Editorial: degenerative spine disease—a review of emerging topics in operative spine care
Editorial | Surgery: Orthopedics

Editorial: degenerative spine disease—a review of emerging topics in operative spine care

The last two decades have brought forth tremendous advancement in our understanding of degenerative spine disease and the surgical options to treat them. Our knowledge of how cervical myelopathy progresses has improved, as has our understanding of the potential risks and benefits of cervical disc arthroplasty versus the “gold-standard” treatment of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). Enabling technology, including alternative options for lumbar spinal fusion and new biologics make it increasingly challenging to determine if there is an advantage for one surgical technique or a specific biologic to enhance spinal fusion. This series will provide up-to-date evidence on the aforementioned topics.

Spine surgeons care for and treat progressively older individuals as healthcare and technology continues to advance. This has led to greater case complexity with potential for surgical and medical complications. During this series, the challenges in treating geriatric patients are underscored, including how to optimize their care and outcomes and the relationship between the spine and the pelvis. These topics are “hot”—our knowledge is quickly advancing and our understanding of optimal treatment is constantly changing. This section will highlight recent literature, providing the reader up-to-date information on current trends and advancements.

Finally, post-operative pain management protocols and the necessity of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis continues to evolve. Included in this series is a discussion of the risks and benefits of DVT prophylaxis for degenerative spine patients. Moreover, the risks and benefits of marijuana as an analgesic—as it is quickly becoming legalized in many regions of the United States—will be discussed as our knowledge of the risks and benefits is also rapidly evolving. We hope the readers find these reviews relevant and interesting as they are becoming common themes and topics of discussion in our clinics and they are changing our practices in the operating room.


Funding: None.


Provenance and Peer Review: This article was commissioned by the editorial office, AME Medical Journal for the series “Degenerative Spine Disease”. The article did not undergo external peer review.

Conflicts of Interest: Both authors have completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form (available at https://amj.amegroups.com/article/view/10.21037/amj-23-221/coif). The series “Degenerative Spine Disease” was commissioned by the editorial office without any funding or sponsorship. M.J.L. served as the unpaid Guest Editor of the series and serves as an editorial board member of Clinical Spine Surgery, Spine, and AME Surgical Journal. M.J.L. is a committee member at NASS Spinal Cord Injury and NASS Education Committee member. B.A.K. served as the unpaid Guest Editor of the series and received consulting fees from Johnson and Johnson. B.A.K. is a committee member at AO Spine Global Diploma Program, AO Spine Knowledge Forum Trauma and NASS Early Career Advisory Committee. The authors have no other conflicts of interest to declare.

Ethical Statement: The authors are accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Open Access Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits the non-commercial replication and distribution of the article with the strict proviso that no changes or edits are made and the original work is properly cited (including links to both the formal publication through the relevant DOI and the license). See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.

Mark J. Lambrechts
Brian A. Karamian

Mark J. Lambrechts1, MD

(Email: mark.lambrechts2016@gmail.com)

Brian A. Karamian2, MD

(Email: brian.karamian@hsc.utah.edu)

1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, USA;2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Keywords: Degenerative spine disease; surgical options; operative spine care

Received: 14 November 2023; Accepted: 05 December 2023; Published online: 18 April 2024.

doi: 10.21037/amj-23-221

doi: 10.21037/amj-23-221
Cite this article as: Lambrechts MJ, Karamian BA. Editorial: degenerative spine disease—a review of emerging topics in operative spine care. AME Med J 2024;9:11.

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