Happy New Year to everyone.
My staff would like to wish you a joyous and healthy new year.
Recently, a new article demonstrated that smokers undergoing a single level lumbar fusion did not have a higher rate of the fusion not taking (pseudarthrosis) compared to non smokers. However, if they underwent a two level fusion the rate of fusion not taking was higher. Complications however were also higher for smokers regardless of number of levels.
I typically start PT after a lumbar fusion 3 months after surgery. My rationale being that for the first 3 months I just want you to walk and not focus on strengthening. When patients occasionally asked for "supportive" evidence for this, I did not have evidence until a recent paper in Spine Journal found worse clinical outcomes and more expensive treatment if therapy started earlier.
The International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery recently honored Dr. Auerbach with the 2012 Kostiuk Innovation Award for his work comparing Coflex interlaminar stabilization to posterior spinal fusion for patients with spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis. Dr. Auerbach is the chief of spine surgery at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center and assistant professor of surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y. His clinical practice focuses on pediatric and adult spinal deformities and spinal tumors.