The Impact of Comorbid Mental Health Disorders on Complications Following Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery With Minimum 2-Year Surveillance

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Abstract

Study Design.

Retrospective analysis.

Objective.

To compare long-term outcomes between patients with and without mental health comorbidities who are undergoing surgery for adult spinal deformity (ASD).

Summary of Background Data.

Recent literature reveals that one in three patients admitted for surgical treatment for ASD has comorbid mental health disorder. Currently, impacts of baseline mental health status on long-term outcomes following ASD surgery have not been thoroughly investigated.

Methods.

Patients admitted from 2009 to 2013 with diagnoses of ASD who underwent more than or equal to 4-level thoracolumbar fusion with minimum 2-year follow-up were retrospectively reviewed using New York State's Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS). Patients were stratified by fusion length (short: 4–8-level; long: ≥9 level). Patients with comorbid mental health disorder (MHD) at time of admission were selected for analysis (MHD) and compared against those without MHD (no-MHD). Univariate analysis compared demographics, complications, readmissions, and revisions between cohorts for each fusion length. Multivariate binary logistic regression models identified independent predictors of outcomes (covariates: fusion length, age, female sex, and Deyo score).

Results.

Six thousand twenty patients (MHD: n = 1631; no-MHD: n = 4389) met inclusion criteria. Mental health diagnoses included disorders of depression (59.0%), sleep (28.0%), anxiety (24.0%), and stress (2.3%). At 2-year follow-up, MHD patients with short fusion had significantly higher complication rates (P = 0.001). MHD patients with short or long fusion also had significantly higher rates of any readmission and revision (all P ≤ 0.002). Regression modeling revealed that comorbid MHD was a significant predictor of any complication (odds ratio [OR]: 1.17, P = 0.01) and readmission (OR: 1.32, P < 0.001). MHD was the strongest predictor of any revision (OR: 1.56, P < 0.001). Long fusion most strongly predicted any complication (OR: 1.87, P < 0.001).

Conclusion.

ASD patients with comorbid depressive, sleep, anxiety, and stress disorders were more likely to experience surgical complications and revision at minimum of 2 years following spinal fusion surgery. Proper patient counseling and psychological screening/support is recommended to complement ASD treatment.

Conclusion.

Level of Evidence: 3

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