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Survey of French spine surgeons reveals significant variability in spine trauma practices in 2013

Abstract : Background In France, attempts to define common ground during spine surgery meetings have revealed significant variability in clinical practices across different schools of surgery and the two specialities involved in spine surgery, namely, neurosurgery and orthopaedic surgery. Objectives To objectively characterise this variability by performing a survey based on a fictitious spine trauma case. Our working hypothesis was that significant variability existed in trauma practices and that this variability was related to a lack of strong scientific evidence in spine trauma care. Methods We performed a cross-sectional survey based on a clinical vignette describing a 31-year-old male with an L1 burst fracture and neurologic symptoms (numbness). Surgeons received the vignette and a 14-item questionnaire on the management of this patient. For each question, surgeons had to choose among five possible answers. Differences in answers across surgeons were assessed using the Index of Qualitative Variability (IQV), in which 0 indicates no variability and 1 maximal variability. Surgeons also received a questionnaire about their demographics and surgical experience. Results Of 405 invited spine surgeons, 200 responded to the survey. Five questions had an IQV greater than 0.9, seven an IQV between 0.5 and 0.9, and two an IQV lower than 0.5. Variability was greatest about the need for MRI (IQV = 0.93), degree of urgency (IQV = 0.93), need for fusion (IQV = 0.92), need for post-operative bracing (IQV = 0.91), and routine removal of instrumentation (IQV = 0.94). Variability was lowest for questions about the need for surgery (IQV = 0.42) and use of the posterior approach (IQV = 0.36). Answers were influenced by surgeon specialty, age, experience level, and type of centre. Conclusion Clinical practice regarding spine trauma varies widely in France. Little published evidence is available on which to base recommendations that would diminish this variability.
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https://hal.umontpellier.fr/hal-02136871
Contributeur : Cécile Nowak <>
Soumis le : mercredi 22 mai 2019 - 14:15:15
Dernière modification le : vendredi 27 mars 2020 - 03:19:59

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G. Lonjon, M. Grelat, A. Dhenin, C. Dauzac, N. Lonjon, et al.. Survey of French spine surgeons reveals significant variability in spine trauma practices in 2013. Orthopaedics and Traumatology - Surgery and Research, Elsevier, 2015, 101 (1), pp.5-10. ⟨10.1016/j.otsr.2014.10.018⟩. ⟨hal-02136871⟩

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