Spine

Neurosurgeons vs. orthopedic spine surgeons: Is there a difference in spinal fusion outcomes? 5 key notes

By Laura Dyrda

A new article published in Spine examines the factors impacting 30-day perioperative outcomes for spinal fusion by specialty using the NSQIP database.

There were 9,719 patients who received spinal fusions by either orthopedic surgeons or neurosurgeons in the American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database between 2005 and 2011. There were 54 percent treated by neurosurgeons. The researchers found:

1. Orthopedic surgeons performed more lumbar cases — 76 percent — versus neurosurgeons — 65 percent.

2. There weren’t statistically significant differences in the number of levels fused between orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons. The techniques both specialists chose were also similar.

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