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Author Notes:

Disclosures: The authors have no personal, financial, or institutional interest in any of the drugs, materials, or devices described in this article.


Research Funding:

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  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery
  • Neurosciences & Neurology
  • Spinal pathology
  • Telemedicine
  • Neurosurgical management
  • COVID-19
  • Pandemics

Letter: Neurosurgical Management of Spinal Pathology Via Telemedicine During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Early Experience and Unique Challenges


Journal Title:



Volume 87, Number 2


, Pages E192-E196

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Clinics around the world are adapting to the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic employing telemedicine to serve the needs of their patients. Traditionally, telemedicine has been driven by providing healthcare to rural, underserved populations and has involved medical specialties that are thought to be more suitable for remote consultation, like psychiatry and dermatology.1 During the COVID-19 pandemic, surgeons have started to implement remote clinic visits to meet the needs of their patients while practicing social distancing. Our aim is to discuss the unique challenges of caring for neurosurgical spine patients via telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to define the opportunities for telemedicine as an outpatient care adjunct in the post-COVID-19 world. Neurosurgical telemedicine literature is sparse and primarily relates to triaging trauma in rural settings,2 managing routine follow-up patients,3 and analyzing the socioeconomic benefit for patients traveling long distances.4 To meet the needs of the spine patient population, we must learn how to best incorporate telemedicine into spine care by (1) defining regulatory requirements, (2) implementing system-wide protocols centered around appropriate telemedicine technology, (3) structuring the clinic visit to best optimize telemedicine technology, and (4) understanding the benefits and limitations of telemedicine.

Copyright information:

© 2020 by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

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