Geographic Variation in the Surgical Treatment of Degenerative Cervical Disc Disease: American Board of Orthopedic Surgery (ABOS) Quality Improvement Initiative; Part II Candidates.

By London Spine

Geographic Variation in the Surgical Treatment of Degenerative Cervical Disc Disease: American Board of Orthopedic Surgery (ABOS) Quality Improvement Initiative; Part II Candidates.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2011 Feb 4;

Authors: McGuire KJ, Harrast J, Herkowitz H, Weinstein JN

Study Design: Retrospective case seriesObjective: To examine and document the change in rates and the geographic variation in procedure type and utilization of plating by orthopaedic surgeons for anterior cervical discectomy-fusion (ACDF).Summary of Background: Age- and gender-adjusted rates of cervical spine surgery have not increased but the rate of cervical spinal fusion has, accounting for 41% of all fusion procedures in 2004.Methods: Records were selected from the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons Part II examination from 1999-2008. CPT and ICD-9-CM codes were used to determine utilization of structural allograft, autograft / interbody devices, and anterior cervical plating over time and within geographic region. Main outcome measures were physician workforce, and rates and variation of procedure types.Results. From 1999 to 2008, the number of self-declared orthopaedic spine surgeon candidates increased 24%. Over this period, the annual number of discectomies with fusions for degenerative cervical disc disease increased by 67%, while the number of such operations per surgeon operating on at least one such case increased 48% (p = 0.018). Interbody device (0% to 31%; p<0.0001), anterior cervical plating (39% to 79%; p<0.0001), and allograft (14% to 59%; p<0.0001) use increased, while autograft use decreased (86% to 10%; p<0.0001).The Southwest and Southeast were more likely than the Midwest to use interbody devices (OR 2.42 and 1.66 respectively). The Southwest and Northeast were more likely than the Midwest to use autograft (OR 1.55 and 1.49). The Southwest, Northeast, and Southeast were less likely to use allograft than the Midwest (OR 0.408, 0.742, and 0.770). The Northeast was less likely and the Southeast more likely than the Midwest to utilize anterior cervical plating (OR 0.67 and 1.33). Surgical complications were more often associated with autograft compared to allograft (OR 1.61).Conclusions. From 1999-2008, the number of orthopaedic surgeon candidates performing spine surgery has increased. These surgeons are performing more fusions, and utilizing more structural allografts, interbody devices and/or anterior cervical plates. Regional variations also remain in the type of constructs utilized.

PMID: 21301394 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]