5 trends in spine surgery outcomes: minimally invasive vs. open technologies


A new study published in The Spine Journal examines how minimally invasive technologies affect outcomes after elective interbody fusions.


The study authors examined data from the National Neurosurgery Quality and Outcomes Database for one- and two-level interbody lumbar fusion. The patients had lumbar stenosis or Grade 1 spondylolisthesis diagnoses and underwent open or minimally invasive surgery.


There were 467 patients who underwent elective interbody fusion with the minimally invasive technologies and 1,480 had open surgeries.


Here are five key trends:


1. Nearly 25 percent of the surgeries in the study used minimally invasive technology, and regardless of the approach there were significant and sustained improvements in the measured health domains.


2. The minimally invasive procedures were associated with less blood loss, 5 percent reduction in post-discharge rehabilitation and 0.7 day shorter length of stay on average. "When used in every day care by a wide spectrum of spine surgeons in non-research settings, the use of MIS technologies was associated with reduced intraoperative blood loss but only a half-day reduction in mean length of hospital stay for one-level fusions," the study authors concluded.


3. Among two-level procedures, minimally invasive and open techniques were associated with equivalent lengths of stay.


4. The patient was able to return to work in a similar amount of time regardless of the procedure technique.


5. The minimally invasive devices were able to increase some in-hospital efficiencies.


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