• Sam Hassenbusch Young Neurosurgeon Award: Cigarette Smoking Impacts the Effectiveness of Cervical Spine Surgery on Patients

    • Sep 27, 2015

    A presentation at the 2015 Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting

    NEW ORLEANS, La., September 27, 2015— Winner of the Sam Hassenbusch Young Neurosurgeon Award Raul A. Vasquez-Castellanos, presented results from The Profile of a Smoker and Its Impact on Outcomes after Cervical Spine Surgery during the Original Science Program at the 2015 CNS Annual Meeting.

    Many of the negative health effects of smoking have been well documented and publicized—various cancers, chronic respiratory disease, and heart disease, as well as premature death, are all consequences from smoking cigarettes. Today, with the current focus on decreasing costs and complications while improving patient outcomes after surgery, attention has turned to acting on modifiable patient characteristics before surgery—such as smoking. Further, the impact of smoking on the recovery outcomes of degenerative cervical spine surgery is not well understood.

    A one-year study was held with 473 patients that had cervical degeneration and who were enrolled in a prospective longitudinal registry to better understand the role of smoking in recovery outcomes after cervical spine surgery. At the initial evaluation, 123 (26 percent) of the patients were smokers and 350 (74 percent) were not. The smoking population was younger (51 vs 56 years old, P < .001) and also had a higher use of narcotics.

    At the baseline and 12-month follow-up, smokers had significantly higher arm and neck pain scores, and NDI (Neck Disability Index percentages), and lower EQ-5D (European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions) scores. At the 12-month follow up, smokers had less improvement in neck pain, NDI percentages, mJOAS, and SF-12 PCS (Short Form-12 Health Survey from patient’s point of view).

    The smoking population reported lower satisfaction scores, with 24 percent of smokers having unfulfilled expectations one year after their surgery versus 14 percent in the nonsmokers group. Results conclusively showed that smoking resulted in lower absolute scores and less benefit from cervical spine surgery compared with nonsmokers, even after controlling for confounding variables. Quitting smoking should be strongly considered before cervical spine surgery to optimize the outcome of surgery.

    Author Block: Raul A. Vasquez-Castellanos, MD; Silky Chotai, MD; Joseph Wick; David P. Stonko; Joseph S. Cheng, MD, MS; Devin, Clinton J. MD; Anthony L. Asher, MD, FACS; Matthew J. McGirt, MD

    The author reported no conflicts of interest.

    Media Representatives: The 2015 CNS Annual Meeting online press kit includes releases on highlighted scientific research, CNS officers, award winners, and other relevant information about this year’s program. These releases will be posted under the area on the 2015 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting website. If you have interest in a topic related to neurosurgery or would like to interview a neurosurgeon — either onsite or via telephone — during this year’s event, please contact Antonia Callas, Communications Specialist, via email at acallas@cns.org.

    About the 2015 CNS Annual Meeting: Attracting thousands of neurosurgeons, advanced practice providers, professionals and advocates from around the world, the 2015 CNS Annual Meeting is the premier forum for exploring controversial and hot-button issues impacting the specialty and for learning about the most cutting-edge procedures and technologies in the field. Attendees, access continuing medical education, view live surgery presentations, and learn about the newest clinical practice guidelines. More than 1,200 scientific abstracts were presented, showcasing the best and brightest minds in neurosurgery today. For more information about the 2015 CNS Annual Meeting, click here.

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