At this year’s American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Annual Meeting, held March 7 to 11 in Las Vegas, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) presented new research on a variety of topics in orthopedic surgery, including studies related to minimally invasive surgery, racial disparities, and opioid alternatives for pain management in spine care.
What follows are some highlights from the meeting:
Intravenous versus Oral Administration of Acetaminophen Perioperative to Instrumented Lumbar Fusion: A Single-Center, Randomized Controlled Trial
In patients undergoing certain orthopedic surgeries, giving intravenous (IV) acetaminophen for pain relief has been shown to have fewer side effects and potentially lower risk than opioids but is associated with higher costs than oral acetaminophen. In this single-center, randomized controlled trial, investigators led by Darren R. Lebl, MD, MBA, and Celeste Abjornson, PhD, prospectively evaluated clinical outcomes of IV versus oral acetaminophen after circumferential lumbar fusion. One hundred patients between the ages of 18-85 were randomly assigned to one of the two groups (50 in each) and were included in the study. There was a specific dosing regimen that started within the three hours prior to surgery and continued for the next 48 hours. Patients were able to access supplemental opioid analgesics as needed. The researchers found that morphine consumption was significantly lower for the IV acetaminophen group compared with the oral acetaminophen group within the first 48 hours post-operatively. The average daily morphine usage after 48 hours for those who received the IV acetaminophen regimen was also significantly lower. The research suggests that IV acetaminophen is a safe and effective supplement to opioid-based pain management after surgery, and that it provides a promising option for pain control.
Authors: Gregory Paschal; Fedan Avrumova; Philip Paschal; Ellen M. Soffin, MD, PhD; Joseph Nguyen; Federico P. Girardi, MD; Andrew A. Sama, MD; Frank P. Cammisa Jr., MD; Darren R. Lebl, MD, MBA; Celeste Abjornson, PhD, (HSS)
Racial Disparities in Outpatient Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion and Cervical Disc Replacement
Recent reports have suggested disparities within cervical spine surgery, including lower utilization rates and worse perioperative outcomes for Black patients. In this retrospective cohort study, a team led by HSS resident Troy B. Amen sought to assess whether these disparities also exist for outpatient cervical spine surgery. Using data collected by the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program between 2010 and 2019, the team looked at patients who underwent primary anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) or cervical disc replacement (CDR) and stratified them by race and ethnicity. They categorized procedures as inpatient or outpatient based on length of stay. They found that, overall, Black patients were significantly less likely to undergo ACDF (5.9%, vs. 10.6% of white patients) as well as CDR (19.9%, vs. 26.1% of white patients) as outpatients. Between 2010 and 2019, these disparities increased, even when adjusting for other factors. The findings highlight the need for renewed intervention by orthopedic surgeons and policymakers to address inequalities in outpatient care.
Authors: Troy B. Amen; Patawut Bovonratwet, (HSS); Samuel S. Rudisill (Rush Medical College); Lauren Barber; Yusef Jordan, (HSS); Abhinaba Chatterjee (Weill Cornell Medicine); Jung Kee Mok (UNC Chapel Hill); Nathan Varady; Sheeraz Qureshi, MD, MBA (HSS)
Improving Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Ambulatory Surgical Center Utilization for Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion
Although racial and ethnic disparities within the field of spine surgery have been documented, the link between the recent emergence of ambulatory surgical centers and access to these procedures in the outpatient setting isn’t known. A study led by HSS resident Troy B. Amen sought to assess disparities in the use of these outpatient surgical centers among white, Black, and Hispanic patients having spine surgery. The investigators also looked at how racial differences have changed between 2015 and 2018. Using data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project New York State Ambulatory Database, the researchers looked at differences in same-day discharges in patients having anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). They found that during this time, Black and Hispanic patients were significantly less likely to undergo ACDF surgery at an ambulatory center compared with white patients, but that these disparities lessened over time. They note that these improvements are encouraging and may help counteract previously documented disparities in spine surgery in the inpatient setting, although additional research is needed to confirm that.
Authors: Troy B. Amen, (HSS); Abhinaba Chatterjee (Weill Cornell Medicine); Sheeraz Qureshi, MD, MBA (HSS)
Predictors of Non-improvement After Minimally Invasive Lumbar Spine Surgery
Minimally invasive surgery of the lumbar spine is associated with good clinical outcomes, but a small number of patients may not improve, or may even worsen, after this surgery. A study led by HSS research fellow Junho Song sought to identify predictors of patients who are not likely to improve. The study included 448 patients who underwent minimally invasive transforaminal interbody fusion, laminectomy, or microdiscectomy at HSS between 2017 and 2021. At follow-up of at least six months after surgery, the patients were categorized as better, the same, or worse. A total of 66 patients reported no significant improvement; among these, 35 patients reported worsening after surgery, and the rest reported no change. Patients who did not fare as well were more likely to be older or obese. The researchers found that smoking was also a factor for those who didn’t do as well, likely due to changes in metabolic systems and local vasculature caused by tobacco use. The investigators say these findings provide valuable evidence that may be useful for improving the selection of patients to undergo minimally invasive spine surgery. They may also help to establish clearer patient expectations for those undergoing this procedure.
Authors: Junho Song; Pratyush Shahi; Kasra Araghi; Robert Kamil; Dimitra Melissaridou; Sidhant Singh Dalal (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences); Daniel Shinn; Sheeraz Qureshi, MD, MBA; Sravisht Iyer, MD (HSS)
Robotics Reduces Radiation Exposure in Minimally Invasive Lumbar Fusion Compared to Navigation
For minimally invasive spine surgery, navigation and robotics technologies have helped reduce surgeons’ exposure to ionizing radiation. Studies have compared radiation exposure during surgery using robotics or navigation to procedures using traditional fluoroscopy, but none have compared robotics and navigation to each other. This study compared the two techniques in terms of fluoroscopy time and radiation dose for minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MI-TLIF). The study included 111 patients in the robotics cohort and 133 patients in the navigation cohort. The investigators, led by HSS research fellow Pratyush Shahi, found that for both one- and two-level TLIFs, the fluoroscopy time for surgical procedure, total fluoroscopy time, and total radiation dose were significantly less with robotics compared to navigation. For one-level TLIFs, the overall time of radiation exposure was also lower. Overall, time in the operating room was similar, with robotic procedures lasting longer but requiring less time for setup and image capture. Based on these findings, the investigators say robotic surgery leads to a significant reduction in radiation exposure both for the surgeon and the patient compared to navigation, but multicenter prospective trials are needed to confirm these findings.
Authors: Pratyush Shahi, Sidhant Singh Dalal (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences); Junho Song; Daniel Shinn; Robert Kamil; Kasra Araghi; Sheeraz Qureshi, MD, MBA (HSS)