Spinal surgery is taught and practiced within two different surgical disciplines: neurological surgery and orthopedic surgery.
Spinal surgery has become lower risk and more efficacious for complex spinal deformities, and thus more appealing to patients, particularly those for whom conservative treatment is inappropriate or ineffective. Recent innovations and advances in spinal surgery have revolutionized the management of spinal deformity in elderly patients.
The clinical entity lumbar spinal stenosis is the most common reason for spinal surgery in patients 65 years of age and older in the United States.
Recently, intraoperative stereotactic navigation has become more available in spine surgery. Stereotactic navigation with cone-beam fluoroscopy and CT and the use of the O-arm (Medtronic) 3D imaging with stereotactic computer navigation have been well described for the safe and accurate placement of pedicle screws.
Spine surgery has been growing rapidly as a neurosurgical operation, with an increase of 220% over a 15-year period.
For the majority of spinal interventions, well-designed prospective, randomized, pragmatic cost-effectiveness studies that address the specific decision-in-need are lacking. Decision analytic modeling allows for the estimation of cost-effectiveness based on data available to date. Given the rising demands for proven value in spine care, the use of decision analytic modeling is rapidly increasing by clinicians and policy makers.
A proper, integrated, clinical, and economic critical appraisal is necessary in the evaluation of the strength of evidence provided by a modeling evaluation. As is the case with clinical research, all options for collecting health economic or value data are not without their limitations and flaws. There is substantial heterogeneity across the 20 spine intervention health economic modeling studies summarized with respect to study design, models used, reporting, and general quality. There is sparse evidence for populating spine intervention models. Results mostly showed that interventions were cost-effective based on $100,000/quality-adjusted life-year threshold. Spine care providers, as partners with their health economic colleagues, have unique clinical expertise and perspectives that are critical to interpret the strengths and weaknesses of health economic models.
Health economic models must be critically appraised for both clinical validity and economic quality before altering health care policy, payment strategies, or patient care decisions.Level of Evidence: 4 1).
A co-ordinated multidisciplinary pathway with a stratified approach to LBP assessment and care provided a greater proportion of surgery candidates than the conventional referral process. The implementation of such processes may allow surgeons to restrict their practices to patients who are more likely to benefit from their services, thereby reducing wait times and potentially reducing costs.Level of Evidence: 3 2).
The use of simulation in spinal neurosurgery education is not as ubiquitous in comparison to other neurosurgical subspecialties, but many promising methods of simulation are available for augmenting resident education 4).
The spinal surgery community has recently witnessed serious controversies and discussion concerning possible bias in scientific reports on the effects of a commercially available bone morphogenetic protein. This has compromised the standing of this community, and it was the direct reason for performing a study titled 5) 6) 7) 8).
Hospital fee had the largest contribution (75%) to the total cost of index surgery, followed by readmissions (21%). Surgeon's fee and health care resource utilization had much smaller contributions to total cost. True cost savings can occur through engagement and partnering between hospital and surgeon to decrease hospital fees. Reducing readmission episodes and understanding and reducing modifiable drivers of hospital fees have the potential to decrease total direct cost for elective spine surgery 9).
There exists significant variation in total health care costs for patients who undergo spinal surgery, even within a given DRG. Better characterization of impacts of a bundled payment system in spine surgery is important for understanding the costs of index procedure hospital, physician services, and postoperative care on potential future health care policy decision making 10).
see Spine Surgery Books.
Minimal literature exists describing the process for development of a Joint Commission comprehensive spine surgery program within a community hospital health system. Components of a comprehensive program include structured communication across care settings, preoperative education, quality outcomes tracking, and patient follow-up. Organizations obtaining disease-specific certification must have clear knowledge of the planning, time, and overall commitment, essential to developing a successful program. Health systems benefit from disease-specific certification because of their commitment to a higher standard of service. Certification standards establish a framework for organizational structure and management and provide institutions a competitive edge in the marketplace 11). 12).