Prevalence of perioperative complications after anterior spinal fusion for patients with idiopathic scoliosis.
Anterior spinal fusion (ASF) has been proven to improve curve correction, save motion segments, and decrease the rate of pseudarthrosis when compared with posterior spinal fusion alone. However, in patients with idiopathic scoliosis, the complication rate of the anterior approach to the spine using current techniques has only been scantly defined in the literature. This is a retrospective review of consecutive patients who underwent primary ASF for idiopathic scoliosis to determine the prevalence and types of complications specifically related to the anterior approach. All patients who underwent primary ASFs for idiopathic scoliosis done by one of two orthopaedic surgeons between October 1986 and July 1992 were reviewed. Adequate records were available for 98 of 103 patients. The average age at time of surgery was 22 years (range, 10-60 years). Complications were divided into three groups: major (resulting in permanent sequelae or necessitating a second major operation); minor (resulting in a prolonged hospital stay, necessitating a minor operation, and/or resulting in a significant temporary hardship or persistent minor problem); and insignificant (anything less than minor). One of 98 patients had a major complication (a pelvic deep venous thrombosis that required operative thrombectomy). Twenty-five of 98 patients had 28 complications classified as minor, and 28 of 98 patients had 30 complications classified as insignificant. Smoking was a significant risk factor for the development of minor complications. There was no statistically significant relationship between the development of complications and the degree of curve, the approach used, the procedure performed, or the performance of rib resections. The anterior approach to the spine in patients with idiopathic scoliosis in this series was very safe, with only one major complication in 98 patients. However, minor and insignificant complications were quite common, occurring in 45 of 98 patients (46%). Smoking was a significant risk factor for minor complications.
Published In/Presented At
Weis, J. C., Betz, R. R., Clements, D. H., 3rd, & Balsara, R. K. (1997). Prevalence of perioperative complications after anterior spinal fusion for patients with idiopathic scoliosis. Journal of spinal disorders, 10(5), 371–375.
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Surgery