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Impact of COVID-19 on Spinal Diagnosis and Procedural Volume in the United States Research Article

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Published article

CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 resulted in a widespread decrease in spinal diagnosis and treated conditions. An inverse relationship was observed between new COVID-19 cases and spine procedural volume. Recent increases in procedural volume from pre-pandemic levels are promising signs that the spine surgery community has narrowed the gap in unmet care produced by the pandemic.
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Global Spine J. 2023 Jan 23:21925682231153083. doi: 10.1177/21925682231153083. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of a national database.

OBJECTIVES: COVID-19 resulted in the widespread shifting of hospital resources to handle surging COVID-19 cases resulting in the postponement of surgeries, including numerous spine procedures. This study aimed to quantify the impact that COVID-19 had on the number of treated spinal conditions and diagnoses during the pandemic.

METHODS: Using CPT and ICD-10 codes, TriNetX, a national database, was utilized to quantify spine procedures and diagnoses in patients >18 years of age. The period of March 2020-May 2021 was compared to a reference pre-pandemic period of March 2018-May 2019. Each time period was then stratified into four seasons of the year, and the mean average number of procedures per healthcare organization was compared.

RESULTS: In total, 524,394 patient encounters from 53 healthcare organizations were included in the analysis. There were significant decreases in spine procedures and diagnoses during March-May 2020 compared to pre-pandemic levels. Measurable differences were noted for spine procedures during the winter of 2020-2021, including a decrease in lumbar laminectomy and anterior cervical arthrodesis. Comparing the pandemic period to the pre-pandemic period showed significant reductions in most spine procedures and treated diagnoses; however, there was an increase in open repair of thoracic fractures during this period.

CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 resulted in a widespread decrease in spinal diagnosis and treated conditions. An inverse relationship was observed between new COVID-19 cases and spine procedural volume. Recent increases in procedural volume from pre-pandemic levels are promising signs that the spine surgery community has narrowed the gap in unmet care produced by the pandemic.

PMID:36688402 | DOI:10.1177/21925682231153083

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Impact of COVID-19 on Spinal Diagnosis and Procedural Volume in the United States

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Global Spine J. 2023 Jan 23:21925682231153083. doi: 10.1177/21925682231153083. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTSTUDY DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of a national database.OBJECTIVES: COVID-19 resulted in the widespread shifting of hospital resources to handle surging COVID-19 cases resulting in the postponement of surgeries, including numerous spine procedures. This study aimed to quantify the impact that COVID-19 had on the…
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