5 spine studies drawing attention from surgeons

Alan Condon -   Print  |

From research into how poor bone quality could lead to complications after spinal fusion to positive results of a single-position spine surgery clinical trial, here are five recent studies catching the eyes of spine surgeons:

1. A NuVasive study in The Spine Journal found that single-position spine surgery has significant advantages over open fusion, including  fewer complications, less blood loss and reduced length of stay.

2. Surgical plans for spine patients rarely change after an in-person evaluation, according to a study published in The Spine Journal. Results indicate that virtual visits offer an efficient preoperative assessment of patients and may support innovations to optimize access to care. 

3. Most spine patients prefer in-person visits to virtual appointments, according to researchers at Penn State Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center. A study of 176 patients found only 15 percent preferred the telehealth appointment to an in-person visit. 

4. Authors of a study published in Bone called for more research into ways to improve bone quality and lower the risk of complications after spinal fusion. Researchers explored bone quality using peripheral quantitative computed tomography, rather than the traditional dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The study found that abnormalities of the trabecular and cortical microarchitecture were linked to the development of complications within the first six months after spine surgery.

5. Training surgeons in a virtual reality platform led to an almost 50 percent decrease in surgical errors, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. VR training reduced the learning curve by up to 50 cases and is at least 34-times less expensive than traditional training methods, the study found.

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