Are 2 spine surgeons better than 1 for deformity? 5 key findings

Laura Dyrda -   Print  |

A new study published in Spinal Deformity examines whether using two surgeons for posterior spinal fusion patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis who have large-magnitude curves produces better outcomes.


The study examines 47 patients who underwent surgery from Jan. 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2014. The patients all had curves greater than 70 percent and underwent surgery with either one or two surgeons present. Study authors found:


1. No statistical difference between patients who had one surgeon and patients with two surgeons in:


• Total operative time
• Anesthesia time
• Estimated blood loss
• Blood transfusion units


2. The total operative time for patients in the two-surgeon group was 212.11 minutes on average while the single-surgeon group reported around 238 minutes for the total operation.


3. The single-surgeon group reported slightly higher blood transfusion, 0.29 units, compared to 0.26 units in the two-surgeon group.


4. Among the two-surgeon group, the average length of stay in the hospital was 5.16 days, shorter than patients in the one-surgeon group who stayed in the hospital an average of 6.82 days.


5. Study authors concluded two experienced orthopedic spine surgeons working together on pedicle screw-only posterior fusions among select patients didn't improve blood loss or operative time despite previous studies suggesting two surgeons could reduce those factors.


More articles on spine surgery:
6 key points on spine surgery reoperation for degenerative spondylolisthesis
2 spine surgeons on the mentors who inspired them
5 key findings on cost, length of stay for Medicare beneficiaries undergoing cervical spinal fusion

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