Trends in nonoperative treatment modalities prior to cervical surgery and impact on patient-derived outcomes: Two-year analysis of 1522 patients from the prospective spine treatment outcome study

Michael C. Gerling, Kris Radcliff, Robert Isaacs, Kristina Bianco, Cyrus M. Jalai, Nancy J. Worley, Gregory W. Poorman, Samantha R. Horn, Olivia J. Bono, John Moon, Paul M. Arnold, Alexander R. Vaccaro, Peter Passias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Effects of nonoperative treatments on surgical outcomes for patients who failed conservative management for cervical spine pathologies remain unknown. The objective is to describe conservative modality use in patients indicated for surgery for degenerative cervical spine conditions and its impact on perioperative outcomes. Methods: The current study comprises a retrospective review of a prospective multicenter database. A total of 1522 patients with 1-to 2-level degenerative cervical pathology who were undergoing surgical intervention were included. Outcome measures used were health-related quality-of-life scores, length of hospitalization, estimated blood loss, length of surgery, and return-to-work status at 2 weeks, 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years postoperatively. Patients were grouped by diagnosis (radiculopathy vs. myelopathy), then divided based on epidural injection(s), physical therapy (PT), or opioid use prior to enrollment. Univariate t-tests and χ2 tests were performed to determine differences between groups and impact on outcomes. Results: Among 1319 radiculopathy patients, 25.7% received preoperative epidural injections, 35.3% received PT, and 35.5% received opioids. Radiculopathy patients who received epidurals and PT had higher 1-year postoperative returnto- work rates (P <.05). Radiculopathy patients without preoperative PT had longer hospitalization times, whereas those who received PT had higher 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) physical functioning and physical component scores, lower 2-year visual analog scale (VAS) neck/arm pain scores, and higher 2-year return-to-work incidence (P <.05). Of myelopathy patients (n = 203), 14.8% received epidural injections, 25.1% received opioids, and 41.5% received PT. Myelopathy patients with preoperative PT had worse VAS arm pain scores 2 years postoperatively (P <.05). Patients receiving opioids were younger and had greater baseline-2-year Neck Disability Index improvement (P <.05). Conclusions: Radiculopathy patients receiving epidurals returned to work after 1 year more frequently. PT was associated with shorter hospitalizations, greater SF-36 bodily pain normand physical component score improvements, and increased return-to-work rates after 1 and 2 years. No statistically significant nonoperative treatment was associated with return-to-work rate in myelopathy patients. Clinical Relevance: These findings suggest certain preoperative conservative treatment modalities are associated with improved outcomes in radiculopathy patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-259
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Spine Surgery
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

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Keywords

  • Cervical spine surgery
  • Epidural injections
  • Nonoperative treatment
  • Opioids
  • Outcomes
  • Physical therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Cite this

Gerling, M. C., Radcliff, K., Isaacs, R., Bianco, K., Jalai, C. M., Worley, N. J., Poorman, G. W., Horn, S. R., Bono, O. J., Moon, J., Arnold, P. M., Vaccaro, A. R., & Passias, P. (2018). Trends in nonoperative treatment modalities prior to cervical surgery and impact on patient-derived outcomes: Two-year analysis of 1522 patients from the prospective spine treatment outcome study. International Journal of Spine Surgery, 12(2), 250-259. https://doi.org/10.14444/5031