Reduced Impact of Smoking Status on 30-Day Complication and Readmission Rates After Elective Spinal Fusion (≥3 Levels) for Adult Spine Deformity: A Single Institutional Study of 839 Patients.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Smoking status has been shown to affect postoperative outcomes after surgery. The aim of this study was to determine whether patients' smoking status impacts 30-day complication and readmission rates after elective complex spinal fusion (≥3 levels).


The medical records of 839 adult spinal deformity patients undergoing elective complex spinal fusion (≥3 levels) at a major academic institution from 2005 to 2015 were reviewed. We identified 124 (14.8%) smokers and 715 (85.2%) nonsmokers. Patient demographics, comorbidities, intraoperative and postoperative complications, and 30-day readmission rates were collected for each patient. The primary outcome investigated in this study was the rate of 30-day postoperative complication and readmission rates.


Patient demographics and comorbidities were similar between both groups, including age, sex, and body mass index. Median [interquartile] number of fusion levels and operative time were similar between the cohorts (smoker: 5 [4-7] vs. nonsmoker: 5 [4-8], P = 0.58) and (smoker: 309.6 ± 157.9 minutes vs. nonsmoker: 287.5 ± 131.7 minutes, P = 0.16), respectively. Both cohorts had similar postoperative complication rates and lengths of hospital stay. There was no significant difference in 30-day readmission between the cohorts (smoker: 12.9% vs. nonsmoker: 10.8%, P = 0.48). There were no observed differences in 30-day complication rates, including pain (P = 0.46), UTI (P = 0.54), hardware failure (P = 0.36), wound dehiscence (P = 0.29), and wound drainage (P = 0.86). Smokers had greater rates of 30-day cellulitis (smoker: 1.6% vs. nonsmoker: 0.3%, P = 0.05) and DVT (smoker: 0.8% vs. nonsmoker: 0.0%, P = 0.02).


Our study suggests that smoking does not significantly affect 30-day readmission rates after complex spinal surgery requiring ≥3 levels of fusion. Further studies are necessary to corroborate our findings.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Elsamadicy, AA; Adogwa, O; Sergesketter, A; Vuong, VD; Lydon, E; Behrens, S; Cheng, J; Bagley, CA; Karikari, IO

Published Date

  • November 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 107 /

Start / End Page

  • 233 - 238

PubMed ID

  • 28790002

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-8769

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1878-8750

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.wneu.2017.07.174


  • eng