Association of prolonged symptom duration with poor outcomes in lumbar spine surgery: a Michigan Spine Surgery Improvement Collaborative study.
Journal of neurosurgery. Spine
OBJECTIVE: There is a scarcity of large multicenter data on how preoperative lumbar symptom duration relates to postoperative patient-reported outcomes (PROs). The objective of this study was to determine the effect of preoperative and baseline symptom duration on PROs at 90 days, 1 year, and 2 years after lumbar spine surgery.
METHODS: The Michigan Spine Surgery Improvement Collaborative registry was queried for all lumbar spine operations between January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2021, with a follow-up of 2 years. Patients were stratified into three subgroups based on symptom duration: < 3 months, 3 months to < 1 year, and ≥ 1 year. The primary outcomes were reaching the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) for the PROs (i.e., leg pain, Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System Physical Function (PROMIS PF), EQ-5D, North American Spine Society satisfaction, and return to work). The EQ-5D score was also analyzed as a continuous variable to calculate quality-adjusted life years. Multivariable Poisson generalized estimating equation models were used to report adjusted risk ratios, with the < 3-month cohort used as the reference.
RESULTS: There were 37,223 patients (4670 with < 3-month duration, 9356 with 3-month to < 1-year duration, and 23,197 with ≥ 1-year duration) available for analysis. Compared with patients with a symptom duration of < 1 year, patients with a symptom duration of ≥ 1 year were significantly less likely to achieve an MCID in PROMIS PF, EQ-5D, back pain relief, and leg pain relief at 90 days, 1 year, and 2 years postoperatively. Similar trends were observed for patient satisfaction and return to work. With the EQ-5D score as a continuous variable, a symptom duration of ≥ 1 year was associated with 0.04, 0.05, and 0.03 (p < 0.001) decreases in EQ-5D score at 90 days, 1 year, and 2 years after surgery, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: A symptom duration of ≥ 1 year was associated with poorer outcomes on several outcome metrics. This suggests that timely referral and surgery for degenerative lumbar pathology may optimize patient outcome.
Hamilton T, Bartlett S, Deshpande N, Hadi M, Reese JC, Mansour TR, et [Khalil JG, Aleem I, Easton R, Perez-Cruet M] Association of prolonged symptom duration with poor outcomes in lumbar spine surgery: a Michigan Spine Surgery Improvement Collaborative study. J Neurosurg Spine. 2023 Jun 16:1-10. doi: 10.3171/2023.5.SPINE23249. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37347591.