Health Technology Brief

supporting sound, evidence-based decision making

HT Briefs are concise technology assessment reports that provide an overall evaluation of the potential clinical and economic impact of new technologies
that are in the early stages of dissemination or of existing technologies that are being used for new applications.

View a sampling of our HT Briefs.

Percutaneous Endoscopic Lumber Discectomy for Recurrent Lumbar Disc Herniation

March 23, 2017 Health Technology Brief

Lumbar disc herniation (LDH) occurs when a tear in the outer fibrous ring of an intervertebral disc allows prolapse of the softer central nucleus pulposus portion. The most common complication following primary open discectomy (OD) for LDH is recurrent LDH (rLDH), defined as recurrent back pain, leg pain, or both after a pain-free period lasting ≥ 6 months from the initial surgery. Description of Technology: Percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy (PELD) is a minimally invasive procedure intended to take pressure off of the nerve root by directly excising the disc that is pushing against the nerve root. Percutaneous discectomy is defined as...

Dexamethasone Intravitreal Implant (Ozurdex; Allergan Inc.) for Treatment of Retinal Vein Occlusion

March 9, 2017 Health Technology Brief

Macular edema is the main cause of vision loss in patients with retinal vein occlusion (RVO). Without established treatments to reopen occluded retinal veins, current treatment is focused on addressing secondary complications of RVO, such as macular edema. Corticosteroids suppress inflammation, reduce leukostasis, support the barrier function of retinal endothelial cells, and regulate proteins associated with transport of water out of the cell, thereby reducing edema. However, corticosteroids are associated with the formation of cataracts and an increase in intraocular pressure. In addition, while dexamethasone (DEX) is more potent than other corticosteroids (e.g., triamcinolone acetonide), it has a short intravitreal half-life,...

Percutaneous Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy for Primary Lumbar Disc Herniation

March 2, 2017 Health Technology Brief

Lumbar disc herniation (LDH) occurs when a tear in the outer fibrous ring of an intervertebral disc allows prolapse of the softer central nucleus pulposus portion. Disc herniation may also occur when the outer fibrous ring is intact but bulges under pressure. Surgical intervention for LDH is indicated when severe lower back pain, leg pain, or both are refractory to conservative treatment for > 6 weeks; when neurological deficits develop; or if the patient is intolerant of conservative measures. Description of Technology: Percutaneous discectomy is defined as a discectomy procedure that does not require open dissection of the thoracolumbar fascia. In percutaneous endoscopic discectomy,...

Collagen Meniscus Implant (CMI) (Menaflex; Ivy Sports Medicine LLC) for Meniscal Repair

February 16, 2017 Health Technology Brief

Meniscal loss or dysfunction causes abnormal wear on articular cartilage, promoting degeneration and osteoarthritis of the knee joint. Because of the limited vascularity of cartilaginous tissue, injuries to the menisci may not heal properly. Description of Technology: The Collagen Meniscal Implant (CMI) (formerly marketed as Menaflex) is an implant derived from bovine collagen used to treat acute or chronic advanced meniscal loss or damage with the intent of relieving symptoms and preventing joint degeneration. The CMI is a flexible, sickle-shaped disc that mimics the shape of the native meniscus and is attached arthroscopically to native tissue with suture. The porous,...

Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation for Treatment of Low Back Pain

February 9, 2017 Health Technology Brief

Mechanical low back pain (LBP) is common, affecting most individuals at some time. LBP is a leading reason for physician visits and work-related disability in the United States, with a lifetime prevalence of 60% to 80%. For an estimated 5% to 10% of patients, LBP becomes chronic (> 3 months in duration) with loss in work productivity and marked impact on healthcare utilization and costs. Description of Technology: Percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (PENS) is a conservative, minimally invasive treatment for pain in which acupuncture-like needles connected through a cable to an external power source are inserted into the skin. Needle placement...