Spine deformities can occur later in life and lead to extreme pain or discomfort. Some patients who have a spine deformity, which may include kyphosis and Scheuermann’s disease, may want to undergo spinal fusion surgery to correct the deformity and increase mobility, according to Spine Health. There are certain risks associated with the procedure. According to a new study published in Spine, a common risk of spinal fusion is a surgical site infection that can lead to unplanned readmission to the hospital.
In the retrospective cohort study, a group of researchers from the University of California in San Francisco studied 836 patients who had received spinal fusion surgery for adult spinal deformity. Among the patients, 111 received short fusions, 402 received medium fusions and 323 received long fusions. According to HealthDay, “the authors sought to assess the rate, causes and risk factors for unplanned hospital readmission.”
Overall, the researchers discovered that there was a readmission rate of 8.4 percent at 30 days and 12.3 percent at 90 days. Patients who had undergone long fusions rather than short or medium fusions tended to have higher rates of readmission. The researchers also discovered that a good percentage, 45.6 percent, of hospital readmissions after spinal fusion surgery was related to surgical site infections. The researchers listed “longer fusion length, higher patient severity of illness and specific medical comorbidities” as risk factors for readmission, according to HealthDay.
The researchers state that unplanned hospital visits are relatively uncommon, and are mostly caused by surgical site infections. The researchers concluded the study by explaining that “patient medical comorbidities are an important part of assessing risk and can be used by providers and patients to better assess individual risk prior to treatment,” according to the study.