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  • Association between Surgeon Experience and Complication Rates in Adult Scoliosis Surgery: A Review of 5,117 Cases from the Scoliosis Research Society Database 2004-2007

    Final Number:

    Branko Skovrlj MD; Motasem Al Maaieh; John M. Caridi MD; Samuel K Cho

    Study Design:

    Subject Category:

    Meeting: Congress of Neurological Surgeons 2014 Annual Meeting

    Introduction: Surgeon training and experience play an important role in patient outcomes following spinal surgery. The Scoliosis Research Society Morbidity and Mortality (SRS M&M) data allow membership status (active vs. candidate) to serve as a proxy for the level of surgeon experience. Only a few studies have evaluated surgeon experience as a factor for perioperative complications in adult scoliosis surgery. The purpose of this study was to investigate rates of perioperative complications after adult scoliosis surgery based on surgeon experience.

    Methods: SRS M&M database was queried for patients aged >18 years who underwent spinal fusion for scoliosis from 2004-2007. Patient demographics, surgical characteristics, and complications were analyzed. Two-tailed t test and chi-square test were performed.

    Results: A total of 5,117 cases (avg. age 51.8 years, 21.7% revisions) were identified between 2004 and 2007. Active members performed 3,836 (75%) and candidate members performed 1,281 (25%) surgeries. There were a total of 681 (13.3%) complications: 498 (13.0%) for active; 183 (14.3%) for candidate, p=0.24. Mortality rate was 0.29% (15): 12 for active; 3 for candidate, p=0.88. There were a total of 173 (3.4%) wound infections: 114 (3.0%) for active; 59 (4.6%) for candidate, p=0.01. Spinal cord complications (35) accounted for 0.68%: 21 (0.55%) for active; 14 (1.1%) for candidate, p=0.07.

    Conclusions: Overall complication rates were similar regardless of surgeon experience. However, there were significantly more wound infections and a trend toward higher spinal cord deficits in candidate member cases.

    Patient Care: Improve awarness

    Learning Objectives: 1)Identify whether surgeon expeirnce plays a role in surgical complications in adult scoliosis surgery


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