A study published in the September issue of the Spine Journal found that telemedicine visits can provide accurate evaluations for pre-op spine patients.
The study was conducted by a group of physicians at the Department of Spine Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.
A group of 166 patients who made plans for spinal surgery and had new patient telemedicine appointments between April 2020 and April 2021 were studied.
Of the patients, 101 had a telemedicine appointment pre-operation and no in-person visit, while the other 65 had both a telemedicine and an in-person evaluation..
Of the 65 patients that had an in-person visit following the telemedicine appointment, only four had a change in diagnosis during their in-person visit.
The surgical plan changed for only 13 patients, and the key reason for changing plans was new findings on updated spinal imaging.
The study concluded that telemedicine appointments serve as adequate evaluations for spinal procedures.