5 spine, orthopedic studies to know

Spine

Research examining patient reviews of spine surgeons and four more studies to know:

1. A study confirmed the effectiveness of Surgalign Holdings' SImmetry system for sacroiliac joint fusion. The study examined clinical outcomes after minimally invasive sacroiliac joint fusion with decortication. After 12 months, 72.2 percent of patients achieved the minimal clinically important difference criteria of reduction in the VAS pain measurement, and 62.5 percent of patients achieved the MCID criteria of reduction in the Oswestry Disability Index.

2. Industry pay for spine surgeons dipped 17.5 percent over six years, a study found. Researchers used public information from the CMS Open Payments Database to analyze industry and research payments from 2014-19. Trends in payments to all physicians were compared to that of spine and orthopedic surgeons. Researchers found an aggregate of $42.7 billion general and research payments reported to all physicians over the six-year period, and 2.6 percent of that went to spine surgeons.

3. Cervical artificial disc replacements were less likely to result in degenerative complications compared to spinal fusions, a study found. Researchers analyzed patients who had an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion with patients who had a cervical disc replacement with follow-up data after at least two and up to seven years in the wake of the procedures. The study concluded: "The difference in radiographic adjacent-level disease is related to the preservation of motion at the index level and resultant preservation of kinematics and forces across the adjacent disc space."

4. Patients who undergo total hip replacement have an increased rate of lumbar-related complications compared with those who do not undergo hip replacements and those who undergo the procedure before lumbar spinal fusion. The study analyzed patients who underwent lumbar spinal fusion within the PearlDiver Humana database from 2010-18. Researchers found patients who had total hip replacement after lumbar spinal fusion had a higher rate of adjacent segment disease compared to patients who underwent lumbar spinal fusion without a total hip replacement.

5. Spine surgeons who are younger, personable, provide sufficient pain relief and work in favorable offices receive the most positive patient reviews online, a study from New York City-based Mount Sinai School of Medicine found. The study evaluated 2,235 Healthgrades reviews of the Society of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery members, with 169 spine surgeons meeting the inclusion criteria; 98.6 percent were male and the mean age was 51.7 years old. 

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