Becker's reported on four key studies in spine and orthopedics since Feb. 13:
1. Healthcare systems could be strained by growing demand for spinal fusion cases, according to a study published in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research — a Wolters Kluwer publication. Vincent Heck, MD, a surgeon in Cologne, Germany, and his team evaluated nationwide data from the German Federal Statistical Office to estimate spinal fusion rates as functions of calendar year, age and gender. They estimated the use of posterior spinal fusion will grow 83 percent by 2060.
2. A three-year study of Creative Medical Technology Holdings' StemSpine procedure found it was effective for addressing chronic lower back pain. StemSpine uses a patient's bone marrow aspirate for treating back pain, according to a Feb. 14 news release. Three-year data found a continued efficacy rate of 87 percent with no patients needing re-dosage or surgical intervention. There were no safety-related concerns reported.
3. A new study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery found that spine surgery may be more effective than conventional medical treatment for spinal stenosis. The study was conducted by the Health Data Analytics Institute, Raymond Hwang, MD, and Scott Tromanhauser, MD, of the New England Baptist Hospital in Boston. Using data and predictive analytics, researchers compared patients who received operative and nonoperative treatment for spinal stenosis and found surgery was associated with lower mortality and costs over two years.
4. Short telomere length was linked to an increased risk of complications after spinal deformity surgery, according to a study in the Journal of Nerosurgery. Researchers studied 43 patients undergoing elective surgery for spinal deformity. The mean age of the group was 66 years. Twenty-two patients has a medical or surgical complication. Patients who had a postoperative complication had "significantly lower" telomere to single-copy gene abundances. Patients whose telomere length was in the shortest quartile had the highest risk of complications.