6 things to know about lumbar spinal discectomy readmissions


A new study published in Spine examines readmission rates for lumbar discectomy patients. 


The study authors collected data on 20,376 lumbar discectomies performed from 2012 to 2014 with results recorded in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database. Here are the key findings:


1. Around 2.6 percent of the patients were readmitted within 30 days of surgery.


2. Surgical site infections were the most common reason for readmission, occurring in 0.64 percent of all patients and 24.4 percent of all patients who were readmitted.


3. About 0.44 percent of all patients were readmitted for pain issues following surgery. Pain was the reason for 16.7 percent of the readmissions among all readmitted patients.


4. Eight percent of the readmitted patients reported thromboembolic events, representing 0.21 percent of all patients.


5. The factors most associated with 30-day readmissions after lumbar discectomy were:


• High American Society of Anesthesiologists class
• Prolonged operative time


6. The average time between discharge and readmission was 13 days.


"These findings identify potential areas for quality improvement initiatives," concluded the study authors.


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