European Spine Journal

, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 3536–3542 | Cite as

Postoperative monitoring with a mobile application after ambulatory lumbar discectomy: an effective tool for spine surgeons

  • Bertrand Debono
  • Philippe Bousquet
  • Pascal Sabatier
  • Jean-Yves Plas
  • Jean-Paul Lescure
  • Olivier Hamel
Original Article



The rise of eHealth, with the increasing use of a Mobile application provides a new perspective for outpatient spine surgery follow-up.


Assess the feasibility of Mobile app for postoperative monitoring after outpatient lumbar discectomy.

Patients and methods

Sixty consecutive patients, who underwent an ambulatory lumbar discectomy, were proposed the use of Mobile app to optimize their home monitoring for 15 days. Contact was maintained with the clinic based on the level of symptom severity: pain, temperature, deficit, bleeding, to provide a suitable solution. Use of Mobile app compared to the standard follow-up procedure was evaluated daily and a satisfaction survey was carried-out 3 months after surgery.


Thirty-six patients (60.0 %) completed the initial checklist within 48 h, with no triggered severity. Five patients (8.3 %) triggered a non-response alarm; no action was required in the follow-up of 41 patients. However, 19 patients (31.7 %) triggered a total of 29 alarms, automatically resulting in a neurosurgeon contact for: postoperative pain management and optimization of analgesics, 21 cases (72.4 %), low-grade fever <38.5°, 4 cases (13.8 %), voiding delay, 2 cases (6.9 %) and a problem related to dressing, 2 cases (6.9 %). The scale ranged from 1 (poor) to 4 (excellent), with a 3.5/4 overall satisfaction mean score for the mobile handheld-device. Most patients (91.6 %) responded that they would agree to repeat the postoperative experience.


Overall patient satisfaction was excellent. Mobile app provides an effective useful tool for outpatient spine surgery monitoring and minimizes the need for in-person visits for postoperative patients.


Lumbar discectomy Outpatient monitoring Mobile app eHealth Fast-tracking 



The authors are grateful to Richard Medeiros—medical editor of Medical Editing International for editing the manuscript, and to Marina Trevisiol for the infography.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bertrand Debono
    • 1
  • Philippe Bousquet
    • 1
  • Pascal Sabatier
    • 1
  • Jean-Yves Plas
    • 1
  • Jean-Paul Lescure
    • 1
  • Olivier Hamel
    • 1
  1. 1.Neurosurgery Department, Neurosciences PoleCAPIO-Clinique des CèdresCornebarrieuFrance

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