Jain et al. investigated the incidence of major medical complications and mortality in elderly patients after surgery for adult spinal deformity (ASD) during a 2-year follow-up period. METHODS The authors queried a multicenter, prospective, surgeon-maintained database (SMD) to identify patients 65 years or older who underwent surgical correction of ASD from 2008 through 2014 and had a minimum 2 years of follow-up (n = 153). They also queried a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services claims database (MCD) for patients 65 years or older who underwent fusion of 8 or more vertebral levels from 2005 through 2012 (n = 3366). They calculated cumulative rates of the following complications during the first 6 weeks after surgery: cerebrovascular accident, congestive heart failure, deep venous thrombosis, myocardial infarction, pneumonia, and pulmonary embolism. Significance was set at p < 0.05. RESULTS During the perioperative period, rates of major medical complications were 5.9% for pneumonia, 4.1% for deep venous thrombosis, 3.2% for pulmonary embolism, 2.1% for cerebrovascular accident, 1.8% for myocardial infarction, and 1.0% for congestive heart failure. Mortality rates were 0.9% at 6 weeks and 1.8% at 2 years. When comparing the SMD with the MCD, there were no significant differences in the perioperative rates of major medical complications except pneumonia. Furthermore, there were no significant intergroup differences in the mortality rates at 6 weeks or 2 years. The SMD provided greater detail with respect to deformity characteristics and surgical variables than the MCD. CONCLUSIONS The incidence of most major medical complications in the elderly after surgery for ASD was similar between the SMD and the MCD and ranged from 1% for congestive heart failure to 5.9% for pneumonia. These complications data can be valuable for preoperative patient counseling and informed consent 1).
In a retrospective chart review at a tertiary care referral center that included ADS patients referred to scoliosis surgeons between 2012 and 2014. Inclusion criteria included patients with ADS and no prior thoraco-lumbar surgery. Data were collected from initial spine surgeon clinic notes and radiographs.
Clinical outcome data included presence, side(s) and level(s) of radicular pain; presence of motor deficits; and presence of sensory deficits.
Variables included age, gender, Scoliosis Research Society-30 (SRS-30) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) questionnaire data, and radiographic measurements. Radiographic measurements included Cobb angles and L1 to S1 IPHs on upright and supine radiographs. Associations between variables and outcome measures were assessed with univariate and multivariate statistical analyses. Authors have no conflicts of interests relevant to this study.
A total of 200 patients with an average age of 51 years met the inclusion criteria. 60/200 presented with radicular pain. Increased age was associated with radicular pain, weakness and sensory deficits. Patients that were 55 years or older were approximately 8 times more likely to have a radicular pain (OR = 7.96, 95% CI 3.73, 17.0; p <0.001), 5 times more likely to have a motor deficit (OR = 5, 95% CI 2.55, 9.79; p <0.001), and 5 times more likely to have a sensory deficit (OR = 5.2, 95% CI 2.65, 10.2; p <0.001) than those younger than 55. More caudally-located nerve roots are more likely to develop radicular pain (p <0.001). Motor deficits were associated with worse SRS-30 functional (p=0.02) and ODI scores (p=0.005), but radicular pain and sensory deficits were not associated with lower SRS-30/ODI scores. Ipsilateral and same-level radicular pain were associated with reduced IPH in supine radiographs (p=0.002 and p=0.0002, respectively). Finally, reduced IPH on upright radiographs was associated with side- and level-specific radicular pain (p = 0.04).
Radicular pain in ADS patients is associated with reduced IPHs and increased age. Measuring IPHs on routine radiographs may be helpful in associating clinical radiculopathy with radiographic measures to guide patient management and surgical planning 2).
Prospective baseline data were analyzed on 286 patients enrolled in an NIH RO1 clinical trial by nine centers from 2010 to 2014. INCLUSION CRITERIA: 40 to 80 years old, lumbar Cobb (LC) 30° or higher and Scoliosis Research Society-23 score 4.0 or less in Pain, Function or Self-Image domains, or Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) 20 or higher. Patients were primary presentation (no prior spinal deformity surgery) and had complete baseline data: standing coronal/sagittal 36“ radiographs and PROs (ODI, Scoliosis Research Society-23, Short Form-12). Correlation coefficients were calculated to evaluate relations between radiographic parameters and PROs for the study population and a subset of patients with ODI 40 or higher. Analysis of variance was used to identify differences in PROs for radiographic modifier groups. RESULTS: Mean age was 60.3 years. Mean spinopelvic parameters were: LL = -39.2°; SVA = 3.1 cm; sacral slope = 32.5°; PT = 23.9°; PI-LL mismatch = 16.8°. Only weak correlations (0.2-0.4) were identified between population sacral slope, SVA and SVA modifiers, and SRS function. SVA and SVA modifiers were weakly associated with ODI. Although there were more correlations in subset analysis of high-symptom patients, all were weak. Analysis of variance identified significant differences in ODI reported by SVA modifier groups.
In primary presentation patients with ASLS and a subset of “high-symptom” patients (ODI ≥ 40), only weak associations between baseline PROs and radiographic parameters were identified. For this patient population, these results suggest regional radiographic parameters (LC, LL, PT, PI-LL mismatch) are not drivers of PROs and cannot be used to extrapolate effect on patient-perceived pathology 3).
Park et al investigated the association between degenerative lumbar scoliosis (DLS) and estrogen receptor gene polymorphism in 184 patients with a diagnosis of DLS, by determining the presences of the Pvu II and Xba I polymorphisms, measuring bone mineral densities at the lumbar spine (LSBMD) and femoral neck (FNBMD), and by investigating biochemical markers of bone turnover and comparing these results with those of 220 healthy normal controls.
Genotype frequencies in DLS patients and controls revealed a significant difference for the Pvu II polymorphism only (p = 0.0287). No significant difference was found between the DLS and control groups with respect to the Xba I polymorphism, bone mineral density (BMD), or biochemical markers. Furthermore, no significant association was observed between the Pvu II polymorphism and BMD, lumbar scoliosis, lateral listhesis, or biochemical markers in patients with DLS.
These results suggest that the ERα Pvu II polymorphism influences the prevalence of DLS 4).
The PearlDiver database (2005-2012) was used to determine revision rates in elderly ASD patients treated with a primary thoracolumbar posterolateral fusion of 8 or more levels. Analyzed risk factors included demographics, comorbid conditions, and surgical factors. Significant univariate predictors were further analyzed with multivariate analysis. The causes of revision at each year of follow-up were determined.
A total of 2293 patients who had been treated with posterolateral fusion of 8 or more levels were identified. At the 1-year follow-up, 241 (10.5%) patients had been treated with revision surgery, while 424 (18.5%) had revision surgery within 5 years. On univariate analysis, obesity was found to be a significant predictor of revision surgery at 1 year, while bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) use was found to significantly decrease revision surgery at 4 and 5 years of followup. Diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, and smoking history were all significant univariate predictors of increased revision risk at multiple years of follow-up. Multivariate analysis at 5 years of follow-up revealed that osteoporosis (OR 1.98, 95% CI 1.60-2.46, p < 0.0001) and BMP use (OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.56-0.88, p = 0.002) were significantly associated with an increased and decreased revision risk, respectively. Smoking history trended toward significance (OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.10-1.70, p = 0.005). Instrument failure was consistently the most commonly cited reason for revision. Five years following surgery, it was estimated that the cohort had 68.8% survivorship.
For elderly patients with ASD, osteoporosis increases the risk of revision surgery, while BMP use decreases the risk. Other comorbidities were not found to be significant predictors of long-term revision rates. It is expected that within 5 years following the index procedure, over 30% of patients will require revision surgery 5).
A retrospective analysis of a prospective multicenter database of 365 adult spinal deformity (ASD) patients who had undergone surgical treatment was performed. Health-related QOL variables were examined preoperatively and at the 2-year postoperative follow-up. Patients were grouped by their 36-Item Short Form Health Survey mental component summary (MCS) and physical component summary (PCS) scores. Both groups had PCS scores ≤ 25th percentile for matched norms; however, the low mental health (LMH) group consisted of patients with an MCS score ≤ 25th percentile, and the high mental health (HMH) group included patients with an MCS score ≥ 75th percentile. RESULTS Of the 264 patients (72.3%) with a 2-year follow-up, 104 (28.5%) met the inclusion criteria for LMH and 40 patients (11.0%) met those for HMH. The LMH group had a significantly higher overall rate of comorbidities, specifically leg weakness, depression, hypertension, and self-reported neurological and psychiatric disease processes, and were more likely to be unemployed as compared with the HMH group (p < 0.05 for all). The 2 groups had similar 2-year postoperative improvements in HRQOL (p > 0.05) except for the greater improvements in the MCS and the Scoliosis Research Society-22r questionnaire (SRS-22r) mental domain (p < 0.05) in the LMH group and greater improvements in PCS and SRS-22r satisfaction and back pain domains (p < 0.05) in the HMH group. The LMH group had a higher rate of reaching a minimal clinically important difference (MCID) on the SRS-22r mental domain (p < 0.01), and the HMH group had a higher rate of reaching an MCID on the PCS and SRS-22r activity domain (p < 0.05). On multivariable logistic regression, having LMH was a significant independent predictor of failure to reach an MCID on the PCS (p < 0.05). At the 2-year postoperative follow-up, 14 LMH patients (15.1%) were categorized as HMH. Two LMH patients (2.2%), and 3 HMH patients (7.7%) transitioned to a PCS score ≥ 75th percentile for age- and sex-matched US norms (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS While patients with poor mental and physical health, according to their MCS and PCS scores, have higher medical comorbidity and unemployment rates, they still demonstrate significant improvements in HRQOL measurements postoperatively. Both LMH and HMH patient groups demonstrated similar improvements in most HRQOL domains, except that the LMH patients had difficulties in obtaining improvements in the PCS domain 6).
Smith et al conducted a study to prospectively assess the rates of complications associated with ASD surgery with a minimum 2-year follow-up based on a multicenter study design that incorporated standardized data-collection forms, on-site study coordinators, and regular auditing of data to help ensure complete and accurate reporting of complications. In addition, they report age stratification of complication rates and provide a general assessment of factors that may be associated with the occurrence of complications.
As part of a prospective, multicenter ASD database, standardized forms were used to collect data on surgery-related complications. On-site coordinators and central auditing helped ensure complete capture of complication data. Inclusion criteria were age older than 18 years, ASD, and plan for operative treatment. Complications were classified as perioperative (within 6 weeks of surgery) or delayed (between 6 weeks after surgery and time of last follow-up), and as minor or major. The primary focus for analyses was on patients who reached a minimum follow-up of 2 years.
Of 346 patients who met the inclusion criteria, 291 (84%) had a minimum 2-year follow-up (mean 2.1 years); their mean age was 56.2 years. The vast majority (99%) had treatment including a posterior procedure, 25% had an anterior procedure, and 19% had a 3-column osteotomy. At least 1 revision was required in 82 patients (28.2%). A total of 270 perioperative complications (145 minor; 125 major) were reported, with 152 patients (52.2%) affected, and a total of 199 delayed complications (62 minor; 137 major) were reported, with 124 patients (42.6%) affected. Overall, 469 complications (207 minor; 262 major) were documented, with 203 patients (69.8%) affected. The most common complication categories included implant related, radiographic, neurological, operative, cardiopulmonary, and infection. Higher complication rates were associated with older age (p = 0.009), greater body mass index (p ≤ 0.031), increased comorbidities (p ≤ 0.007), previous spine fusion (p = 0.029), and 3-column osteotomies (p = 0.036). Cases in which 2-year follow-up was not achieved included 2 perioperative mortalities (pulmonary embolus and inferior vena cava injury).
This study provides an assessment of complications associated with ASD surgery based on a prospective, multicenter design and with a minimum 2-year follow-up. Although the overall complication rates were high, in interpreting these findings, it is important to recognize that not all complications are equally impactful. This study represents one of the most complete and detailed reports of perioperative and delayed complications associated with ASD surgery to date. These findings may prove useful for treatment planning, patient counseling, benchmarking of complication rates, and efforts to improve the safety and cost-effectiveness of patient care 7).
The Nationwide Inpatient Sample was used to identify surgical patients with adult spinal deformity (ASD) between 2002 and 2011. Only patients > 21 years old and elective cases were included. Patient characteristics, inpatient morbidity, and inpatient mortality were compared between teaching hospital and nonteaching hospitals. A multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to examine the effect of hospital teaching status on surgical outcomes.
A total of 7603 patients were identified, with 61.2% (n = 4650) in the teaching hospital group and 38.8% (n = 2953) in the nonteaching hospital group. The proportion of patients undergoing revision procedures was significantly different between groups (5.2% in teaching hospitals vs 3.9% in nonteaching hospitals, p = 0.008). Likewise, complex procedures (defined as fusion of 8 or more segments and/or osteotomy) were more common in teaching hospitals (27.3% vs 21.7%, p < 0.001). Crude overall complication rates were similar in teaching hospitals (47.9%) compared with nonteaching hospitals (49.8%, p = 0.114). After controlling for patient characteristics, case complexity, and revision status, patients treated at teaching hospitals were significantly less likely to develop a complication when compared with patients treated at a nonteaching hospital (OR 0.89; 95% CI 0.82-0.98). The mortality rate was 0.4% in teaching hospitals and < 0.4% in nonteaching hospitals (p = 0.210).
Patients who undergo surgery for ASD at a teaching hospital may have significantly lower odds of complication development compared with patients treated at a nonteaching hospital 8).
Twenty-nine elderly patients (average age, 68.5 years; range, 61-78) with degenerative lumbar scoliosis, undergoing dynamic stabilization (Dynesys system) without fusion combined with decompressive laminectomy, in cases with associated stenosis, were analyzed. Stenosis of the vertebral canal was associated in 27 patients (93.1%); 13 cases (44.8%) also presented a degenerative spondylolisthesis. An independent spine surgeon retrospectively reviewed all the patients' medical records and radiographs to assess operative data and surgery-related complications. Preoperative, postoperative, and follow-up questionnaires were obtained to evaluate clinical outcomes.
The mean follow-up time was 54 months (range, 39-68). Oswestry Disability Index, Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire, and back pain and leg pain visual analogue scale scores received a statistically significant improvement at last control; the mean improvement was 51.6% for Oswestry Disability Index (P = 0.01), 58.2% for Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (P = 0.01), 51.7% for leg pain (P = 0.02), and 57.8% for back pain (P = 0.01). Radiographically, degenerative scoliosis and associated spondylolisthesis resulted stable at follow-up with a moderate correction: the average scoliosis Cobb angle was 16.9 degrees (range, 12 degrees -37 degrees) before surgery and 11.1 degrees (range, 4 degrees -26 degrees) at last follow-up, with a 37.5% mean correction (P = 0.01); the anterior vertebral translation was 18.9% (range, 12%-27%) before surgery and 17% (range, 0%-27%) at follow-up, for a 14.6% mean correction (range, 0%-100%) (P = 0.02). No implant-related complications (screw loosening or breakage) or loss of correction were observed. Four cases (13.8%) presented an asymptomatic radiolucent line around screws of the S1 level without screw loosening. Six patients (20.7%) showed minor complications (ileus in 2 cases, urinary tract infection in 2, transient postoperative delirium in one, and respiratory difficulties after surgery in another patient). In 2 other patients (6.8%) incurred major complications, both requiring a revision surgery, for a misplaced screw on L5 and junctional disc degeneration at the lower level respectively. No neurologic complications occurred.
Dynamic stabilization with pedicle screws in addition to decompressive laminectomy resulted a safe procedure in elderly patients with degenerative lumbar scoliosis; it was able to maintain enough stability to prevent progression of scoliosis and instability, enabling a wide laminectomy in cases of associated lumbar stenosis. This nonfusion stabilization technique was less aggressive than instrumented fusion and obtained a statistically significant improvement of the clinical outcome at last follow-up 9).
200 patients older than age 50 years with back pain and recent onset of scoliosis. Seventy-one percent of patients were women, and no patient had undergone spinal surgery. The curves involved the area from T12 to L5 with the apex at L2 or L3 and did not exceed 60 degrees. Degenerative facet joint and disc disease always were present, and the curves were associated with a loss of lumbar lordosis. Forty-five patients with severe pain and neurologic deficits were studied using myelography. Indention of the column of contrast medium was seen at several levels but was most severe at the apex of the curve. It was least severe at the lumbosacral joint. The curves progressed an average of 3 degrees per year over a 5-year period in 73% of patients. Grade 3 apical rotation, a Cobb angle of 30 or more, lateral vertebral translation of 6 mm or more, and the prominence of L5 in relation to the intercrest line were important factors in predicting curve progression 10).