Center for Health Statistics
Texas Health Care Information Collection
Utilization Review: Specific Inpatient Procedures by Texas Hospital Referral Region, 2010
A laminectomy is the removal of a portion of the vertebra and a spinal fusion is the stabilization of a part of the spine by fusing vertebrae together. A laminectomy and/or a spinal fusion are commonly performed procedures for chronic back pain, herniated disk or spinal stenosis.
Why is this measure important?
Laminectomy is a potentially over-used procedure because no randomized controlled trials can demonstrate that it improves outcomes for patients with uncertain clinical indications. Some research suggests that nonsurgical treatment may produce similar outcomes but no evidence-based studies exist to compare one form of therapy to another.
Why might there be variation?
Utilization of these procedures may vary by source of insurance, type of facility and other non-clinical demographics. Variations may also be explained by local practice patterns. Hospitals in the region may be referral centers for a procedure. Patients may come from outside the area to receive their procedures at hospitals in the region. The prevalence of herniated disc or spinal stenosis may be related to the age structure of the population and the prevalence of behavioral or physiologic risk factors.
What does this measure tell us?
The graphs and tables in this section show:
This measure is calculated by comparing the total number of discharges age 18 and older who had a laminectomy or spinal fusion with the total population in the hospital referral region. Any inpatient discharges related to pregnancy and childbirth were excluded.
Laminectomy has been identified as a potentially over-used procedure and, therefore, more average rates may represent better quality care.