# Objective activity tracking in spine surgery: a prospective feasibility study with a low-cost consumer grade wearable accelerometer

Stienen, Martin N; Rezaii, Paymon G; Ho, Allen L; Veeravagu, Anand; Zygourakis, Corinna C; Tomkins-Lane, Christy; Park, Jon; Ratliff, John K; Desai, Atman M (2020). Objective activity tracking in spine surgery: a prospective feasibility study with a low-cost consumer grade wearable accelerometer. Scientific Reports, 10:4939.

## Abstract

Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are commonly used to estimate disability of patients with spinal degenerative disease. Emerging technological advances present an opportunity to provide objective measurements of activity. In a prospective, observational study we utilized a low-cost consumer grade wearable accelerometer (LCA) to determine patient activity (steps per day) preoperatively (baseline) and up to one year (Y1) after cervical and lumbar spine surgery. We studied 30 patients (46.7% male; mean age 57 years; 70% Caucasian) with a baseline activity level of 5624 steps per day. The activity level decreased by 71% in the 1$^{st}$ postoperative week (p < 0.001) and remained 37% lower in the 2$^{nd}$ (p < 0.001) and 23% lower in the 4$^{th}$ week (p = 0.015). At no time point until Y1 did patients increase their activity level, compared to baseline. Activity was greater in patients with cervical, as compared to patients with lumbar spine disease. Age, sex, ethnic group, anesthesia risk score and fusion were variables associated with activity. There was no correlation between activity and PROMs, but a strong correlation with depression. Determining activity using LCAs provides real-time and longitudinal information about patient mobility and return of function. Recovery took place over the first eight postoperative weeks, with subtle improvement afterwards.

## Abstract

Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are commonly used to estimate disability of patients with spinal degenerative disease. Emerging technological advances present an opportunity to provide objective measurements of activity. In a prospective, observational study we utilized a low-cost consumer grade wearable accelerometer (LCA) to determine patient activity (steps per day) preoperatively (baseline) and up to one year (Y1) after cervical and lumbar spine surgery. We studied 30 patients (46.7% male; mean age 57 years; 70% Caucasian) with a baseline activity level of 5624 steps per day. The activity level decreased by 71% in the 1$^{st}$ postoperative week (p < 0.001) and remained 37% lower in the 2$^{nd}$ (p < 0.001) and 23% lower in the 4$^{th}$ week (p = 0.015). At no time point until Y1 did patients increase their activity level, compared to baseline. Activity was greater in patients with cervical, as compared to patients with lumbar spine disease. Age, sex, ethnic group, anesthesia risk score and fusion were variables associated with activity. There was no correlation between activity and PROMs, but a strong correlation with depression. Determining activity using LCAs provides real-time and longitudinal information about patient mobility and return of function. Recovery took place over the first eight postoperative weeks, with subtle improvement afterwards.

## Statistics

### Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics

### Altmetrics

Detailed statistics