Spine surgery SSI cost $16k: 5 things to know

Laura Dyrda -   Print  |

A new study published in The Spine Journal examined risk factors for postoperative surgical site infection after spine surgery.


The study authors examined patients undergoing spine surgery at a single institution over a three-year period. The study authors found:


1. There were 90 patients who experienced SSI that resulted in 110 readmissions.


2. Among the SSI patients, there were 138 irrigation and debridements performed to manage the postoperative SSI.


3. The average length of stay for the initial operation was 6.9 days, and those who were readmitted stayed an average of 9.6 days.


4. The average direct cost of the SSI was $16,242.


5. Factors associated with increased treatment cost include:


• Longer length of stay
• More levels fused
• MRSA presence
• Decreased serum albumin on readmissions
• Number of irrigation and debridement


"Pre-operative nutritional status assessment and MRSA colonization screening with targeted prophylaxis represent potentially modifiable risk factors in the treatment of SSI," concluded the study authors. "Further study is needed to investigate the relationship between poor nutrition status and increased length of stay and total costs in the treatment of SSI following spine surgery."


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