Nonsurgical Resource Utilization in Adult Spinal Deformity

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Study Design.The enrollment data were retrospectively reviewed for 1,061 patients entered into a prospective multicenter study of adult spinal deformity between January 2002 and June 2004.Objective.The purpose of this study is to quantify and analyze the use of nonsurgical resources in patients with adult spinal deformity.Summary of Background Data.Limited data exist regarding the utilization of nonsurgical treatment methods for adult spinal deformity.Methods.Demographic data, surgical history, symptom assessment, and nonsurgical treatment regimen were reviewed. Health status measures were the SF-12, SRS-29, and ODI. Nonsurgical patients were divided into low- and high-symptom subgroups based on age adjusted ODI score. Resource utilization was analyzed based on both patient and physician questionnaire responses.Results.High- and low-symptom nonsurgical subgroups differed significantly on all reported health status measures (P < 0.0001). High-symptom patients used greater resources in terms of narcotics, epidural blocks, and physical agent methods (P < 0.001), analgesics (P < 0.01), pain management referral and bed rest (P < 0.02), strength training, nerve root blocks, and stabilization exercises (P < 0.05).Conclusions.The results of this study demonstrate that, within the population of adult deformity patients, distinct high- and low-symptom groups exist and can be clearly identified. While high-symptom patients used significantly greater resources, most low-symptom patients used nonsurgical resources as well.

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