Rates and risk factors associated with 30- and 90-day readmissions and reoperations after spinal fusions for adult lumbar degenerative pathology and spinal deformity

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Spine Deform


PURPOSE: Analyze state databases to determine variables associated with of short-term readmissions and reoperations following thoracolumbar spine fusions for degenerative pathology and spinal deformity.

METHODS: Retrospective study of State Inpatient Database (2005-13, CA, NE, NY, FL, NC, UT).

INCLUSION CRITERIA: age > 45 years, diagnosis of degenerative spinal deformity, ≥ 3 level posterolateral lumbar spine fusion.

EXCLUSION CRITERIA: revision surgery, cervical fusions, trauma, and cancer. Univariate and step-wise multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to identify independent variables associated with of 30- and 90-day readmissions and reoperations.

RESULTS: 12,641 patients were included. All-cause 30- and 90-day readmission rates were 14.6% and 21.1%, respectively. 90-day readmissions were associated with: age > 80 (OR: 1.42), 8 + level fusions (OR: 1.19), hospital length of stay (LOS) > 7 days (OR: 1.43), obesity (OR: 1.29), morbid obesity (OR: 1.66), academic hospital (OR: 1.13), cancer history (OR:1.21), drug abuse (OR: 1.31), increased Charlson Comorbidity index (OR: 1.12), and depression (OR: 1.20). Private insurance (OR: 0.64) and lumbar-only fusions (OR: 0.87) were not associated with 90-day readmissions. All-cause 30- and 90-day reoperation rates were 1.8% and 4.2%, respectively. Variables associated with 90-day reoperations were 8 + level fusions (OR: 1.28), LOS > 7 days (OR: 1.43), drug abuse (OR: 1.68), osteoporosis (OR: 1.26), and depression (OR: 1.23). Circumferential fusion (OR: 0.58) and lumbar-only fusions (OR: 0.68) were not associated with 90-day reoperations.

CONCLUSIONS: 30- and 90-day readmission and reoperation rates in thoracolumbar fusions for adult degenerative pathology and spinal deformity may have been underreported in previously published smaller studies. Identification of modifiable risk factors is important for improving quality of care through preoperative optimization.

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ePub ahead of print