE/METHODS:Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
PMID: 32769595
ISSN: 1535-1386
CID: 4555852

Readmission in elective spine surgery: Will short stays be beneficial to patients

Brown, Avery E; Saleh, Hesham; Naessig, Sara; Pierce, Katherine E; Ahmad, Waleed; Bortz, Cole A; Alas, Haddy; Chern, Irene; Vasquez-Montes, Dennis; Ihejirika, Rivka C; Segreto, Frank A; Haskel, Jonathan; James Kaplan, Daniel; Diebo, Bassel G; Gerling, Michael C; Paulino, Carl B; Theologis, Alekos; Lafage, Virginie; Janjua, Muhammad B; Passias, Peter G
There has been limited discussion as to whether spine surgery patients are benefiting from shorter in-patient hospital stays or if they are incurring higher rates of readmission and complications secondary to shortened length of stays. Included in this study were 237,446 spine patients >18yrs and excluding infection. Patients with Clavien Grade 5 complications in 2015 had the lowest mean time to readmission after initial surgery in all years at 12.44 ± 9.03 days. Pearson bivariate correlations between LOS ≤ 1 day and decreasing days to readmission was the strongest in 2016.). Logistic regression analysis found that LOS ≤ 1 day showed an overall increase in the odds of hospital readmission from 2012 to 2016 (2.29 [2.00-2.63], 2.33 [2.08-2.61], 2.35 [2.11-2.61], 2.27 [2.06-2.49], 2.33 [2.14-2.54], all p < 0.001).
PMID: 32360160
ISSN: 1532-2653
CID: 4424482