Spine surgery safe & effective in ASCs, study finds

Shayna Korol -   Print  |

Outpatient cervical and lumbar spine surgery is safe and effective, according to a systematic review published in Neurosurgery.


The study authors include:

• Frank Phillips, MD
• Matthew McGirt, MD
• Ahilan Sivaganesan, MD
• Brandon Hirsch, MD

Authors conducted a systematic search of PubMed that yielded a total of 39 published studies.

Lumbar discectomies and posterior cervical foraminotomies are being performed in large numbers on an outpatient basis. The authors contend the a need for a similar shift for anterior cervical discectomy and fusion.

Nearly 20 studies have found equivalent or superior complication rates for outpatient compared to inpatient ACDF.

Lumbar microdiscectomies in the outpatient hospital setting have spiked significantly from 18.7 percent in 2003 to 68.5 percent in 2014. Similarly, ambulatory surgery centers have seen an influx of lumbar microdiscectomies, increasing from 0.7 percent in 2003 to 10.6 percent in 2014.

Patients opting for outpatient lumbar disc procedures grew 540 percent between 1994 and 2006 while the number of outpatient lumbar stenosis procedures increased 926 percent.

Based on research from more than 10,000 1- and 2-level outpatient lumbar decompression surgeries, the authors concluded ASCs reduce surgery costs without jeopardizing a patient's safety or effectiveness of the surgery.

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