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The National Spine Health Foundation Releases Promising New Research


The National Spine Health Foundation releases promising new researchas they have been busy this spring and summer with presenting recent clinical studies at the annual conferences of some of the most prestigious medical associations for spine health.

Traveling to conferences across the country, NSHF’s research has been presented at the International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST), the Lumbar Spine Research Society (LSRS), the International Society for the Advancements of Spine Surgery (ISSAS), and the Global Spine Congress (GSC).

Patient outcomes are the primary focus of clinical studies, which aid in the identification of the most effective treatment methods.

The foundation is pleased to share the summary of studies that was presented during this spine conference season.

The Use Of Stem Cells For A Non-Surgical Treatment Option For Low Back Pain

Disability and poor quality of life due to chronic low back pain are common in the United States and other developed countries. Despite numerous non-surgical attempts, many patients show no signs of improvement (PT, steroid injections, medications, exercise, rest, time, activity modification).

The mission of the National Spine Health Foundation (NSHF) is to fund innovative research into effective treatments for back pain and to disseminate this information to patients.

This research follows patients for 1 year after having an intradiscal regenerative medicine procedure for backaches using their own stem cells. There were no problems and patient-reported outcome measures indicated that pain and wellbeing increased at one year, indicating regenerative medicine is a viable new non-surgical treatment for low back pain.

The logo of the National Spine Health Foundation
The logo of the National Spine Health Foundation

Reviewing Opioid Use After Elective Spine Surgery By Tracking The Number Of Unused Pills Up To 90 Days After Surgery

With the breakthroughs in minimally invasive spine surgery and modernized spine surgery recovery programs, the awesome newsis that patients have less pain and take fewer pain medications after surgery than in the past. The NSHF is committed to working to solve the opioid crisis in the United States.

They teamed up with well-known spine doctors to do this one-of-a-kind study that looked closely at the opioid needs of spine surgery patients for 3 months after surgery.

According to this study, opioid use decreased after the most frequent procedures for the neck and lower back. Results from this study may be used to inform future prescription guidelines following elective spine surgery.

Evaluating The Safety And Accuracy Of Augmented Reality-Assisted Spine Surgery

Despite the many benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery, screw placement can be difficult, especially for patients with spinal deformities or who have undergone prior spine surgery. Screw guidance techniques such as navigation and robotics are tools to assist screw placement and optimize minimally invasive options for achieving fusion.

NSHF is committed to assisting research on the current surgical techniques, especially those that widen minimally invasive options for patients.

This study aimed to determine the safety and accuracy of a new innovation, virtual navigation, for spinal fusion patients.

According to researchers at one spine center, initial experience with augmented reality (AR) in spine surgery has shown it to be an efficient, risk-free, and precise navigation tool for screw placement.

Pelvic Fixation Using Robotic-Guidance Allows For Accurate Screw Placement Without Complications

During fusion surgery, numerous patients with complex spinal anatomy will need to have their pelvis fixed to their spine. Instrumentation with S2-alar-iliac (S2AI) screws is one type of pelvic fixation, and various treatments are available for the placement of these screws.

This study aims to analyze risk of complications, revision surgery rates, and accuracy grading for 118 robotic-guided S2AI screws.

In this study, there were no medical or surgical-related complications to the S2AI screws.

There were also no revision procedures conducted as a result of the S2AI screws, although 17% received voluntary removal of S2AI screws once fusion was accomplished due to hardware-related pain.

Finally, all robotic-guided S2AI screws had the highest grade of accuracy (no breach) (no breach).

In conclusion, pelvic fixation by the robotic-guided procedure for S2AI screw placement is an effective method with minimal complication and revision rates. A high degree of accuracy can also be achieved without the need for the extra radiation associated with the freehand technique or the use of fluoroscopic guidance.

A man holding his back in pain
A man holding his back in pain

A Multi-surgeon Robotic-Guided Thoracolumbar Fusion Experience

The goal of increasing both patient safety and surgical efficiency has spurred advancements in robotic guiding. Minimally invasive surgery is becoming increasingly popular, and robotic guidance is emerging as a safe and effective technique for posterior spine instrumentation.

The goal of this study was to define eight years of one center’s experience with robotic guidance throughout three robotic generations. The use of robotic guidance in thoracolumbar instrumented fusions was found to be linked to reduced rates of complications, reoperations, and hospital readmissions.

These findings indicate that robotic guidance can be used to guide thoracolumbar instrumentation with high accuracy and low risk of complications.

Comparison Of Outcomes Between The Latest Robotic Technology With Historical Fluoroscopic-Guided Controls

Data is just beginning to emerge on the outcomes of using the current robotic systems, including the addition of navigation, and the literature suggests that using robotic guidance in spine surgery can reduce complications, revision rates, and intraoperative radiation exposure. Here, researchers evaluate the difference between newer robotic systems and traditional fluoroscopic controls in terms of postoperative lumbar fusion success rates.

The primary outcomes included: perioperative complications, revision surgery, and intraoperative exposure to fluoroscopy. These milestones were evaluated during surgery, immediately afterward, and 30, 90, and 12 months later.

The results of this study add to the growing body of evidence supporting the use of the latest MazorTM robotic technology, specifically the Mazor X and Mazor X Stealth Edition, for the precise placement of instrumentation in environments where the amount of radiation exposure to humans is minimized.

Comparing Motion Parameters Between Anterior Cervical Hybrid Surgery With Anterior Cervical Discectomy And Fusion

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is the gold standard surgical treatment for symptomatic cervical degenerative disc disease. Despite its efficacy, fusion carries with it the potential for additional surgery in the form of adjacent segment degeneration in the long run.

Cervical disc arthroplasty has been found to retain physiologic range of motion (ROM) and decrease the requirement for neighboring segment surgery. Patients with multiple levels of pathology that require fusion may benefit from combining anterior cervical fusion with arthroplasty so that their range of motion is preserved across all levels that have been treated.

The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of ACH and ACDF in terms of adjacent segment motion after surgery. In contrast to the motion-sacrificing ACDF constructs, ACH constructs in this study preserved some motion across the operative levels.

As a result, postoperative total global ROM was better in the ACH cohort and postoperative upper adjacent segment hypermobility was seen only in the ACDF group. This lends credence to the idea that patients with multilevel cervical disease who need at least one level of fusion should have the option of combining fusion with arthroplasty.

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About The Authors

Dr. Bill Butcher

Dr. Bill Butcher- With more than two decades of experience, Dr. Bill Butcher aims to provide a repository for educational materials, sources of information, details of forthcoming events, and original articles related to the medical field and about health subjects that matter to you. His goal is to help make your life better, to help you find your way when faced with healthcare decisions, and to help you feel better about your health and that of your family. Bill received his medical degree at Boston University School of Medicine and spent his entire career helping people find the health and medical information, support, and services they need. His mission is to help millions of people feel fantastic by restoring them to optimal health.

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