4 key points on unplanned readmissions for posterior lumbar fusion


A new study published in Spine examines the risk factors for unplanned readmissions after elective posterior lumbar fusion surgery.


Study authors examined data for 2,301 patients who underwent posterior lumbar fusion from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. Study authors found:


1. Around 5.1 percent of the patients had unplanned readmissions, typically occurring 16 days after surgery. The authors studied readmissions from three to 30 days postoperatively.


2. The top independent predictors for unplanned readmissions within 30 days of surgery were:


• Bleeding disorders
• Insulin dependent diabetes
• Total length of stay greater than five days


3. The significant postoperative complications studied were wound complications, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis/thrombophlebitis, sepsis and urinary tract infections.


4. Study authors concluded, "The unplanned readmission rate for patients undergoing PLF was low, but this study's findings of potentially modifiable risk factors suggest that substantial improvement with this quality metric is possible."


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