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Cervical Spine Surgeries Up in the United States, 2002 to 2009

Increase in procedures mainly due to increase in number of anterior cervical fusions
THURSDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- From 2002 to 2009, the volume of cervical spine surgeries in the United States increased, with increased costs seen in patients undergoing anterior or posterior cervical fusion, according to research published in the June 15 issue of Spine.
Matthew Oglesby, of the Penn State University Medical Center in Hershey, and colleagues analyzed data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project to examine national trends in cervical spine procedures from 2002 to 2009.
The researchers found that an estimated 1,323,979 cervical spine surgeries were performed from 2002 to 2009, and the mean age of the patients increased during this time period. Most of the increase in surgical volume between 2002 and 2009 was due to anterior cervical fusions. During the time period, significant increases in comorbidities and costs were observed in cohorts of patients undergoing anterior cervical fusion or posterior cervical fusion. Compared with these two cohorts, across all time periods, patients undergoing posterior cervical fusion had the highest mortality, increased comorbidities and costs, and the longest hospitalizations.
"Our analysis of cervical procedures performed from 2002 to 2009 revealed older patients and with more comorbid conditions undergoing cervical spine surgery than previous years," the authors write. "At the same time, this patient population demonstrated a significant increase in costs without a change in mortality rates."
Abstract (http://journals.lww.com/spinejournal/Abstract/2013/06150/Epidemiological_Trends_in_Cervical_Spine_Surgery.11.aspx )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://journals.lww.com/spinejournal/Abstract/2013/06150/Epidemiological_Trends_in_Cervical_Spine_Surgery.11.aspx )
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