5 key notes on cervical spinal fusion complications, readmission & reoperations

Written by Laura Dyrda | October 03, 2016 | Print  |

A new study published in Spine examines the complications, readmissions and reoperations for posterior cervical fusion.

The study examines patient data from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program for patients undergoing posterior cervical fusion in 2011 and 2012. The study included 5,627 patients.


The researchers found:


1. There were around 36 percent of the patients who reported complications; however, excluding transfusion the complication rate was 9.8 percent.


2. About 26 percent of the patients underwent transfusion. The additional complication breakdown was:


• Prolonged intubation for more than 48 hours: 1.5 percent
• Reintubation: 4.9 percent


3. There were 273 patients — 4.9 percent — who underwent reoperations. Postoperative infection was the biggest reason for reoperation.


4. There were 398 patients who had readmissions — 7.8 percent.


5. The fragility-based score was predictive of any adverse events and most of the patients who had complications — 54.9 percent — reported a fragility score of 1 or higher.


The researchers concluded, "The fragility-based score is a viable option to predict morbidity in posterior cervical fusion."


More articles on spine surgery:
Measuring spine the right way—Dr. Neel Anand on the spine industry in a value-based world
Early-onset scoliosis surgery with traditional growing rods: 5 key notes on complications
How being a patient helped Virginia Spine Institute CEO Dr. Thomas Schuler relate to his patients

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