Spine Surgical Procedures during Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic: Is It Still Possible to Take Care of Patients? Results of an Observational Study in the First Month of Confinement

  • Meyer Mikael
  • Prost Solène
  • Farah Kaissar
  • Denis Jean-Baptiste
  • Dufour Henry
  • Blondel Benjamin
  • Fuentes Stéphane

  • Spine
  • COVID-19
  • Organizations
  • Surgery


The actual sanitary crisis led to a massive mobilization of the sanitary system toward intensive care units and management of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. However, some patients still require spinal interventions. The present study aimed to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on spine surgical in a moderate COVID-19 cluster region. Overview of Literature: Previous studies have reported screening and management of patients with spinal conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, to date, knowledge, no observational study on spine surgeries during the pandemic has not been reported. Methods: Between March 17, 2020 and April 17, 2020, information on spine surgical activity was prospectively collected at our institution. This surgical activity related to the first month of confinement in France was compared to the activity during the same period in 2019 to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on surgical activities. Results: In order to reduce the contamination rate of patients and medical staff during hospitalization, the spine department was completely reorganized. Non-urgent elective spine surgeries were cancelled. When considering the global amount of surgeries procedures during the first month of confinement, a decrease of almost 50% was observed in the number of surgical procedures. During the study period, 62 patients were eligible for spine surgery. The numbers of patients managed for tumor and infectious cases were stable, while a considerable reduction was observed in the number of trauma and degenerative cases. During the follow-up period, two patients were tested as COVID+ during the postoperative course, and no cases of medical or paramedical staff contamination were reported using polymerase chain reaction-testing. Conclusions: During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible to maintain spine surgical activity. Each surgical procedure must be discussed and organized with all the caregivers involved. Indications for surgery must be in line with the scientific guidelines and adapted to each healthcare facility.