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1.
JMIR Form Res ; 5(6): e28140, 2021 Jun 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247762

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The global adoption of teleconsultation has been expedited as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. By allowing remote communication, teleconsultation may help limit the spread of the virus while maintaining the crucial patient-provider relationship. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to evaluate the value of teleconsultation compared to in-person visits in the management of elective orthopedic and spinal procedures. METHODS: This was a prospective observational cohort study of 853 patients receiving orthopedic and spinal care at a private outpatient clinic in New Zealand. Patients were randomly divided into two groups: (1) patients receiving telephone consultation remotely, and (2) patients receiving in-person office consultations at the outpatient clinic. All patients received telephone consultations for 4 weeks during the mandated COVID-19 lockdown, followed by 4 weeks of telephone or in-person consultation. Patient preference, satisfaction, and duration of visit were recorded. Comparisons of patient preference between groups, visit type, sex, and location were performed using chi-square tests; similarly, satisfaction scores and visit durations were compared using a general linear model. RESULTS: We report that 91% (353/388) of patients in the telephone group preferred teleconsultation over in-person office visits during the COVID-19 lockdown (P<.001). A combined-group analysis showed that 55.3% (446/807) of all patients preferred teleconsultation compared to 31.2% (252/807) who preferred in-person office visits (P<.001). Patients in the telephone group reported significantly higher satisfaction scores (mean 9.95, SD 0.04, 95% CI 9.87-10.03) compared to patients in the in-person group (mean 9.53, SE 0.04, 95% CI 9.45-9.62; P<.001). Additionally, in-person consultations were significantly longer in duration compared to telephone consultations, with a mean visit time of 6.70 (SE 0.18) minutes, 95% CI 6.32-7.02, compared to 5.10 (SE 0.17) minutes, 95% CI 4.73-5.42 (P<.001). CONCLUSIONS: Patients who use telephone consultations are more likely to prefer it over traditional, in-person visits in the future. This increased preference, coupled with higher patient satisfaction scores and shorter duration of visits, suggests that teleconsultation has a role in orthopedic surgery, which may even extend beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

2.
Reg Anesth Pain Med ; 46(6): 478-481, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1148173

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The role of telemedicine in the evaluation and treatment of patients with spinal disorders is rapidly expanding, brought on largely by the COVID-19 pandemic. Within this context, the ability of pain specialists to accurately diagnose and plan appropriate interventional spine procedures based entirely on telemedicine visits, without an in-person evaluation, remains to be established. In this study, our primary objective was to assess the relevance of telemedicine to interventional spine procedure planning by determining whether procedure plans established solely from virtual visits changed following in-person evaluation. METHODS: We reviewed virtual and in-person clinical encounters from our academic health system's 10 interventional spine specialists. We included patients who were seen exclusively via telemedicine encounters and indicated for an interventional procedure with documented procedural plans. Virtual plans were then compared with the actual procedures performed following in-person evaluation. Demographic data as well as the type and extent of physical examination performed by the interventional spine specialist were also recorded. RESULTS: Of the 87 new patients included, the mean age was 60 years (SE 1.4 years) and the preprocedural plan established by telemedicine, primarily videoconferencing, did not change for 76 individuals (87%; 95% CI 0.79 to 0.94) following in-person evaluation. Based on the size of our sample, interventional procedures indicated solely during telemedicine encounters may be accurate in 79%-94% of cases in the broader population. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that telemedicine evaluations are a generally accurate means of preprocedural assessment and development of interventional spine procedure plans. These findings clearly demonstrate the capabilities of telemedicine for evaluating spine patients and planning interventional spine procedures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Preoperative Care/methods , Spinal Diseases/surgery , Spine/surgery , Telemedicine , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Mult Scler Relat Disord ; 51: 102917, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1142159

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Spinal cord complications associated with coronavirus infectious disease of 2019 (COVID-19) are being widely reported. The purpose of this systematic review was to summarize so far available pieces of evidence documenting de novo novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) mediated spinal cord demyelinating diseases. Indeed, the spinal demyelinating disorders that have been reported in those patients who have suffered from COVID-19 rather than on the people already living with diagnosed or undiagnosed primary demyelinating disorders. METHODS: We used the existing PRISMA consensus statement. Data were collected from PubMed, NIH Litcovid, EMBASE and Cochrane library databases, as well as Pre-print servers (medRxiv, bioRxiv, and pre-preints.org), until September 10, 2020, using pre-specified searching strategies. RESULTS: The 21 selected articles were all case reports and included 11 (52%) men and 10 (48%) women. The mean age was of 46.7 ±â€¯18.0. The neurological manifestations included weakness, sensory deficit, autonomic dysfunction and ataxia. In most cases, elevated cerebrospinal fluid protein as well as lymphocytic pleocytosis were found. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in five (24%) patients, meanwhile in 13 (62%) patients, the testing was negative. Testing was not performed in two cases and, in one, data were unavailable. Nearly half of the cases (N = 9) were associated with isolated long extensive transverse myelitis (LETM), whereas a combination of both LETM and patchy involvement was found in two. Only five patients had isolated short segment involvement and two patchy involvement. Furthermore, concomitant demyelination of both brain and spine was reported in six patients. Concerning the prognosis, most of the patients improved and the mortality rate was low (N = 2, <10%). CONCLUSION: Spinal cord demyelination should be added to the plethora of immune mediated neurologic complications associated with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Nervous System Diseases , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Spinal Cord
4.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(2): e25484, 2021 02 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1088875

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly limited patients' access to care for spine-related symptoms and disorders. However, physical distancing between clinicians and patients with spine-related symptoms is not solely limited to restrictions imposed by pandemic-related lockdowns. In most low- and middle-income countries, as well as many underserved marginalized communities in high-income countries, there is little to no access to clinicians trained in evidence-based care for people experiencing spinal pain. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to describe the development and present the components of evidence-based patient and clinician guides for the management of spinal disorders where in-person care is not available. METHODS: Ultimately, two sets of guides were developed (one for patients and one for clinicians) by extracting information from the published Global Spine Care Initiative (GSCI) papers. An international, interprofessional team of 29 participants from 10 countries on 4 continents participated. The team included practitioners in family medicine, neurology, physiatry, rheumatology, psychology, chiropractic, physical therapy, and yoga, as well as epidemiologists, research methodologists, and laypeople. The participants were invited to review, edit, and comment on the guides in an open iterative consensus process. RESULTS: The Patient Guide is a simple 2-step process. The first step describes the nature of the symptoms or concerns. The second step provides information that a patient can use when considering self-care, determining whether to contact a clinician, or considering seeking emergency care. The Clinician Guide is a 5-step process: (1) Obtain and document patient demographics, location of primary clinical symptoms, and psychosocial information. (2) Review the symptoms noted in the patient guide. (3) Determine the GSCI classification of the patient's spine-related complaints. (4) Ask additional questions to determine the GSCI subclassification of the symptom pattern. (5) Consider appropriate treatment interventions. CONCLUSIONS: The Patient and Clinician Guides are designed to be sufficiently clear to be useful to all patients and clinicians, irrespective of their location, education, professional qualifications, and experience. However, they are comprehensive enough to provide guidance on the management of all spine-related symptoms or disorders, including triage for serious and specific diseases. They are consistent with widely accepted evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. They also allow for adequate documentation and medical record keeping. These guides should be of value during periods of government-mandated physical or social distancing due to infectious diseases, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. They should also be of value in underserved communities in high-, middle-, and low-income countries where there is a dearth of accessible trained spine care clinicians. These guides have the potential to reduce the overutilization of unnecessary and expensive interventions while empowering patients to self-manage uncomplicated spinal pain with the assistance of their clinician, either through direct in-person consultation or via telehealth communication.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spinal Diseases/therapy , Telemedicine , Evidence-Based Medicine/organization & administration , Global Health , Humans , Practice Guidelines as Topic
5.
Bone Jt Open ; 1(5): 88-92, 2020 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-940048

ABSTRACT

During the pandemic of COVID-19, some patients with COVID-19 may need emergency surgeries. As spine surgeons, it is our responsibility to ensure appropriate treatment to the patients with COVID-19 and spinal diseases. A protocol for spinal surgery and related management on patients with COVID-19 has been reviewed. Patient preparation for emergency surgeries, indications, and contraindications of emergency surgeries, operating room preparation, infection control precautions and personal protective equipments (PPE), anesthesia management, intraoperative procedures, postoperative management, medical waste disposal, and surveillance of healthcare workers were reviewed. It should be safe for surgeons with PPE of protection level 2 to perform spinal surgeries on patients with COVID-19. Standardized and careful surgical procedures should be necessary to reduce the exposure to COVID-19.

6.
HSS J ; 16(Suppl 1): 17-23, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-915232

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The use of telehealth saw a rapid surge during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. There remains little data on how effectively telehealth replicates traditional office visits in the treatment of spinal disorders and how telehealth is perceived by patients with spinal disorders. QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: We sought to evaluate patient satisfaction with telehealth visits as a platform for delivering care for the treatment of spinal pathology. METHODS: Patients undergoing a telehealth visit with providers specializing in the treatment of spinal disorders (one surgeon and two physiatrists) were provided with an anonymous, online survey. Data on patient satisfaction, effectiveness of the telehealth visit (in comparison with in-person visits), and clarity of communication were collected through 5-point Likert scales; visit characteristics and free-text responses were also collected. RESULTS: Eighty-four patients responded to the survey. Their attitudes were largely positive, with an overall mean patient satisfaction score of 4.79. Patients gave high scores for clarity of communication during the visit, and for satisfaction with the formulation of treatment plans and their ability to ask questions, they gave the lowest scores to the effectiveness of telemedicine in replacing an in-person visit and ease of interface navigation. CONCLUSIONS: The high overall patient satisfaction reported by our patients seeking care for a spinal pathology supports the growing body of evidence promoting the use of telehealth for orthopedic care. Further research is needed in a standardized telehealth examination of patients with spinal disorders.

7.
Z Orthop Unfall ; 159(1): 32-38, 2021 02.
Article in English, German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-837549

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Far-reaching political steps to contain the COVID-19 pandemic have been undertaken in recent weeks. These also impact on surgical specialties not directly involved in the management of patients infected with the coronavirus. The Spine Section, the interdisciplinary professional political arm of the German Spine Society (DWG), the Professional Association for Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery (BVOU), and the Federal Association of German Neurosurgeons (BDNC) conducted a survey on the collateral effects of the pandemic on spine surgery in Germany. METHOD: This cross-sectional study included outpatient, day-patient and inpatient facilities caring for patients with spinal disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was designed to analyse the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the management of inpatients and outpatients with spinal disorders and to assess the economic ramifications in the various settings. RESULTS: All members of the Spine Section (n = 134) were invited to participate in the questionnaire consented by BVOU and BDNC. The questions were answered anonymously, and the personal data entered did not permit any de-anonymisation. All in all, 68% (n = 91) of the respondents completed the survey in full. Based on the type of employment (practice 30%, practice/staff: 45% and staff: 25%) and range of activities (conservative: 5%, conservative/operative: 75%, operative: 20%) the survey by the Spine Section can be regarded as representative. 95% of the practices/outpatient clinics reported a decline in their number of patients. In addition, the number of operations performed fell by 36% (SD 17%). The percentage of elective procedures declined from approximately 78% to 6%. As a result, more than half of the physicians anticipated moderate (20 - 40%) economic challenges and 25% major (> 50%) financial problems. CONCLUSION: In order to cushion collateral damage in the wake of future pandemic management, any implications in the interdisciplinary management of patients with spinal disorders should be based on these results.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Spinal Diseases/therapy , Cross-Sectional Studies , Germany , Humans , Surveys and Questionnaires
8.
J Feline Med Surg ; 22(6): 521-530, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-828632

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to evaluate if a combination of discrete clinical characteristics can be used to identify the most likely differential diagnoses in cats with spinal disease. METHODS: Two hundred and twenty-one cats referred for further evaluation of spinal disease were included and categorised as follows: non-lymphoid neoplasia (n = 44); intervertebral disc disease (n = 42); fracture/luxation (n = 34); ischaemic myelopathy (n = 22); feline infectious peritonitis virus myelitis (n = 18); lymphoma (n = 16); thoracic vertebral canal stenosis (n = 11); acute non-compressive nucleus pulposus extrusion (n = 11); traumatic spinal cord contusion (n = 8); spinal arachnoid diverticula (n = 7); lumbosacral stenosis (n = 5); and spinal empyema (n = 3). Information retrieved from the medical records included signalment, clinical history and clinical presentation. Univariate analyses of variables (clinical history, breed, age, sex, general physical examination findings, onset, progression, spinal hyperaesthesia, asymmetry, ambulatory status and neuroanatomical location) were performed, and variables were retained in a multivariate logistic regression model if P <0.05. RESULTS: Multivariate logistic regression revealed that intervertebral disc disease most often occurred in middle-aged, purebred cats with a normal general physical examination and an acute onset of painful and progressive clinical signs. Ischaemic myelopathy occurred most often in older cats with a stable or improving, non-painful, lateralising, C6-T2 myelopathy. Spinal fracture/luxation occurred most often in younger cats and resulted most often in a peracute onset, painful, non-ambulatory neurological status. Concurrent systemic abnormalities or abnormal findings detected on general physical examination were significantly associated with feline infectious peritonitis virus myelitis, spinal lymphoma or spinal empyema. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: This study suggests that using easily identifiable characteristics from the history and clinical examination can assist in obtaining a preliminary differential diagnosis when evaluating cats with spinal disease. This information could aid veterinary practitioners in clinical decision-making.


Subject(s)
Cat Diseases/diagnosis , Clinical Reasoning , Spinal Diseases/veterinary , Spinal Injuries/veterinary , Animals , Cat Diseases/etiology , Cats/injuries , Diagnosis, Differential , Female , Male , Retrospective Studies , Spinal Diseases/diagnosis , Spinal Diseases/etiology , Spinal Injuries/diagnosis , Spinal Injuries/etiology
9.
Arch Phys Med Rehabil ; 101(11): 2027-2032, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-709325

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the feasibility and acceptability of telemedicine as a substitute for outpatient services in emergency situations such as the sudden surge of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy. DESIGN: Observational cohort study with historical control. SETTING: Tertiary referral outpatient institute. PARTICIPANTS: Consecutive services provided to patients with spinal disorders (N=1207). INTERVENTIONS: Telemedicine services included teleconsultations and telephysiotherapy, and lasted as long as usual interventions. They were delivered using free teleconference apps, caregivers were actively involved, and interviews and counseling were performed as usual. Teleconsultations included standard, but adapted, measurements and evaluations by video and from photographs and videos sent in advance according to specific tutorials. During telephysiotherapy, new sets of exercises were defined and recorded as usual. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We compared the number of services provided in 3 phases, including corresponding periods in 2018 and 2019. During the control (30 working d) and COVID-19 surge (13d) only usual consultations and physiotherapy were provided; during the telemed phase (15d), only teleconsultations and telephysiotherapy were provided. If a reliable medical decision was not possible during teleconsultations, usual face-to-face interventions were prescribed. Continuous quality improvement questionnaires were also evaluated. RESULTS: During telemed, 325 teleconsulations and 882 telephysiotherapy sessions were provided in 15 days. We found a rapid decrease (-39%) of outpatient services from the control to the COVID-19 phase (R2=0.85), which partially recovered in the telemed phase for telephysiotherapy (from -37% to -21%; P<.05) and stabilized for teleconsultation (from -55% to -60%) interventions. Usual face-to-face interventions were required for 0.5% of patients. Patients' satisfaction with telemedicine was very high (2.8 out of 3). CONCLUSIONS: Telemedicine is feasible and allows medical professionals to continue providing outpatient services with a high level of patient satisfaction. During the current pandemic, this experience can provide a viable alternative for many outpatient services while reducing the need for travel and face-to-face contact to a minimum.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care/psychology , COVID-19 , Outpatients/psychology , Patient Satisfaction/statistics & numerical data , Rehabilitation/psychology , Spinal Diseases/rehabilitation , Telemedicine/methods , Adult , Ambulatory Care/methods , Cohort Studies , Feasibility Studies , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Referral and Consultation , Rehabilitation/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Spinal Diseases/psychology
10.
Int J Spine Surg ; 14(3): 433-440, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-662508

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting many facets of our society, physicians and patients have begun using telemedicine as a platform for the delivery of health care. One of the challenges in implementing telemedicine for the spine care provider is completing a comprehensive spinal examination. Currently, there is no standardized methodology to complete a full spinal examination through telemedicine. METHODS: We propose a novel, remote spinal examination methodology that is easily implemented through telemedicine, where the patient is an active participant in the successful completion of his or her examination. This type of examination has been validated in a neurology setting. To facilitate the telemedicine visit, we propose that video instruction be shared with the patient prior to the telemedicine visit to increase the efficacy of the examination. RESULTS: Since the issuance of stay-at-home order across the states, many spine practices around the country have rapidly adopted and increased their telemedicine program to continue provide care for patients during COVID-19 pandemic. At a tertiary academic center in a busy metropolitan area, nearly 700 telemedicine visits were successfully conducted during a 4-week period. There were no remote visits being done prior to the shutdown. CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of our proposed remote spinal examination has the potential to serve as a guideline for the spine care provider to efficiently assess patients with spine disease using telemedicine. Because these are only suggestions, providers should tailor examination to each individual patient's needs. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: V. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: It is likely that physicians will incorporate telemedicine into health care delivery services even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides because of telemedicine's efficiency in meeting patient needs. Using the standard maneuvers provided in our study, spine care providers can perform a nearly comprehensive spine examination through telemedicine. Further studies will be needed to validate the reproducibility and reliability of our methodology.

11.
World J Clin Cases ; 8(10): 1756-1762, 2020 May 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-595739

ABSTRACT

Since the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in December 2019 in China, various measures have been adopted in order to attenuate the impact of the virus on the population. With regard to spine surgery, French physicians are devoted to take place in the national plan against COVID-19, the French Spine Surgery Society therefore decided to elaborate specific guidelines for management of spinal disorders during COVID-19 pandemic in order to prioritize management of patients. A three levels stratification was elaborated with Level I: Urgent surgical indications, Level II: Surgical indications associated to a potential loss of chance for the patient and Level III: Non-urgent surgical indications. We also report French experience in a COVID-19 cluster region illustrated by two clinical cases. We hope that the guidelines formulated by the French Spine Surgery Society and the experience of spine surgeons from a cluster region will be helpful in order optimizing the management of patients with urgent spinal conditions during the pandemic.

12.
J Korean Neurosurg Soc ; 63(4): 407-414, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-381876

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Since the first discovery of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), rapid and wide spread of the disease has been reported and the World Health Organization announced that a 'pandemic' has started. Up to date there is little known regarding the impact of this outbreak on spinal specialists' daily clinical practice. We intended to evaluate how COVID-19 has affected the number of spinal disease patients we meet and operate in daily practice. METHODS: The de-identified data regarding number of patients visiting the spine clinic at a tertiary referral hospital and a secondary level hospital from January, February and March of 2017 to 2020 were retrospectively reviewed. The number of out-patient department (OPD) visits, number of emergency room (ER) visits as well as number of surgeries performed during the reviewed period were collected and analyzed, comparing 2020 to the previous 3 years. RESULTS: The number of daily OPD visits showed a steady decrease starting from January, and presented a statistically significant decrease by early March 2020, compared to the previous 3 years. During the same period, decrease in number of daily ER visits was statistically significant as well. The number of elective surgeries or number of surgeries for patients admitted via ER during COVID-19 outbreak remained similar to that of 2017-2019 suggesting, despite the decrease of patients visiting the hospital for spinal diseases, those whom required surgery still visited the hospital. The results were consistant among other hospital level. CONCLUSION: The outbreak of COVID-19 affected our daily practice as OPD and ER visits reduced but did not affect the number of surgeries. We believe that this report will be informative to spinal specialists worldwide fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

13.
Asian Spine J ; 14(3): 336-340, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-209519

ABSTRACT

STUDY DESIGN: Observational study. PURPOSE: The actual sanitary crisis led to a massive mobilization of the sanitary system toward intensive care units and management of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. However, some patients still require spinal interventions. The present study aimed to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on spine surgical in a moderate COVID-19 cluster region. OVERVIEW OF LITERATURE: Previous studies have reported screening and management of patients with spinal conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, to date, knowledge, no observational study on spine surgeries during the pandemic has not been reported. METHODS: Between March 17, 2020 and April 17, 2020, information on spine surgical activity was prospectively collected at our institution. This surgical activity related to the first month of confinement in France was compared to the activity during the same period in 2019 to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on surgical activities. RESULTS: In order to reduce the contamination rate of patients and medical staff during hospitalization, the spine department was completely reorganized. Non-urgent elective spine surgeries were cancelled. When considering the global amount of surgeries procedures during the first month of confinement, a decrease of almost 50% was observed in the number of surgical procedures. During the study period, 62 patients were eligible for spine surgery. The numbers of patients managed for tumor and infectious cases were stable, while a considerable reduction was observed in the number of trauma and degenerative cases. During the follow-up period, two patients were tested as COVID+ during the postoperative course, and no cases of medical or paramedical staff contamination were reported using polymerase chain reaction-testing. CONCLUSIONS: During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible to maintain spine surgical activity. Each surgical procedure must be discussed and organized with all the caregivers involved. Indications for surgery must be in line with the scientific guidelines and adapted to each healthcare facility.

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