Spinal News International’s top 10 most popular stories of July 2022


A debate on the use of robotics in spine surgery was the most popular piece on Spinal News International in July, closely followed by research on a novel hydrogel and a study on the correlation between insurance type and patient outcomes for those with lumbar spinal stenosis. Making it into the top 10 was also the latest industry news from the likes of Empirical Spine and Lineage Cell Therapeutics. 

1. Debate: Should robotics technology be more widely adopted in spine surgery?

The use of robotics in the field of spine surgery is a much discussed and controversial topic, with numerous physicians arguing both for and against its increased use in procedures. In this debate, two world renowned spine surgeons offer their views extolling the virtues and highlighting the pitfalls of this technology and whether or not it should have a greater usage in spine surgery practice both now and in the coming years.

2. Early study suggests novel, injectable gel may greatly reduce chronic low back pain

An experimental formulation of a hydrogel, injected into spinal discs, proved safe and effective in substantially relieving chronic low back pain caused by degenerative disc disease (DDD), according to new research presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) 2022 Annual Scientific Meeting (11–16 June, Boston, USA).

3. Insurance type associated with differing patient-reported outcomes in those with lumbar spinal stenosis

Patients with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) who are insured in the USA through Medicaid have systematically worse baseline patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) across almost all domains as compared to those with commercial insurance and Medicare, even after adjusting for confounders, new research has found.

4. Routine use of antibiotics after spine surgery may not be warranted

Routine use of postoperative antibiotics in spine surgery may not be effective in preventing surgical site infections (SSIs), according to a recent systematic review and meta-analysis which was published in the European Spine Journal by José Orenday-Barraza and Ali Baaj (University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix, USA) et al.

5. RECODE-DCM: Global consensus reached on degenerative cervical myelopathy as single unifying term

A global, multi-stakeholder consensus process involving those with lived experience has selected degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) as the single unifying term for a progressive spinal cord injury due to narrowing of the cervical spinal canal.

6. LimiFlex Dynamic Sagittal Tether moves one step closer to commercial launch

Empirical Spine recently had its pre-market approval (PMA) Module II accepted and closed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an important milestone in the commercial approval process for its LimiFlex Dynamic Sagittal Tether (DST).

7. Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells can be safely administered to patients in the subacute period after cervical SCI

Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (LCTOPC1; Lineage Cell Therapeutics) can be safely administered to participants in the subacute period after cervical spinal cord injury (SCI), according to the results of a phase 1/2 a dose-escalation study which were recently published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine by Richard Fessler (Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, USA) et al.

8. Comment: Endoscopic techniques “the next logical step” for the decompression of lumbar pathologies

Daniel Sauer and Christoph Siepe of the Schön Klinik München Harlaching (Munich, Germany) discuss some of the benefits of endoscopic surgery compared with microsurgery and whether or not the former will eventually be seen as the gold standard for treating lumbar disc disease.

9. Racial and socioeconomic disparities affect postoperative outcomes for spine surgery patients

Racial and socioeconomic disparities in patients’ preoperative physical and mental health at presentation for spine surgery are associated adversely with postoperative outcomes, new research has shown.

10. Novel supine correction index helps predict brace outcomes in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients

Curve progression with brace treatment in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) can be predicted by their curve flexibility and in-brace correction rate, new research shows.


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