Short-term Morbidity and Mortality Associated With Correction of Thoracolumbar Fixed Sagittal Plane Deformity: A Report from the Scoliosis Research Society Morbidity and Mortality Committee

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Abstract

Study Design.

Retrospective review.

Objective.

Our objective was to assess the short-term complication rate in patients undergoing treatment of thoracolumbar fixed sagittal plane deformity (FSPD).

Summary of Background Data.

The reported morbidity and mortality for the surgical treatment of thoracolumbar FSPD is varied and based on studies with small sample sizes. Further studies are needed to better assess FSPD complication rate, and the factors that influence it.

Methods.

The Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) Morbidity and Mortality Database was queried to identify cases of thoracolumbar FSPD from 2004 to 2007. Complications were analyzed based on correction technique, surgical approach, surgeon experience (SRS membership status used as a surrogate), patient age, and history of prior surgery.

Results.

Five hundred and seventy-eight cases of FSPD were identified. Osteotomies were performed in 402 cases (70%), including 215 pedicle subtraction osteotomies (PSO), 135 Smith–Petersen osteotomies (SPO), 19 anterior discectomy with corpectomy procedures (ADC), 18 vertebral column resections (VCR), and 15 unspecified osteotomies. There were 170 complications (29.4%) in 132 patients. There were three deaths (0.5%). The most common complications were durotomy (5.9%), wound infection (3.8%), new neurologic deficit (3.8%), implant failure (1.7%), wound hematoma (1.6%), epidural hematoma (1.4%), and pulmonary embolism (1.0%). Procedures including an osteotomy had a higher complication rate (34.8%) than cases not including an osteotomy (17.0%, P < 0.001), and this remained significant after adjusting for the effects of patient age, surgeon experience, and history of prior surgery (P = 0.003, odds ratio = 2.070, 95% CI = 1.291–3.321). Not significantly associated with complication rate were patient age (P = 0.68), surgeon experience (P = 0.18), and history of prior surgery (P = 0.10). Complication rates were progressively higher from no osteotomy (17.0%), to SPO (28.1%), to PSO (39.1%), to VCR (61.1%).

Conclusion.

The short-term complication rate for treatment of FSPD is 29.4%. The complication rate was significantly higher in patients undergoing osteotomies, and more aggressive osteotomies were associated with progressively higher complication rates.

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