(HealthDay News) – Following lumbar fusion, recovery room radiographs provide no incremental clinical value above intraoperative images, according to a study published in the Oct. 15 issue of Spine.

Daniel D. Bohl, MPH, from the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, CT, and colleagues analyzed a consecutive series of lumbar fusion procedures to characterize the clinical utility of imaging in the recovery room. The 190 procedures included 92 posterolateral lumbar fusions, 42 anterior lumbar interbody fusions, 24 transforaminal lumbar interbody fusions, and 32 anterior-posterior fusions. Radiographic adequacy and issues with the surgical construct were assessed on intraoperative (fluoroscopic images) and recovery room (plain film) images by a panel of three reviewers.

The researchers found that all intraoperative series were adequate, while 90% of recovery room series were adequate. In four cases, the recovery room series had visible issues with construct placement; however, the issue was clearly visible on the intraoperative series in each case. The issue was found to be acceptable clinically in each case and did not impact management.

“In settings where it is still performed, recovery room imaging might be discontinued to realize savings in cost, radiation exposure, and time,” the authors write.

Relevant financial activities outside the submitted work were disclosed.

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