Comparative outcomes and cost-utility after surgical treatment of focal lumbar spinal stenosis compared with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee—part 1: long-term change in health-related quality of life

Y Raja Rampersaud, Stephen J Lewis, J Roderick Davey, Rajiv Gandhi, Nizar N Mahomed
Spine Journal: Official Journal of the North American Spine Society 2014 February 1, 14 (2): 234-43

BACKGROUND CONTEXT: It is well accepted that total hip and knee arthroplasty (THA/TKA) for osteoarthritis (OA) is associated with reliable and sustained improvements in postoperative health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Although several studies have demonstrated comparable outcomes with THA/TKA after surgical intervention for lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), the sustainability of the outcome after LSS surgery compared with THA/TKA remains uncertain.

PURPOSE: The primary purpose of this study is to assess whether improvements in HRQoL after surgical management of focal lumbar spinal stenosis (FLSS) with or without spondylolisthesis are sustainable over the long term compared with that of THA/TKA for OA.

STUDY DESIGN: Single-center, retrospective, longitudinal matched cohort study of prospectively collected outcomes, with a minimum of 5-year follow-up (FU).

PATIENT SAMPLE: Patients who had primary one- to two-level spinal decompression with or without instrumented fusion for FLSS and THA/TKA for primary OA.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Postoperative change from baseline to last FU in Short-Form 36 physical component summary (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS) scores among groups was used as the primary outcome measure.

METHODS: An age, sex-matched inception cohort of primary one- to two-level spinal decompression with or without instrumented fusion for FLSS (n=99) was compared with a cohort of primary THA (n=99) and TKA (n=99) for OA and followed for a minimum of 5 years. Linear regression was used for the primary analysis.

RESULTS: Mean (percent) FUs in months were 80.5+16.04 (79%), 94.6+16.62 (92%), and 80.6+16.84 (85%) for the FLSS, THA, and TKA cohorts, respectively, with a range of 5 to 10 years for all three cohorts. The number of patients who have undergone revision including those lost to FU for the FLSS, THA, and TKA cohorts were n=20 (20.2%, same site [n=7] and adjacent segment [n=13]) requiring 27 operations, n=3 (3%, same site) requiring 5 operations, and n=8 (8.1%, same site) requiring 12 operations, respectively (p<.01). The average time to first revision was 56/65/43 months, respectively. Mean postoperative PCS (p<.0001) and MCS (p<.02) scores improved significantly and were durable for all groups at the last FU. The mean changes from baseline PCS/MCS scores to last FU were 8.5/6.4, 12.3/7.0, and 8.3/4.9 for FLSS, THA, and TKA, respectively. Adjusting for baseline age, sex, body mass index, PCS score, and MCS score, there was a strong trend in favor of greater sustained change in the PCS score of THA over FLSS (p=.07) and TKA (p=.08). No difference was noted for change in PCS score between FLSS and TKA (p=.95). No differences were noted for change in MCS score among all three cohorts (p>.1).

CONCLUSIONS: Significant improvements in HRQoL after surgical treatment of FLSS with or without spondylolisthesis and hip and knee OA are sustained for a mean of 7 to 8 years, with a minimum of 5-year FU. Despite a higher revision rate, patients undergoing surgery for FLSS can expect a comparable long-term average improvement in HRQoL from baseline compared with their peers undergoing TKA and to a lesser extent THA.

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