Impact of Race on 30-Day Complication Rates After Elective Complex Spinal Fusion (≥5 Levels): A Single Institutional Study of 446 Patients.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Racial disparities have been shown to affect surgical outcomes. However, the effect of race on complex spinal fusion outcomes remains understudied. The aim of this study is to determine if patient race affects 30-day complication rates after elective complex spinal fusion (≥5 levels).


The medical records of 490 adult patients with spinal deformity undergoing elective complex spinal fusion (≥5 levels) at a major academic institution from 2005 to 2015 were reviewed. We identified 52 black patients (11.7%) and 438 white patients (88.3%). Patient demographics, comorbidities, and intraoperative and 30-day postoperative complication and readmission rates were collected. The primary outcome investigated in this study was the rate of 30-day postoperative complications.


Patient demographics and comorbidities were similar between both groups, including age, gender, and body mass index. Median (interquartile range) number of fusion levels and operative time were similar between the cohorts (black, 6.5 [5-9] vs. white, 7 [5-9]; P = 0.55; and black, 307.3 ± 120.2 minutes vs. white, 321.3 ± 135.3 minutes; P = 0.45, respectively). Both cohorts had similar postoperative complications and lengths of hospital stay (black, 7.2 ± 5.4 days vs. white: 6.5 ± 4.9; P = 0.37). There was no significant difference in 30-day readmission between the cohorts (black, 9.6% vs. white, 12.8%; P = 0.66). There were no observed differences in 30-day complication rates, including: pain (P = 0.74), urinary tract infection (P = 0.68), hardware failure (P = 0.36), wound dehiscence (P = 0.29), and drainage (P = 0.86).


Our study suggests that there is no difference between races in 30-day complication and readmission rates after complex spinal surgery requiring ≥5 levels of fusion.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Elsamadicy, AA; Adogwa, O; Sergesketter, A; Hobbs, C; Behrens, S; Mehta, AI; Vasquez, RA; Cheng, J; Bagley, CA; Karikari, IO

Published Date

  • March 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 99 /

Start / End Page

  • 418 - 423

PubMed ID

  • 28003170

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-8769

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1878-8750

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.wneu.2016.12.029


  • eng