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Intraoperative Monitoring Is Associated with Fewer Neurologic Complications in ‘Low Risk’ Spinal Surgeries

A new analysis of a large national inpatient dataset found that intraoperative monitoring significantly reduced the rate of neurologic complications in patients who underwent spinal decompressions or simple fusions compared with patients who were not monitored. The study found that IONM reduced neurological complications by nearly half when comparing over 10,000 surgeries that involved IONM to over 223,000 of the same surgeries that did not, from 2007 to 2012. The lead study author, Dr. John Ney, said that sparing patients the complications of surgery would likely translate into significant savings on health care costs in the long term. “You could be preventing a lifetime of disability,” he added.

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