Early complications and outcomes in adult spinal deformity surgery: an NSQIP study based on 5803 patients

Nathan J. Lee, Parth Kothari, Jun S. Kim, John I. Shin, Kevin Phan, John Di Capua, Sulaiman Somani, Dante M. Leven, Javier Z. Guzman, Samuel K. Cho*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)
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Study Design: Retrospective analysis. Objective: The purpose of this study is to determine the incidence, impact, and risk factors for short-term postoperative complications following elective adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery. Methods: Current Procedural Terminology codes were used to query the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) for adults who underwent spinal deformity surgery from 2010 to 2014. Patients were separated into groups of those with and without complications. Univariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression were used to assess the impact of patient characteristics and operative features on postoperative outcomes. Results: In total, 5803 patients were identified as having undergone ASD surgery in the NSQIP database. The average patient age was 59.5 (±13.5) years, 59.0% were female, and 81.1% were of Caucasian race. The mean body mass index was 29.5(±6.6), with 41.9% of patients having a body mass index of 30 or higher. The most common comorbidities were hypertension requiring medication (54.5%), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (4.9%), and bleeding disorders (1.2%). Nearly a half of the ASD patients had an operative time >4 hours. The posterior fusion approach was more common (56.9%) than an anterior one (39.6%). The mean total relative value unit was 73.4 (±28.8). Based on multivariate analyses, several patient and operative characteristics were found to be predictive of morbidity. Conclusion: Surgical correction of ASD is associated with substantial risk of intraoperative and postoperative complications. Preoperative and intraoperative variables were associated with increased morbidity and mortality. This data may assist in developing future quality improvement activities and saving costs through measurable improvement in patient safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-440
Number of pages9
JournalGlobal Spine Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • adult spinal deformity
  • arthrodesis
  • complications
  • National Surgical Quality Improvement Project (NSQIP)
  • outcomes
  • spinal fusion


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