Are 3-month ODI scores sufficient in determining long-term outcomes after lumbar spine surgery? 6 observations


In a Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine study, researchers examined whether three-month outcome measurements reflect long-term outcomes for patients undergoing degenerative lumbar disease spine surgery.

The study included data from 3,073 patients undergoing spine surgery for degenerative lumbar disease. The researchers examined three-month and 12-month follow-up Oswestry Disability Index scores.


Here are six observations:


1. In the study, three-month ODI scores diverged from 12-month ODI scores by an absolute difference of 11.9 +/- 10.8. The predictive model found 12-month ODI scores differing from actual 12-month scores by a mean of 10.7 +/- 9 points.


2. Of the patients, 64 percent had a minimal clinically important difference for ODI at three months. Sixty-seven percent of patients achieved MCID for ODI at 12 months.


3. Fifty-one percent of patients achieved substantial clinical benefit for ODI at three months, compared to 61 percent of patients achieving SCB for ODI at 12 months.


4. Of the patients, nearly 20 percent had ODI scores differing at least 20 points between their actual three-month and 12-month values.


5. The researchers concluded studies should use predictive methods for functional outcomes based on early patient experience to "help evaluate the effectiveness of procedures in patient populations, rather than serving as a proxy for long-term individual patient experience," according to the study.


6. Additionally, the researchers suggested prospective longitudinal registries include 12 months of data in order to identify spine care effectiveness at the individual patient level.


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