Article Abstract

Treatment, complications, and outcomes of metastatic disease of the spine: from Patchell to PROMIS

Authors: Alexander T. Yahanda, Jacob M. Buchowski, Adam M. Wegner


Spinal metastases are common in patients with cancer. As cancer treatments improve and these patients live longer, the number who present with metastatic spine disease will increase. Treatment strategies for these patients continues to evolve. In particular, since the prospective randomized controlled study in 2005 by Patchell et al. showed increased survival with decompressive surgical treatment of spinal metastases, there is a growing body of literature focusing on surgical management and complications of surgery for this disease. Surgery is often one component of a multimodal treatment approach with chemotherapy and radiation, which makes it difficult to parse the benefits of each individual treatment in outcome studies. Additionally, there has been more recent emphasis placed on patient-reported outcomes (PRO) after treatment for metastatic spine disease. In this review, we summarize treatments of metastatic spinal disease, possible perioperative complications, and validated tools used to assess outcomes for these patients.