Spinal News International’s top 10 most popular stories of December 2021


A whole host of research, on topics ranging from sciatica surgery and spinal cord stimulation to vertebral augmentation and laminectomy plus instrumented fusion, dominated our December’s most read stories. Also popular last month were recent industry announcements from Philips, CoreLink and Spire Orthopedic Partners.

1. Effect on leg pain is biggest factor for patients considering sciatica surgery

The effect on leg pain is the most important factor for patients when it comes to deciding whether or not to undergo surgery for sciatica. This is according to a recent study, which was published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine by Pravesh Gadjradj (Weill Cornell, Brain and Spine Centre, New York, USA) et al, and which also found that not all potential advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery—such as scar size and no need for general anaesthesia—are necessarily perceived as advantages by patients themselves.

2. Passive recharge burst spinal cord stimulation provides sustainable improvements in pain and psychosocial function

Passive recharge burst spinal cord stimulation (B-SCS) can alleviate pain intensity, psychological distress, and improve physical function and health-related quality of life out to two years, according to latest data from the TRIUMPH study.

3. Vertebral augmentation surgeries demonstrate positive clinical outcomes for cancer-related spinal compression fractures, new meta-analysis finds

Vertebral augmentation surgeries—such as vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty—for the treatment of cancer-related spinal compression fractures are associated with statistically significant positive outcomes, particularly when compared to nonsurgical management, radiofrequency ablation, or chemotherapy alone. These are the key findings from a meta-analysis published in the journal Spine by Ryan Mattie (Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Centre, Los Angeles, USA) et al.

4. Over-the-arch technique is safe and feasible for C1 screw fixation in select patients, new study indicates

The over-the-arch (OTA) technique is a safe and feasible alternative for C1 screw fixation in patients in whom conventional techniques cannot be employed, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine by Hyung Rae Lee (Uijeongbu Eulji Medical Center, Uijeongbu Republic of Korea) and Dong-Ho Lee (Asan Medical Centre, Seoul, Republic of Korea) et al.

5. Low education and low income are “clear independent contributors” to poorer outcomes following lumbar surgery

Low educational attainment and low income status are clear independent contributors to poorer outcomes following lumbar spine surgery, a new study, published in The Spine Journal by Emma Karran (University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia) et al, has found.

6. New research highlights importance of early surgery for those with chronic sciatica secondary to lumbar disc herniation

Patients with chronic sciatica secondary to lumbar disc herniation who receive delayed surgery following prolonged, standardised non-operative care have inferior outcomes to those who undergo expedited surgery, new research has indicated.

7. Laminectomy plus instrumented fusion associated with higher costs and no superior long-term outcomes compared to laminectomy alone

Surgical treatment with instrumented fusion as an adjunct to laminectomy is not associated with superior long-term clinical outcomes compared with laminectomy alone for patients with degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM), according to a recent national study from Sweden.

8. Philips expands global presence of augmented reality spine navigation solution

Philips has announced that the first patients have been successfully treated using its 3D augmented reality (AR) spine navigation solution, ClarifEye, at Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona Children’s Hospital (Barcelona, Spain) and the Armed Forces Hospital (Muscat, Oman).

9. CoreLink announces commercial launch of CentraFix midline fixation system

CoreLink has announced the commercial launch and 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its CentraFix midline fixation system—which features modular cobalt chrome tulip heads that CoreLink say are designed to allow for intraoperative flexibility and increase visualisation in smaller incisions.

10. Spire Orthopedic Partners recruits first chief marketing officer

Spire Orthopedic Partners has hired orthopaedic marketing executive Nicole Monsky as the company’s first chief marketing officer.


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