National Database Research in Spine Surgery: Limitations in the Current Literature

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Abstract

Many of the studies in the spine surgical literature using national databases have been directed at examining adverse events, readmission rates, cost, and risk factors for poorer outcomes. Although such studies allow for assessment of large cohorts taken from multiple institutions, they are limited by data collection methods, short-term follow-up, and minimal assessment of functional outcomes. Furthermore, few studies are directed at producing actionable practice changes to improve patient care. Recent work aimed at producing databases with more relevance to spine surgery represent exciting developments to the rapidly growing field of health outcomes research.

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