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Economic implications of dural tears in lumbar microdiscectomies: a retrospective, observational study

World Neurosurg. 2024 Apr 15:S1878-8750(24)00615-6. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2024.04.052. Online ahead of print.


Retrospective cohort study. Level of Evidence Level III. Dural tears (DT) are a frequent complication after lumbar spine surgery. With this study we sought to determine the incidence of DT and the related impact on healthcare expenditures after lumbar discectomies. All patients with first-time single level lumbar discectomies at our institution that underwent minimally-invasive surgery from 2015 to 2019 were reviewed. Age, sex, weight, height, body mass index (BMI), costs, revenues, length of stay (LOS), American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA) score, Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) and operation time (OT) were assessed. Exclusion criteria were age < 18 years, previous spine surgery, multiple or traumatic disc herniations but also malignant and infectious diseases. The follow-up time was at least 12 months postoperatively. 358 patients with lumbar discectomies were identified and 230 met the inclusion criteria. The DT incidence was 3.5%. The mean costs (p < 0.001), the loss (p < 0.01) and the operation time (p < 0.0001) were found to be significantly higher in the DT group when compared to the control group of patients without a DT. The revenues were not statistically different between both groups (p > 0.05). Further analysis of the control group by profit and loss revealed significantly higher BMI (p < 0.05), LOS (p < 0.0001) and OT (p < 0.0001) in the loss group. DT represent a significant socioeconomic burden in lumbar spine surgery and cause severe secondary complications. The DT-related impact on healthcare expenses is primarily based on significantly higher OT and a higher mean LOS.

PMID:38631663 | DOI:10.1016/j.wneu.2024.04.052

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