Drivers of 30-Day Readmission in Elderly Patients (>65 Years Old) After Spine Surgery: An Analysis of 500 Consecutive Spine Surgery Patients.
BACKGROUND: Early readmission after spine surgery is being used as a proxy for quality of care. One-fifth of patients are rehospitalized within 30 days after spine surgery, and more than one-third within 90 days; however, there is a paucity of data about the cause of early readmissions in elderly patients after elective spine surgery. METHODS: A total of 500 elderly patients (>65 years old) undergoing elective spine surgery at a major academic hospital were included in the study. We identified all unplanned readmissions within 30 days of discharge. Unplanned readmissions were defined to have occurred as a result of either a surgical or a nonsurgical complication. Patient records were reviewed to determine the cause of readmission and the length of hospital stay. RESULTS: A total of 50 (10%) unplanned early readmissions were identified. The mean ± SD age was 72.54 ± 5.84 years. The mean ± SD number of days from discharge to readmission was 11.02 ± 7.25 days, and the average length of hospital stay for the readmissions was 7.7 days. The majority of patients that were readmitted presented to the emergency department from home (46%), whereas 38% were readmitted from a skilled nursing facility. The most common causes for readmission were infection or a concern for infection (42%) and pain (14%), with 32% of readmissions requiring a return to the operating room. CONCLUSION: Our study suggests that in elderly patients undergoing elective spine surgery, infection or a concern for infection, pain, and altered mental status were the most common primary reasons for unplanned readmission.
Adogwa, O; Elsamadicy, AA; Han, J; Karikari, IO; Cheng, J; Bagley, CA
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