Spine research to know in 2022


Here are 10 spine and orthopedic studies from 2022 to know:

1. Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco and Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City found a link between people with post-recovery brain fog and abnormalities in their spinal fluid surrounding the brain.

2. In the residency application cycle that coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, the median expenditures of orthopedic residency candidates were $5,000 lower than in the previous year. A study found residents' median total expenses for 2020 were $7,250 versus $2,250 for 2021. When broken down by geographic region, median total expenses for 2021 were still lower across the board, with applicants in the West saving $6,000, the highest savings of any region.

3. Total joint replacement patients on average consumedless than half the number of opioid pills prescribed by their surgeon. A study looked at opioid consumption in a cohort of 80 total knee or hip replacements who were provided a journal to track daily consumption of pain medicine. Patients were prescribed an average of 67 opioid pills but on average consumed only 31.

4. As of September/October 2021, half of hospitals that offered lumbar spine MRIs were compliant with a CMS mandate to publish their prices online, researchers with the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute found.

5. A study by New York City-based Hospital of Special Surgery found Black patients were less likely than white patients to be completely satisfied after undergoing a hip or knee replacement. 

6. Patients who received spinal anesthesia instead of general anesthesia for outpatient hip and knee replacements reported less pain and were more often discharged the same day, according to a study published in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine.

7. Taking aspirin after a joint replacement surgery could increase the risk of blood clots, according to a study published Aug. 23 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

8. A study published in The Spine Journal concluded that patient improvement in neck pain was greater than improvement in arm pain following cervical disc replacements.

9. A study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine supports the effectiveness of NuVasive's Simplify cervical artificial disc at two levels compared to spinal fusion. The FDA investigational device exemption trial followed up with patients for two years and compared disc replacement patients with anterior cervical discectomy and fusion patients. Researchers found the overall composite success rate was statistically significantly greater in the artificial disc group compared with the fusion group after 24 months.

10. Researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City found that a bundled care program helped reduce disparities in total joint replacements for Black patients. A study analyzed disparities between Black and white patients undergoing total hip or knee replacement before and after Medicare's Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement model was implemented in 2016, according to a June 1 news release. The model gives healthcare organizations a single payment for all services in an episode of care. The bundled payment program led to improvements in key outcomes. Black patients saw larger reductions in 90-day and 180-day readmission rates as well as in Medicare payments related to skilled nursing facilities.

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