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The Effects of Smoking and Smoking Cessation on Spine Surgery: A Systematic Review of the Literature.

This systematic review by Jackson and Devine provides us with a current review of the literature in regards to the effects of smoking and smoking cessation on spine surgery.  While this review covers spine surgery in general, our reviewed focused soley on the effects related to cervical disc surgery. There are several potential risks that […]

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The Norwegian Cervical Arthroplasty Trial (NORCAT): 2-year clinical outcome after single-level cervical arthroplasty versus fusion-a prospective, single-blinded, randomized, controlled multicenter study.

This investigation by Sundseth et al presents a prospective randomized study comparing cervical anterior discectomy and fusion (using interbody cage) versus cervical disc arthroplasty in a Norwegian population. Outcomes were determined at 2 years, which is a relatively short time period. Outcome measures included the Neck Disability Index (NDI), SF36, and EuroQol-5D-3L. Overall, this multicenter […]

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Decompression and Coflex interlaminar stabilization compared with decompression and instrumented spinal fusion for spinal stenosis and low-grade degenerative spondylolisthesis: two-year results from the prospective, randomized, multicenter, Food and Drug Administration Investigational Device Exemption trial.

By most definitions, this is a good  example of a randomized control trial (RCT).  The study populations were well matched and the outcomes were standardly measured.  The follow-up rate was greater than 80%. The inclusion criteria included the presence of back pain (VAS of 5/10 or more),  along with spinal stenosis and up to grade […]

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Surgery for spinal stenosis: long-term reoperation rates, health care cost, and impact of instrumentation.

There has been a significant increase in the rates of spinal fusion in the past 15 years in the United States. This study attempted to identify the efficacy and costs associated with this trend. This study by Lad et al provided a retrospective cohort analysis of a population that underwent spinal stenosis surgery between 2002 […]

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Percutaneous lumbar laser disc decompression: an update of current evidence.

This systematic review by Singh et al (2013) provides an up to date review of the effectiveness of percutaneous lumbar laser discectomy. The acceptance of minimally invasive spine surgery continues to grow from both a demand by patients and amongst surgeons. The goals of having smaller incisions, limiting soft tissue trauma, shorter operating times and […]

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What level of pain are patients happy to live with after surgery for lumbar degenerative disorders?

This study by Fekete et al, which has been approved for publication in The Spine Journal, provided an alternative approach to evaluating clinical outcomes in patients with degenerative lumbar disorders. The study population was derived from a spine surgery outcomes database and EUROSPINE Spine Tango Registry. Over 6900 patients in the database met the inclusion […]

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2009 ISSLS Prize Winner: Does discography cause accelerated progression of degeneration changes in the lumbar disc: a ten-year matched cohort study.

The 2009 ISSLS Prize Winner for the best paper was awarded to Carragee et al for the Paper Titled Does Discography Cause accelerated progression of degenerative changes in the lumbar Spine: In this paper, Dr. Carragee followed a group of asymptomatic volunteers who had discography from L3-S1 performed in 1997,  and compared the results of […]

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Predictors of the efficacy of epidural steroid injections for structural lumbar degenerative pathology.

This study which has been accepted  and is currently pending publication in The Spine Journal presents an interesting predictive model for lumbar epidural steroid injection efficacy for those who have specific defined degenerative pathology. Treatment success for this study was defined by achieving at least a 7.1% improvement on the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). Using […]

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