6 key notes on spinal fusion complications & length of stay

Written by Laura Dyrda | February 08, 2016 | Print  |

A new study published in the Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques examines the factors affecting anterior cervical discectomy and fusion complications and length of stay.

The researchers examined the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Project Database from 2005 to 2010 for patients undergoing ACDF. The researchers found:


1. The average length of stay was two days, with a range of zero to 103 days.


2. Preoperative factors predicting an extended length of stay include:


• Patients who were 65 years old or older
• Functional status
• Transfer from the facility
• Preoperative anemia
• Diabetes


3. Longer lengths of stay were also associated with major and minor complications as well as extended surgery time. The elongated effect of these variables ranged from half a day to five days added to the length of stay.


4. There were 71 patients who reported 92 major complications. The complications include:


• 40 returned to the operating room
• 13 reported venous thrombotic events
• 21 reported respiratory issues
• 6 reported cardiac issues
• 5 reported mortality
• 4 reported sepsis
• 3 reported organ space infection


5. The patients with ASA scores of three or above, preoperative anemia and patients older than 65 years were predictive of major complications. Extended surgery time and male patients also predicted major complications.


6. There weren't any associations between the number of levels fused and complications or extended length of stay.


More articles on spine surgery:
Dorsal lumbar fusions: 5 things to know about how BMP affects cost
Career advice from 6 prominent spine surgeons
Society of Neurological Surgeons names Dr. Ralph Dacey president: 4 key notes

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