Post-operative bracing after pedicle screw fixation for thoracolumbar burst fractures: A cost-effectiveness study.
J Clin Neurosci. 2017 Aug 08;:
Authors: Piazza M, Sinha S, Agarwal P, Mallela A, Nayak N, Schuster J, Stein S
PURPOSE: While frequently prescribed to patients following fixation for spine trauma, the utility of spinal orthoses during the post-operative period is poorly described in the literature. In this study, we calculated rates of reoperation and performed a decision analysis to determine the utility of bracing following pedicle screw fixation for thoracic and lumbar burst fractures.
METHODS: Pubmed was searched for articles published between 2005 and 2015 for terms related to pedicle screw fixation of thoracolumbar fractures. Additionally, a database of neurosurgical patients operated on within the authors institution was also used in the analysis. Incidences of significant adverse events (wound revision for either dehiscence or infection or re-operation for non-union or instability due to hardware failure) were determined. Pooled means and variances of reported parameters were obtained using a random-effects, inverse variance meta-analytic model for observational data. Utilities for surgical outcome and complications were assigned using previously published values.
RESULTS: Of the 225 abstracts reviewed, 48 articles were included in the study, yielding a total of 1957 patients. After including patients from the institutional registry, together a total of 2081 patients were included in the final analysis, 1328 of whom were braced. Non-braced patients were older then braced patients, although this only approached significance (p=0.051). Braced patients had significantly lower rates of re-operation for non-union or clinically significant hardware failure (1.3% vs. 1.8%, p<0.001) although the groups had comparable rates of operative wound dehiscence and infection (p=1.000). These two approaches yielded comparable utility scores (p=0.120). Costs between braced and non-braced patients were comparable excluding the cost of the brace (p=0.256); hence, the added cost of the brace suggests that bracing post-operatively is not a cost effective measure.
CONCLUSIONS: Bracing following operative stabilization of thoracolumbar fracture does not significantly improve stability, nor does it increase wound complications. Moreover, our data suggests that post-operative bracing may not be a cost-effective measure.
PMID: 28800928 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
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