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Index Characterizes Spine Surgery 'Invasiveness'

Tool may be useful for estimating increased risk associated with more invasive surgery

FRIDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- An "invasiveness" index for spine surgery shows expected associations with both blood loss and surgery duration, according to a report published in the Nov. 15 issue of Spine.

Sohail K. Mirza, M.D., of the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues developed a surgery invasiveness index based on the sum of six possible interventions on each operated vertebra: anterior decompression, anterior fusion, anterior instrumentation, posterior decompression, posterior fusion and posterior instrumentation, and evaluated its validity in 1,723 spine surgeries.

For each unit increase in the invasiveness index, the researchers found that blood loss increased by 11.5 percent and surgery duration increased by 12.8 minutes. They also found that the index explained 44 percent of the variation in blood loss and 52 percent of the variation in surgery duration.

"Such an index may be useful for quantitatively estimating increased risk associated with more invasive surgery and adjusting for surgical case-mix when making safety comparisons in spinal surgery," the authors conclude.

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