High vs. low volume surgeons for scoliosis procedures: 5 key notes


A new study published in Spinal Deformity examines the outcomes variation between high volume and low volume surgeons performing scoliosis correction.

The researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients from the New York State Inpatient Database for cases between 2008 and 2011. The researchers also took hospital and surgeon volumes into account. There were 3,928 primary fusion operations included in the study.


The researchers found:


1. There was a 7.1 percent reoperation rate after the initial spinal fusion for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.


2. The surgeons who performed less than six AIS fusions per year were considered low volume and had a 14.1 percent reoperation rate.


3. The high volume surgeons — those who performed 43 to 228 cases per year — had a 5.1 percent reoperation rate.


4. The study authors concluded, "Early reoperation after spine fusion for idiopathic scoliosis is seen more frequently in lower volume institutions and surgeons."


5. Limiting scoliosis correction to high-volume surgeons could prevent future reoperations and associated risks for the patients as well as high costs for procedures and hospital stays in the future.


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